Dallas Cowboys’ new head coach Mike McCarthy spoke a lot about growth during his time away from the NFL. With this recent choice, he’s showing it.
During his 13-year stint as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers, Mike McCarthy was the offensive play caller for 12 of those seasons. Entering his 14th year as an NFL head coach, and in his first with the Dallas Cowboys, he’ll once again give up those duties.
On Thursday, McCarthy revealed he intends to let second-year offensive coordinator Kellen Moore be the Cowboys’ play caller in 2020. That’s a surprising decision since the 56-year old Super Bowl-winning head coach once vowed never to give up play-calling again.
Not only has McCarthy given Moore those duties, but he also gave him a huge boost of confidence via the media. The Cowboys’ new head coach admitted that he liked what the first-year offensive coordinator did so much last season in Dallas that he would have pursued Kellen as a potential member of his staff even if he hadn’t landed with America’s Team.
That’s a huge compliment. Especially considering the fact it was unknown whether Moore would even be invited to return to Dallas after McCarthy ousted most of the Cowboys’ existing coaching staff from last season. He’s been busy the past two weeks reshaping the staff as he sees fit with several new faces already confirmed to be added.
As for Moore, the former backup quarterback turned quarterbacks coach turned wunderkind offensive coordinator helped the 2019 Cowboys’ offense finish first in the NFL in total yards averaging 431.5 per game.
But keeping Moore around isn’t simply a case of if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Make no mistake, this Cowboys offense is broken. Sure, Dallas found an abundance of yards and points against some of the worst teams in the league. But they famously struggled against opponents with a .500 record or better.
Despite posting the sixth-highest scoring offense (27.1) in the NFL last season, Dallas recorded just 10 points against the New Orleans Saints in Week Four and nine points against the New England Patriots in Week 12. Again this potent Cowboys offense scored just nine points in a critical Week 16 matchup against their divisional rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles, ultimately losing the NFC East crown and a playoff berth because of it.
The hope has to be that the combination of both Mike McCarthy and Kellen Moore will be the key that makes the Dallas Cowboys’ offense both highly-ranked and playoff-worthy. But McCarthy choosing to relinquish play-calling duties to Moore should give fans hope that his growth as a head coach was more than just talk.