Jan 16, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; Dallas Cowboys place kicker Brett Maher (19) misses a point after touchdown kick in the first half during the wild card game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Mike McCarthy: Cowboys K Brett Maher ‘he needs to practice well’

Tristan Vizcaino was on the field with the Dallas Cowboys at Thursday’s practice, but coach Mike McCarthy said that the kicking insurance policy doesn’t mean the team does not believe in Brett Maher.

Maher missed four straight extra-point attempts in Monday’s 31-14 wild-card win over the host Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He converted his fifth and final try of the game.

Dallas added Vizcaino to the practice squad on Tuesday. Vizcaino had previous stints with the 49ers, Chargers, Cardinals and Patriots and was briefly on the Cowboys’ offseason roster in 2020.

“It doesn’t take anything away from our trust in Brett,” McCarthy told reporters on Thursday. “I just think it’s part of the responsibility. Player acquisition’s a 365-day (thing), this is nothing out of the normal for us.”

It’s unclear if the Cowboys would consider carrying two kickers on the active roster for Sunday’s divisional round game at the San Francisco 49ers.

“He (Maher) needs to practice well this week,” McCarthy said, adding, “We all need to practice well this week. I better coach well this week.”

Maher might have received the message. According to reporters in clear view of the kicking display at the Cowboys’ practice in Frisco, Texas, Maher went 6-for-6 on field goals and Vizcaino went 3-for-5, including missing his very first kick.

“Whoever lines up here on the 48, I’ll have great confidence,” McCarthy said.

The Cowboys will head west hoping to be the first team to hand San Francisco a loss since Oct. 23. The Niners have won 11 straight games, including seven behind rookie quarterback Brock Purdy, who’s impressed the league after taking over for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo.

McCarthy said there’s no point in crunching tape of Purdy’s days at Iowa State.

“He’s got plenty of film now and he’s played at a very high level. … He’s not a rookie anymore in our eyes,” McCarthy said.

“The three things that jumped out to me … is his instincts, his awareness and his confidence. For a young player he definitely looks very confident and comfortable in the system.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 26, 2022; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys DC Dan Quinn set for playoff-week interview with Broncos

Dan Quinn offers the Denver Broncos a massive mulligan on Friday, two days before he oversees the Dallas Cowboys’ defense in a divisional playoff game at San Francisco.

Quinn was a finalist for the Broncos’ job in 2022, interviewing with Denver before Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett was named head coach. Hackett was fired Dec. 26 without completing his first season on the job.

The Cowboys made Quinn one of the highest-paid assistant coaches in the NFL last January to help persuade him to return. Owner Jerry Jones didn’t rule out a similar modification to Quinn’s salary for 2023, but the payday wouldn’t compare to what head coaches earn.

“Obviously we think world of Dan Quinn and we all understand the contributions he made and they interviewed him last year, so it doesn’t surprise me they are interviewing him,” Jones said of Quinn meeting with the Broncos.

Quinn might have an edge given his connection to Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson. They were together during the Seahawks’ Super Bowl run before Quinn was hired as head coach of the Falcons.

As for the timing of interviews, the playing field for Sunday’s coaching is relatively even in one respect: Quinn interviews a day after 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans is scheduled to meet with the Broncos.

Dallas played Monday night, two days after the 49ers ousted the Seahawks in the wild-card round, and San Francisco has the advantage of homefield and not having to fly roundtrip to Tampa and now California.

But Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said he’s not concerned with Quinn losing focus on the 49ers.

“Dan’s the ultimate professional. And he will not jeopardize for anything the preparation of this game,” McCarthy said.

While not yet scheduled, Quinn is also a candidate to interview with the Indianapolis Colts.

Quinn, 52, was 43-42 as head coach of the Falcons, leading Atlanta to the Super Bowl — where the New England Patriots rallied from a 28-3 deficit — before being fired after five-plus seasons.

He has served as defensive coordinator of the Cowboys for the past two seasons. Dallas led the NFL in takeaways in 2021 and 2022 and its defense was in the top 10 in points allowed per game each year.

–Field Level Media

Jan 8, 2023; Landover, Maryland, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy stands on the field during warmups prior to the Cowboys' game against the Washington Commanders at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Jerry Jones: Cowboys’ Mike McCarthy not coaching for job

Mike McCarthy is not coaching for his job when the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers meet Monday night in an NFC wild-card game.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told 105.3 FM The Fan that the outcome of the playoff game wouldn’t decide McCarthy’s status.

