NFL Rumors: Cowboys' McCarthy, Chargers' Staley May Need Playoff Runs to Keep Jobs

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 11, 2023

LANDOVER, MARYLAND - JANUARY 08: Head coach Mike McCarthy of the Dallas Cowboys looks on during the first half of the game against the Washington Commanders at FedExField on January 08, 2023 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Chargers would reportedly consider making coaching changes if their teams lose in the opening round of the playoffs.

Dan Graziano of ESPN reported there has been chatter about the status of Mike McCarthy (Cowboys) and Brandon Staley (Chargers) being "worth watching," adding that "there's outside chatter that one or both of those guys could be in trouble if their team doesn't make a deep playoff run."

The rumors are particularly interesting given the availability of Sean Payton, who is expected to return to the sidelines in 2023 after a one-year hiatus.

Payton was an assistant under Bill Parcells in Dallas from 2003 to 2005 before taking the New Orleans Saints head coaching job. The Cowboys pursued Payton in 2019 and had a deal in place before a completely unrelated event—Anthony Davis' trade request from the New Orleans Pelicans—caused Saints management to pull back on a potential deal.

Dallas would hire Mike McCarthy a year later after firing Jason Garrett.

The Chargers could have an interest in Payton as they try to continue the development of Justin Herbert. Staley is 19-15 in two seasons in Los Angeles—not the type of record that typically leads to a firing—but has taken criticism for some of his decision-making, most recently his decision to play starters deep into a meaningless Week 18 game against the Denver Broncos. That decision could cost the Chargers wideout Mike Williams for their Wild Card game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.