Mike McCarthy will enter a potential make-or-break season.
While Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones backed his head coach on Tuesday, he wouldn't specify any long-term plans.
Speaking to reporters at the start of training camp, Jones deflected a question about extending McCarthy. However, he added that the coach remains under contract beyond the 2022 season.
"We’re in good shape," Jones said, per The Athletic's Jon Machota. "We have years left on the contract. There are years past this one, that’s all I’ll say."
McCarthy is entering the third season of a five-year deal. However, he may need a deep playoff run to stay employed next year.
“I want to be real clear, he wouldn’t be sitting here today if I didn’t think he could lead this team to a Super Bowl," Jones said. "And I have choices.”
After going 6-10 in his first season, most of which was without Dak Prescott, McCarthy led the Cowboys to an NFC East title with the NFL's top-rated offense. But the San Francisco 49ers eliminated them in the postseason's opening round.
Dallas hasn't reached the NFC Championship Game since winning Super Bowl XXX in 1996. With just two playoff victories in the last 12 years, Jones' patience could be wearing thin.
Sean Payton confirming that he expects to return to coaching won't quell speculation over McCarthy's job security if Dallas falls short of expectations.
Regardless of how hot the seat may be, Jones has no reason to consider extending McCarthy already.