“No. I don’t even want to … No. That’s it,” Jones said. “I don’t need to go into all the pluses or minuses. I’ve got a lot more to evaluate Mike McCarthy on than this playoff game.”

McCarthy posted a 12-5 record in the regular season. That matches his 2021 regular-season finish, when Dallas lost at home as the Cowboys were bounced from the playoffs by the San Francisco 49ers.

Immediately after that loss, Jones wouldn’t say McCarthy’s job was safe. The retirement of Sean Payton, a Jones friend and former Cowboys assistant coach, fueled speculation that 2022 could be ripe for a big change in Dallas.

But Jones said McCarthy has the Cowboys where they need to be entering the postseason.

“I can’t tell you how much confidence I’ve got in Mike and our coaching staff of being on top of where we are with this team right now,” Jones said. “They’ve got every nuance. They understand every frailty that we might have or we might have shown Sunday (in a 26-6 loss to Washington). They’ve got everything in their grasp and in their understanding, and I have complete confidence in this coaching staff. It’s outstanding. We’ve got a great chance to go down there and have success.”

McCarthy is 10-9 as a head coach in the NFL playoffs (0-1 with the Cowboys), including a Super Bowl XLV win with the Green Bay Packers. He’s 30-20 overall in three seasons in Dallas.

–Field Level Media

Nov 13, 2022; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA;  Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons (11) during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Mike McCarthy: Cowboys hit by illness, taking precautions

Masks are back in full force in the Dallas Cowboys’ locker room after a second day with multiple players reporting to work sick.

The Cowboys excused multiple players from their walkthrough on Monday due to illness, including defensive linemen Johnathan Hankins, Dante Fowler and Tarell Basham. Cornerback Kelvin Joseph left the game at Minnesota on Sunday with an illness. Punter Brian Anger and nose tackle Quinton Bohanna were listed as questionable entering Week 11 due to illness.

Head coach Mike McCarthy said the team would take precautions to prevent further spread of the non-COVID illness and some players checked into the team facility in Frisco, Texas, in protection masks.

Dallas has a 4:25 p.m. ET kickoff on Thanksgiving Day with the New York Giants.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, speaking Tuesday morning to 105.3 FM The Fan in Dallas, said linebacker Micah Parsons (knee, ankle) did not have an MRI exam but plans to be on the field this week. He will be limited during light practices this week.

Jones said left tackle Tyron Smith is not ready to be activated from August surgery but, when he is, the owner declared Smith the left tackle over rookie Tyler Smith.

Tyler Smith moved to left guard late in the Week 11 win to get in-game reps at the position.

–Field Level Media

Sep 26, 2022; East Rutherford, NJ, USA;  Dallas Cowboys quarterback Cooper Rush (10) warms up with injured Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) watching at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott to rest sore thumb Friday

Dak Prescott participated in individual drills and was more involved in Thursday’s practice than the Dallas Cowboys anticipated.

Prescott was upgraded to limited participation Thursday, his first practice in more than four weeks.

Head coach Mike McCarthy said the result is a sore surgically repaired right thumb, which prompted the Cowboys to rest Prescott and keep him out of Friday’s practice. McCarthy said the Cowboys consider Prescott in “regeneration” mode.

Prescott is four weeks and change removed from fracturing the thumb on his throwing hand in the Sept. 11 opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. McCarthy said the big picture remains entirely positive with Prescott, who will resume throwing Saturday and before Sunday’s game at Philadelphia.

“The last two days he hit the target. (Friday) will be a recovery day for him,” McCarthy said. “We’re on schedule. He’s getting better.”

But Cooper Rush is in line to start his fifth consecutive game since Prescott went down.

The Cowboys (4-1) do expect linebacker Micah Parsons (groin) and defensive end Demarcus Lawrence (chest) to be on the field for the NFC East showdown with the Eagles (5-0).

Rush said it’s important to note Prescott hasn’t been on the field, but he has impacted the end result.

“I’ve said before he’s helped tremendously with our room, myself, and everyone else on the sidelines,” Rush said. “He’s bringing energy, that’s just who he is as a person or a leader.”

