NFL insider claims potential conflict between Cowboys’ Mike McCarthy and Kellen Moore

Cowboys, Kellen Moore, Mike McCarthy. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Cowboys, Kellen Moore, Mike McCarthy. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Cowboys are currently without an offensive coordinator after they “mutually” agreed to part ways with Kellen Moore.

While the team is searching for Moore’s replacement — they’ve already scheduled an interview with Panthers running backs coach Jeff Nixon — the expectation is Mike McCarthy will take over play-calling for the 2023 season.

Moore’s dismissal, for lack of a better term, moved quickly.

Late last week, McCarthy addressed the media in his end-of-season press conference. When asked about Moore’s future, the head coach didn’t commit to Moore, under contract for 2023, returning as offensive coordinator.

In a clear news dump, the breakup was confirmed right before the AFC Championship Game. It didn’t take long for Moore to land on his feet (less than 24 hours, in fact), as he was hired as the Chargers new offensive coordinator.

So, what exactly led to Moore’s departure? Appearing on the “Dan Patrick Show,” Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer claimed McCarthy and Moore had a potential falling out towards the end of the 2022 season.

Cowboys Rumors: Mike McCarthy and Kellen Moore didn’t see eye-to-eye during end of 2022 season.

Breer wouldn’t say outright that Moore was fired, but the fact Moore was seemingly asked not to return despite being under contract for 2023 suggests this wasn’t the “mutual” parting of ways that’s been pushed by the media.

Then again, Moore was quick to take the Chargers offensive coordinator job. Did that allow for an easier split? Did Moore want a change of scenery after four years in Dallas, and have an eye on the Chargers gig from the moment they fired Joe Lombardi? These are all pertinent questions, and they may never get answered.

Whatever the case, a number of things might’ve led to Moore’s dismissal. Whether it was Dak Prescott regressing to the point of leading the NFL in interceptions, or McCarthy and Moore both being play-callers at their core, Breer’s report indicates there was some semblance of discontent between the coach and OC.

That’s not to imply their relationship is broken beyond repair, but you can understand why McCarthy wants to preside over play-calling. He’ll be coaching for his job in 2023, and likely doesn’t want his wagon (future) attached to an offensive coordinator he doesn’t fully trust.

If McCarthy is going down, he’s going down on his own terms, and Moore now gets to coach a rising star at quarterback in Justin Herbert, and explosive offensive playmakers in Austin Ekeler, Mike Williams, and Keenan Allen.

We’ll call it a win-win for both sides.