The Giants might have had the head start on head-coaching interviews, but they are still losing out on their top candidates.
On Monday morning, New York’s NFC East rival, the Dallas Cowboys, agreed to terms to bring on Mike McCarthy as their new head coach, per multiple reports.
The decision came just hours after news broke that Jason Garrett would not return to Dallas after a decade with the organization.
McCarthy was one of the front-runners for the vacant Giants’ job following the dismissal of Pat Shurmur on Dec. 30 after two unsuccessful seasons at the helm. His 9-23 record provided the third-worst win-percentage in franchise history.
The 56-year-old McCarthy — who interviewed with the Giants on Dec. 3 — was out of the league for just a single season following a 13-year tenure as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers.
During his time in the NFC North, he worked with two of the best quarterbacks of this generation in Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. His ability to help develop the latter — despite constant rumblings of a fractured relationship — made him an appealing target for a Giants team that is hoping Daniel Jones can become the next great franchise quarterback.
McCarthy’s total offense in Green Bay was ranked in the league’s top-10 for nine out of his 13 seasons. The Packers also made the postseason in nine seasons under McCarthy, including a Super Bowl XLV title over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
That impressive track record will now join a Cowboys team that was on the cusp of winning the NFC East crown if not for a second-half swoon that resulted in Garrett’s dismissal.
The now-former Cowboys coach is one of the multiple head-coaching candidates that has been linked to the Giants’ job. He has yet to secure a meeting or interview with the organization as of now, but reports in November indicated that there was mutual interest between the head coach and Giants.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that MetLife Stadium was Garrett’s “preferred destination.”
The Giants have already interviewed Cowboys defensive backs coordinator Kris Richard, Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, and Ravens defensive coordinator Wink Martindale.
Baylor University head coach Matt Rhule — an offensive guru who worked with the Giants as an assistant — will interview with the Giants on Tuesday. With McCarthy out of the picture, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post reported that Rhule is the “clear” favorite.
It’s becoming more and more imperative that the Giants get this hire right or else they’ll fall further out of contention in the NFC East. Before the Cowboys nabbed McCarthy, the Washington Redskins brought on long-time Panthers boss Ron Rivera to help change the culture in the nation’s capital.