–Field Level Media

Aug 17, 2022; Costa Mesa, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy reacts during joint practice against the Los Angeles Chargers at Jack Hammett Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Hot Seats: Dallas’ Mike McCarthy favored to be first fired

With analysts already putting a fork in the Dallas Cowboys after a devastating Week 1 loss, oddsmakers have also moved Mike McCarthy to the front of the line for the first NFL coach likely to be fired this season.

The honor had belonged to Carolina’s Matt Rhule over the summer and the Panthers suffered their own heartbreaking loss on Sunday. But the Panthers were at least competitive and lost on a 58-yard field goal nailed by Cleveland rookie kicker Cade York.

Later that night, the Cowboys failed to find the end zone in a 19-3 loss to Tampa Bay that saw quarterback Dak Prescott suffer a broken right thumb that will sideline him at least a month.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones admitted to being “very, very frustrated” at the end of last season but insisted McCarthy’s job was never in danger. However, he did acknowledge that a perceived lack of endorsement at the time for McCarthy was part of a strategy to keep defensive coordinator Dan Quinn from leaving for a head coaching job elsewhere.

That Quinn serves as a potential replacement with previous NFL head coaching experience for a team with Super Bowl ambitions certainly increases the heat under McCarthy’s seat.

SportsBetting.ag opened a market with odds on all 32 NFL head coaches and their chances of being the first one fired this season. McCarthy leads the way at 3-1, followed by Rhule (4-1) and Arizona’s Kliff Kingsbury (5-1), whose Cardinals opened the season with a blowout loss at home to Kansas City.

First Head Coach Fired
Mike McCarthy, 3-1
Matt Rhule, 4-1
Kliff Kingsbury, 5-1
Frank Reich, 9-1
Mike Vrabel, 9-1
Robert Saleh, 10-1
Arthur Smith, 14-1
Dan Campbell, 14-1
Pete Carroll, 16-1
Ron Rivera, 16-1
Kevin Stefanski, 25-1
Kyle Shanahan, 28-1
Lovie Smith, 33-1
Mike Tomlin, 33-1
John Harbaugh, 50-1
Nick Sirianni, 50-1
Josh McDaniels, 66-1
Matt LaFleur, 66-1
Todd Bowles, 66-1
Bill Belichick, 75-1
Doug Pederson, 75-1
Zac Taylor, 75-1
Dennis Allen, 80-1
Nathaniel Hackett, 80-1
Andy Reid, 100-1
Brandon Staley, 100-1
Brian Daboll, 100-1
Kevin O’Connell, 100-1
Matt Eberflus, 100-1
Mike McDaniel, 100-1
Sean McVay, 100-1
Sean McDermott, 150-1

All might not be lost for the Cowboys just yet in 2022.

Prescott was originally expected to miss six to eight weeks, but the NFL Network reported Tuesday that the timeline could be closer to four to six weeks depending on how quickly the bone heals following surgery.

Jones told 105.3 FM in Dallas that Prescott would not be placed on injured reserve.

Cooper Rush, who has started one game through his first four NFL seasons, will replace Prescott for the time being. The team also has Will Grier on the roster.

However, SportsBetting.ag is offering odds on veteran quarterbacks the Cowboys might sign. McCarthy said the Cowboys would be making roster moves Tuesday, noting he was carrying a list of all available quarterbacks in his pocket during the media session.

The list includes everyone from former Cowboys quarterback Garrett Gilbert to longshot odds on a quartet of retired superstars.

Which QB will Cowboys sign in 2022?
Garrett Gilbert, 4-1
Nick Foles, 9-2
Teddy Bridgewater, 5-1
Gardner Minshew, 6-1
Ryan Fitzpatrick, 6-1
Cam Newton, 9-1
Jimmy Garoppolo, 11-1
Ben DiNucci, 12-1
Mason Rudolph, 14-1
Mike Glennon, 16-1
A.J. McCarron, 20-1
Matt Barkley, 20-1
Colin Kaepernick, 40-1
Ben Roethlisberger, 50-1
Drew Brees, 50-1
Philip Rivers, 50-1
Andrew Luck, 66-1

The Cowboys play host to Cincinnati on Sunday with both teams trying to avoid an 0-2 start. Dallas is also trying to find the end zone for the first time this season — another market being offered by SportsBetting.ag.

