Mike McCarthy 'The Best Hire the Cowboys Could Have Made,' Says Troy Aikman

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 12, 2020

Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy walks the field during an NFL football training camp practice in Frisco, Texas, Friday, Aug. 14, 2020.(AP Photo/LM Otero)
LM Otero/Associated Press

Dallas Cowboys legend Troy Aikman said Friday the team's choice of Mike McCarthy as its new head coach was the "best hire" America's Team could have made to replace Jason Garrett.

Aikman, who led the Cowboys to three Super Bowl titles across 12 years as their starting quarterback from 1989 through 2000, explained his stance to Steve Serby of the New York Post:

"I think it's the best hire the Cowboys could have made. I didn't think that hire would take place. I didn't know if McCarthy would find it to be a good fit. Think about it, he goes from Green Bay, where there is no owner—or at least they're publicly owned—to then the Cowboys, where the owner's more visible than any other owner in sports.

"So that's a big jump, if you're kinda used to being the face of the organization—you can argue it's Aaron Rodgers—but Mike McCarthy had autonomy in what his messaging was to the team, and when you get accustomed to that for 13 years, to then coming to Dallas, it's different. I wasn't sure that Mike would view it as a great fit for him, and I didn't know if the Cowboys would feel that Mike was a great fit for them."

McCarthy guided the Packers to a 125-77-2 regular-season record (.618 winning percentage) and a 10-8 playoff mark (.556) in 13 years leading the staff before being fired in 2018. The high-water mark was winning Super Bowl XLV at the end of the 2010-11 campaign.

Most of that success coincided with Aaron Rodgers' rise to become one of the league's best quarterbacks, and Aikman believes the Cowboys signal-caller Dak Prescott can benefit from the coaching change.

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"The beneficiary is going to be the Cowboys but, second to that, I think Mike's gonna be great for Dak Prescott," Aikman told Serby.

McCarthy's transition was complicated by the coronavirus pandemic, which limited offseason work to virtual meetings and didn't allow the 56-year-old Pittsburgh native to begin implementing his systems on the field until training camp opened in July.

Nevertheless, expectations are high for Dallas heading into the season.

The Cowboys are listed with the sixth-best odds to win the Super Bowl (+1600, bet $100 to win $1,600) behind only the Kansas City Chiefs (+550), Baltimore Ravens (+650), San Francisco 49ers (+1000), New Orleans Saints (+1100) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1400), according to DraftKings.  

Dallas is set to kick off the campaign Sunday when they visit SoFi Stadium to take on the Los Angeles Rams.