Mike McCarthy signs five-year deal to be Cowboys HC

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The Dallas Cowboys took quite some time to part with their former head coach, and very little of it to find their next person for the job.

Former Packers coach Mike McCarthy has signed a deal to become the Cowboys' next head coach, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero and NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. The team later made the deal official on Tuesday.

Rapoport later added that McCarthy's deal with the Cowboys is for five years.

McCarthy's hiring comes less than a day after the Cowboys officially parted ways with Jason Garrett after nine seasons as the team's head coach.

McCarthy spent last season out of football after 13 seasons served as the head coach of the Packers. He came into this year's hiring cycle prepared, completing interviews with the Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns and New York Giants in the last few weeks before heading to Frisco, Texas, over the weekend.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was apparently sold on what McCarthy was offering, securing the franchise's eighth full-time head coach in one of the quickest head-coaching searches one will ever see in the NFL. Marvin Lewis was the only other candidate to be interviewed by the Cowboys before they decided on McCarthy, a candidate who boasts 26 years of NFL coaching experience.

McCarthy's departure from Green Bay was fairly acrimonious, but his success there cannot be denied. McCarthy's Packers made nine playoff appearances in his 13 years there, including an appearance and victory in Super Bowl XLV. His teams held a vice grip on the NFC North for much of the century's second decade, winning five division titles in six years from 2011-2016. McCarthy posted a 125-77-2 record with the Packers.

Jones needn't look too far into the past to see why he might want McCarthy in Dallas. It was McCarthy's Packers who came to Arlington in 2016 and upset the favored Cowboys, 34-31, capped by an incredible completion from Aaron Rodgers to Jared Cook that set up Mason Crosby's game-winning field goal. Two seasons earlier, Jones' Cowboys fell to the Packers on the road in a game many still remember for its controversial ending involving a Dez Bryant reception that ultimately wasn't upon review.

The most intriguing part of McCarthy's hiring, beyond its expedience, is how McCarthy might fit with wunderkind offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, or if that pairing will even happen. Rapoport reports McCarthy is open to keeping Moore on his staff.

McCarthy was the primary play-caller in Green Bay for the majority of his time there (producing the NFL's No. 3 scoring offense in that stretch of time), which became something of a sticking point in his final weeks leading the Packers. McCarthy's approach, once ahead of its time, grew to be viewed as antiquated and himself rigid in his willingness to adjust. He and Rodgers frequently disagreed and undercut Green Bay's offensive potential.

McCarthy shouldn't expect to have the same issue with Dak Prescott in Dallas, but how the structure and responsibilities of McCarthy's staff shake out will be interesting. A pairing with Moore might be exactly what McCarthy needs to take the Cowboys' offense into the 2020s.

Jones' Cowboys reached a crossroads this season when Garrett failed to lead the talented squad to the postseason, despite competing in an underperforming NFC East. Under McCarthy, he should expect to return to the playoffs, where the coach has won 10 times, tied for 13th most in NFL history.

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