When will the Cowboys score their first offensive TD? (Week 2 only)
First quarter +190
Second quarter +160
Third quarter +180
Fourth quarter +350
No offensive TD scored +500

–Field Level Media

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh and quarterback Cade McNamara celebrate a touchdown against Iowa during the first half of the Big Ten championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021.

Syndication Detroit Free Press

Jim Harbaugh on Michigan’s two-QB system: ‘It’s really biblical’

Jim Harbaugh is doing things by the book at Michigan.

In granting the Wolverines’ top two quarterbacks each a start to begin the regular season, Harbaugh delayed naming a No. 1 quarterback after considering biblical guidance.

Cade McNamara will start for No. 8 Michigan against Colorado State on Saturday. Sophomore J.J. McCarthy gets the nod Sept. 10 against Hawaii.

Harbaugh said both quarterbacks will play in each game.

“No person, that’s biblical, no person knows what the future holds,” Harbaugh said Monday. “It’s a process and it’s going to be based on performance, but we’re not going to withhold any good thing. Both have been tremendous quarterbacks. We think that both are capable of leading our team to a championship.”

McNamara was the starter for the Wolverines in 2021 on the way to Michigan’s outright conference championship and a spot in the College Football Playoff. Harbaugh said McNamara was “arguably one of the most improved players on the team” following a season in which he amassed 2,576 passing yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions.

McCarthy was a top-25 overall recruit but an injured throwing shoulder limited his availability this spring. He came off the bench to play in 11 games in 2021.

The quarterbacks made a decision difficult on the Wolverines’ coaching staff, Harbaugh said, adding he believes both are ready to lead the team to a championship if their number is called.

“Some people have asked, ‘How did you come to that decision? Was it based on some kind of NFL model?’” Harbaugh said. “No, it’s really based biblical. Solomon, he was known to be a pretty wise person.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 9, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Hot Seats: Carolina’s Matt Rhule favored to be next coach fired

NFL training camps are still a month away from opening but at least one sportsbook is already providing odds on the first coach likely to be fired this season.

That distinction belongs to Carolina’s Matt Rhule, who is being offered at +300 by SportsBetting.ag to be the next head coach to be fired or resign. The sportsbook is offering odds on all 32 NFL coaches, all the way down to reigning Super Bowl champion coach Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams at +10000.

Matt Rhule On Thinnest Ice?
Because of Rhule’s success in college football, the Carolina Panthers hired him to reinvent the team. He had already transformed Temple and Baylor into winning programs, so the expectation was that he could do the same with the Panthers.

However, Rhule’s first two seasons with the Panthers have not been as successful with an overall record of 10-23, including only five wins in each season.

Super Bowl or Bust in Dallas?
The next shortest odds belong to the Dallas Cowboys’ Mike McCarthy at +500.

The expectation when the Cowboys hired McCarthy was that he would be able to light a fire under a team considered to be under performing under previous coach Jason Garrett. McCarthy was viewed as the missing piece that would turn the team into a Super Bowl champion.

In his first year in 2020, McCarthy got a bit of a pass because quarterback Dak Prescott suffered a season-ending ankle injury. However, last season ended in major disappointment.

The Cowboys had a great regular season, finishing with a 12-5 record. However, they were eliminated by the San Francisco 49ers in the first round of the playoffs. Team owner Jerry Jones was not afraid to admit that he was frustrated by the Cowboys’ early exit, but decided to keep McCarthy around.

Jones is likely to give McCarthy another season. If the Cowboys do not reach the postseason, though, he could be fired.

Pete Carroll’s Last Stand in Seattle?
The Seattle Seahawks decided to part with quarterback Russell Wilson rather than coach Carroll after failing to make the playoffs last season. Carroll has led the Seahawks for 12 seasons, including a victory in Super Bowl XLVIII.

That was a long time ago, and Seattle is coming off a 7-10 campaign. Although team president and general manager John Schneider promised Carroll would stay in place until his contract expires in 2025, an early exit is still possible. SportsBetting.ag is offering him at +600 as the next NFL head coach to vacate his position, involuntarily or voluntarily.

Under Pressure in D.C. & Indy
Ron Rivera led the Washington Commanders, formerly the Washington Football Team, to the playoffs during his first season as head coach in 2020. This was despite a record of 7-9 in the regular season. Although the team was expected to improve further in 2021, Washington stumbled to a 7-10 season.

