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'Tis the season to shake up the franchise, and for these four teams, they have done just that. The Cowboys, Giants, Panthers, and Redskins have all hired new coaches this offseason, leaving the Browns as the only team without a current head coach.
In this article, Chris Dailey will be grading the four head coaching hires this offseason, giving readers insight on each coach and if they are the right fit for their respective team.
Cowboys: Mike McCarthy
The Cowboys have talent, that’s for sure. The Cowboys have spurs like Ezekiel Elliot, Amari Cooper, Leighton Vander Esch, and somebody who gets a lot of hate for not much reason, Dak Prescott. Prescott is a genuine guy, and a heck of a ballplayer, throwing for over 15,000 yards and 97 touchdowns since 2016.
However, whenever Dallas has faced must-win situations in the past ten years, their coaching staff let them down time and time again. Now, that is all expected to change. America’s team decided not to extend Jason Garrett’s contract and followed that up by hiring Super Bowl-winning coach, Mike McCarthy, and all of a sudden, the Cowboys' future looks bright.
McCarthy, a Pittsburgh native, coached the Green Bay Packers from 2006-2018, where he went 125-77-2 and won Super Bowl 45 with Green Bay. McCarthy, a proven winner, is everything the Cowboys need. That being somebody who can come in and produce immediately.
I like the hire and I think Jerry Jones made the right decision. Jones hired somebody who knows how to lead, especially a storied franchise. McCarthy was the right fit for the Cowboys job and I am going to give the hire an A-.
Giants: Joe Judge
The big apple has a new head coach in town.
In an interesting turn of events, the New York Football Giants have hired Patriots Special Teams Coordinator and Wide Receivers coach, Joe Judge. Judge has worked under both Bill Belichick and Nick Saban, who both love the 38-year-old. Belichick even called the Giants to recommend Judge for the job, showing how much faith the mastermind of the Patriots dynasty has in Judge.
Judge has won a total of three Super Bowls and 2 BCS National Championships in his time as an assistant. A proven winner, Judge is a no-nonsense coach, resembling one of the most successful coaches if Giants' history, Tom Coughlin. Judge is also set to become one of the youngest coaches in the NFL, standing only behind Sean McVay of the Rams.
Judge’s hire comes as a surprise to nearly every NFL fan, as Matt Rhule was the definite front runner for the job. However, Rhule decided to head down south to Carolina when he realized Judge was finalizing a deal with New York.
Judge will now take over a team with lots of potential. With rising stars such as Saquon Barkley, Daniel Jones, and Sterling Shepard, the Giants are a few key pieces away from being a playoff contender, especially if none of the teams in the NFC East step up their game next season.
I think Judge’s hire will be a good long term move for New York. He provides stability into an organization that seems lost. He’s a proven winner, something New York hasn’t done in several years. I am going to give the hire a B+.
Panthers: Matt Rhule
Matt Rhule is going to be sleeping well tonight. Rhule signed a 7-year contract worth $60 million, however that could increase up to $70 million with incentives, all of this making Rhule the 6th highest-paid coach in the league.
Rhule was the head coach at both Baylor and Temple, with his only NFL experience coming from a year with the Giants when he was the assistant offensive line coach. His time in college was very successful, leading two losing teams, Baylor and Temple, to bowl game contenders. Baylor could’ve made the College Football Playoffs this year, but two losses to Oklahoma crushed their chances.
Rhule was expected to head to the Giants, and with his connections and praise from the Giants staff, it seemed as if it was meant to be. However, the Panthers' owner, David Tepper, loved what he saw in Rhule and made sure to get him while he was available.
I like the move Tepper and the Panthers made, as Rhule has shown he can turn a franchise around. I know Rhule is excited to join an NFL organization but disheartened to leave Baylor, a place he called home. Rhule had a very strong connection with his locker room, and the players saw him as somebody they can rely on, showing Rhule’s leadership skills.
Tepper and the Panthers made a bold move by getting a coach with barely any experience of coaching at and NFL level, however, I think it’s a good hire. Rhule has seen how the game has evolved and adjusted to it, and if he can that in the NFL, he can become one of the best coaches in the league. I am going to give the hiring an A-.
Redskins: Ron Rivera
The Redskins hired ex Panthers coach Ron Rivera, and he will now serve as the head coach for the team of the capital.
Rivera, 58, was on the iconic ‘85 Bears team that won 20. The California native then went on to coach the Carolina Panthers for eight years and helped lead them to a 15-1 record and Super Bowl appearance in 2016. However, after a lackluster start to the season this year, Rivera was fired by the Panthers as both sides knew that they were headed in different directions.
Rivera then interviewed for the Redskins and was hired right away. The Redskins need a coach that can win and develop talent, and that is exactly what Rivers did at the Redskins. He took young stars with potential, like Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey, and made them faces of the franchise.
Despite his great background, the Redskins still have Dan Synder making the important decisions, and it seems as if the coaches have no say under him. My only concern about this here is if Snyder will let Rivera take the driver's seat, or if he will only be riding shotgun.
Overall, I am going to give this hire a solid B-.
Founder, The Sports Court