Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy is weary of questions about his job security as he enters his third year at the helm.
"It's irritating that the first question you ask me has nothing to do with how I do my job," he said to David Moore of the Dallas Morning News on Monday. "I show up every day for work to win a championship. How do we win today? That's what I'm asking.
"My viewpoint is it's not a story. It's a media-driven narrative, or at least a narrative driven outside my realm."
Fans and the media can drive the perception that NFL head coaches are on the hot seat.
But it's also fair to say McCarthy's first two seasons in Dallas haven't gone according to plan.
Dak Prescott's season-ending injury in Week 5 in 2020 meant that was effectively a lost year, but the head coach also had to put out a fire of his own making amid rumors of internal friction.
Jane Slater @SlaterNFL
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Cowboys?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Cowboys</a> players initially bought into keeping things internal. Now as they sit 2-4 the discontent is leaking out. On the coaching staff “totally unprepared. They don’t teach. They don’t have any sense of adjusting on the fly.” Another “they just aren’t good at their jobs”
With a healthy Prescott, Dallas went 12-5 and won the NFC East in 2021, only to lose to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Wild Card Round. McCarthy's play-calling down the stretch of a 23-17 defeat left a lot to be desired.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones gave Jason Garrett nine full seasons before making a coaching change. That was a level of patience you didn't expect from somebody as desperate to win a Super Bowl as Jones is.
But the 79-year-old Jones isn't getting any younger, and the likelihood of hiring Sean Payton for the Cowboys or any other team figures to be much stronger in 2023 once he's had a full year to decompress.
McCarthy knew what he was getting when he took this job. Coaching the Cowboys means having to deal with added pressure. Although Dallas' last Super Bowl win came in 1995, winning a title is the goal every year.
If McCarthy is sick of hearing about the hot seat, he better hope his squad avoids a slow start to the 2022 season.