The truly bad teams in any given NFL season usually have multiple weeks to come to terms with their fate and, in turn, multiple weeks to plot the next course after the last game is played. For playoff teams and/or those that enter the final weekend with hope of getting there, the end comes suddenly.

It leaves a disappointed owner (or, in the case of the Cowboys, a disappointed owner and General Manager) with much to process, quickly. What changes need to be made? Do big changes need to happen?

Dallas offensive coordinator Kellen Moore is in demand. He could, in theory, become the head coach of another team. Would Jerry Jones decide after two seasons to move on from McCarthy and to elevate Moore?

Alternatively, would Jones make what some regard as a loose, informal succession plan more concrete, giving Moore a big raise and vowing to make Moore the next head coach? (This was at one point a permissible exception to the Rooney Rule; we’re currently trying to determine whether the rule has changed and, if so, when it happened. Here’s an item from 2018 on the topic.)

On Monday, Cowboys executive V.P. Stephen Jones said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas that McCarthy “absolutely” will return, that Jones is “very confident” of this.