For about a week in January, Mike McCarthy and Jason Garrett each held the same job title as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.
That was an awkward time frame between the team’s announcement that McCarthy would take over (Jan. 7) and the official end of Garrett’s tenure when his contract ran out (on Jan. 14).
But McCarthy said on Wednesday that he and Garrett never actually crossed paths during that period.
"I was not around him in the building at that particular time," McCarthy said on Wednesday.
That’s not to say that he hasn’t been caught up in the wake of Garrett’s departure to the Giants, where he was named offensive coordinator. After a decade coaching in Dallas, Garrett left plenty of fingerprints on the players and the coaching staff. That includes Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.
"No doubt, there’s definitely a connection there," McCarthy said. "I mean, you have a chance to be in the room and talk scheme and philosophy. You can definitely see the impact of what Jason had on Kellen and his time here as a player and here as a coach. There’s definitely a lot of similarities."
The result is a level of awareness and intimate knowledge between these two teams that goes beyond even normal division rivals. Heck, McCarthy himself interviewed for the Giants’ coaching job before Joe Judge did.
"We try to use every resource we have," Judge said. "Obviously with Jason’s knowledge of personnel in the [Cowboys’] building we have talked and discussed over things offensively and defensively with him. He’s not the only coach who came from that team, so we try to use everyone we can in every situation."
Ultimately, though, Judge said just about every week presents a similar situation for someone.
"Everyone has worked in different places, everyone has played different places, everyone has a lot of shared experiences," Judge said. "The NFL, you can say it’s a copycat league, you can say it’s a transient league in terms of guys crossing over and carrying over experiences from different places. It’s no different this week with having guys who were on previous staffs.
"The Cowboys are not the same team they were last year, there are different styles of their offense, different curves on what they are doing offensively and defensively," Judge added. "There are similarities from what our staff has experienced, but it’s definitely a new opponent."