Rivera admits that he’s “tired” of being an easy target. On the field and off, the Commanders are dealing with significant controversy. Legal disputes, allegations of sexual misconduct across the ranks and an unsynchronized line have weighed heavily on the franchise.

Rivera is being offered at +800 by SportsBetting.ag to be the next NFL coach fired – slightly longer odds than the Indianapolis Colts’ Frank Reich at +700.

Colts owner Jim Irsay has said that Reich’s job is safe for now, but that could change if the latest acquisition of a veteran quarterback in longtime Atlanta Falcon Matt Ryan doesn’t help Indianapolis advance past the first round of the playoffs.

Next NFL Coach Fired/Resign (SportsBetting.ag)
Matt Rhule (3-1)
Mike McCarthy (5-1)
Pete Carroll (6-1)
Frank Reich (7-1)
Ron Rivera (8-1)
Dan Campbell (10-1)
Kevin Stefanski (10-1)
Kliff Kingsbury (12-1)
Mike Vrabel (12-1)
Arthur Smith (14-1)
Robert Saleh (14-1)
John Harbaugh (16-1)
Mike Tomlin (16-1)
Nick Sirianni (25-1)
Kyle Shanahan (33-1)
Bill Belichick (50-1)
Lovie Smith (50-1)
Todd Bowles (50-1)
Brandon Staley (66-1)
Brian Daboll (66-1)
Dennis Allen (66-1)
Doug Pederson (66-1)
Kevin O’Connell (66-1)
Matt Eberflus (66-1)
Mike McDaniel (66-1)
Nathaniel Hackett 66-1)
Zac Taylor (66-1)
Matt Lafleur (80-1)
Andy Reid (100-1)
Josh McDaniels (100-1)
Sean McDermott 100-1)
Sean McVay (100-1)

–Erik Gibbs, Field Level Media

Jun 14, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy talks to the media during a press conference at the Ford Center at the Star Training Facility in Frisco, Texas. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: NFL sanctions Cowboys, Mike McCarthy for OTA violations

The NFL pushed back at the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday for getting too physical in their organized team activities (OTAs) for a second consecutive year, according to ESPN and NFL.com.

The league reportedly took away one OTA practice from the Cowboys for 2023, and head coach Mike McCarthy received a fine. ESPN reported that McCarthy was forced to pay $100,000.

OTAs are required to be non-contact, but the Cowboys were found to have broken that rule last year, too. The NFL fined the Cowboys $100,000, fined McCarthy $50,000 and forced the team to give up one OTA session due to the same issue. This year, the team reportedly was not fined.

The San Francisco 49ers and Jacksonville Jaguars also were penalized for violating OTA rules last year, while the Chicago Bears had one June OTA session taken away this year following a violation in May.

The Cowboys concluded this month’s OTAs on Thursday.

McCarthy said, “Everything we wanted to accomplish in the offseason was completed, and really the focus turns to their individual five-week plan.”

–Field Level Media

Jun 3, 2021; Frisco, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy and CEO Stephen Jones and owner Jerry Jones on the sidelines during voluntary Organized Team Activities at the Star Training Facility in Frisco, Texas. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys’ Mike McCarthy to return as head coach

Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones expects head coach Mike McCarthy to return to Dallas next season.

Jones said Monday he “absolutely” felt McCarthy would be back and later in the day, Jones’ father and team owner Jerry Jones, said a coaching change was “not on the table.”

However, Jerry Jones said after Sunday’s wildcard loss to the San Francisco 49ers that he couldn’t remember being “this disappointed” after a loss.

The 49ers held on for a 23-17 victory but Dallas had a chance on its final possession despite setting a franchise record for penalties (14) in a playoff game.

With zero timeouts, the Cowboys drove into 49ers territory with quick passes toward the sideline to stop the clock. But Dallas’ last chance ended when Prescott ran 17 yards up the middle to the 49ers’ 24-yard line and could not spike the ball to stop the clock before time expired.

“That was the best option … it’s the right decision,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy said officials told him after the play that they would review and, if necessary, put time back on the clock. Then, they announced instead that the game was over and exited the playing field.

“When you get this combination of players together, you need to have success,” Jones said Sunday night.

Changes are expected to a coaching staff that could be spun into flux with defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore interviewing for current NFL head-coaching openings.

–Field Level Media