FRISCO, TX – Mike McCarthy used to drive by the statues every day when arriving for work at Lambeau Field, so there never was much need to tell him what he was getting into as coach of the Dallas Cowboys.
Nearly 10 years after winning a Super Bowl with one iconic franchise in Green Bay, McCarthy is taking over another and knows that's where the conversation starts with the Cowboys, regardless of their nearly 25-year absence on football's biggest stage.
“You look at the great coaches that have been here,” McCarthy said during his introductory news conference Wednesday. “The Super Bowl champions. All the Hall of Fame players. You look at the great quarterback play here. There’s a lot of similarities that I feel that I can use in this particular situation.”
Flanked by owner Jerry Jones and his son, executive vice president Stephen Jones, McCarthy addressed a large crowd that included a handful of players and dozens of staff members in the atrium of the indoor football stadium that's also one of the team's practice fields.
McCarthy won his championship nine years ago at the home of the Cowboys, which has a statue of Hall of Fame coach Tom Landry near the main entrance.
McCarthy coached in the shadow of Curly Lambeau and Vince Lombardi with the Packers, reaching the playoffs nine times in his first 11 years before getting fired during what ended up being a second straight losing season.
Now the 56-year-old McCarthy, after a year out of football, is taking over for Jason Garrett, second to Landry's 29 years in tenure for Dallas coaches at 9½ seasons, but without anything remotely approaching Landry's postseason pedigree.
“I am honored to be the steward of this iconic franchise,” McCarthy said. “I told Jerry this in the interview, that I will take care of that honor and privilege and that responsibility. Because I understand it. And I know what it takes.”