Former Cowboys rival is dark horse candidate to replace Kellen Moore
By Jerry Trotta
The Dallas Cowboys are now fully moved on from the Kellen Moore era. The longtime offensive coordinator was dismissed by Dallas Sunday evening, and was swiftly hired by the Chargers for the same position early Monday.
Moore enjoyed great success over four years with the Cowboys. In 2021, Dallas had the top-ranked offense in terms of yards and points per game, and followed that up in 2022 by finishing fourth in points and 11th in yards despite Dak Prescott missing five games after he underwent thumb surgery.
The Cowboys will be hard-pressed to replicate that efficiency under a new coordinator, and the latest buzz indicates Mike McCarthy will succeed Moore as the primary play-caller.
Whether that manifests itself into next season remains to be seen, but Dallas will still need to hire someone to replace Moore as OC.
Names like Brian Johnson (Eagles), Zac Robinson (Rams) and Joe Brady (Bills) are being floated as potential replacements, and the Cowboys have multiple in-house candidates, including Brian Schottenheimmer, in consideration, too.
As far as dark horse candidates are concerned, though, don’t rule out former NY Giants head coach Ben McAdoo.
Ben McAdoo could replace Kellen Moore as the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator.
For one, McAdoo has extensive ties to Mike McCarthy, and was a consultant on the Cowboys staff during the 2021 season. He spent 2022 as the Panthers’ offensive coordinator and did impressive work despite navigating a quarterback circus that involved Baker Mayfield, PJ Walker, and Sam Darnold starting games.
Unless the Cowboys keep it simple and hire Schottenheimer, McAdoo’s relationship with McCarthy could play a big role in the interview process.
In 2004, McCarthy was the Saints offensive coordinator. McAdoo was New Orleans’ quality control coach. In 2005, McAdoo followed McCarthy to San Francisco as the 49ers assistant offensive line coach while McCarthy served as the offensive coordinator.
From there, McAdoo worked with McCarthy during the latter’s first eight seasons as the Packers head coach. McAdoo’s filled a variety of roles in Green Bay, including a coaching assistant, tight end coach, and quarterbacks coach before he was hired as the Giants offensive coordinator in 2014.
Like Schottenheimmer, McAdoo isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and wouldn’t be everyone’s first choice to replace Moore. However, his ties to McCarthy and extensive coaching experience on the offensive side of the ball shouldn’t be ignored.
The Cowboys can go any which direction to replace Moore, but chances are that individual will have previous ties to McCarthy since it’s been widely reported that McCarthy will overtake the elusive head-coach-play-caller role in 2023.
McCarthy will likely be coaching for his job next season, so you have to think he wants someone he trusts overseeing the offense.
McAdoo fits that bill with room to spare.