Is Mike McCarthy already a lame-duck head coach before the 2024 league year even begins? Following the Dallas Cowboys’ umpteenth playoff collapse, team owner Jerry Jones gave his head coach a vote of confidence and ensured that McCarthy would return in 2024. However, new comments about free-agent coach Bill Belichick have Jones already looking past his in-house option. Jones denied having spoken to any other head coaching candidates this offseason and would not speculate about Belichick’s future career. Jones did change his tune when asked about his personal thoughts on Belichick. “I know him personally and I like him,” Jones said of Belichick via Yahoo Sports. “There’s no doubt in my mind we could work together. None. None.” It’s almost like the real-life version of the distracted boyfriend meme. In his first year as a head coach free agent this century, Belichick never had any jobs materialize. He only interviewed with the Atlanta Falcons, who eventually went with Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris. However, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Belichick’s current thinking is that “having no job is a better result than a job that wasn’t the right fit.” NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the six-time Super Bowl champion would be willing to sit out the 2024 season and test the waters next year. The Cowboys have one year left on McCarthy’s contract. In January, Jones said that the team’s “best step forward for us” would be to stick with McCarthy this year. “I believe this team is very close and capable of achieving our ultimate goals, and the best step forward for us will be with Mike McCarthy as our head coach,” Jones said following the Cowboys’ 48-32 loss to the N0. 7 seed Green Bay Packers. “There is great benefit to continuing the team’s progress under Mike’s leadership as our head coach. Specifically, there are many layers of success that have occurred this season as a result of Mike’s approach to leading the team, both with individual players and with our team collectively.” At a 42-25 record, McCarthy has the highest win percentage of any coach in Cowboys history. He also has a 1-3 record in the postseason despite finishing 12-5 each of the last three seasons. It’s not sure how Belichick and Jones would even work together. Jones has maintained roster control over the Cowboys since buying the team in 1989, and Belichick has insisted on a general manager title during this hiring cycle. They’ll have a year to figure it out. In the meantime, McCarthy will have to hope for a miracle to keep his role on the Cowboys.