The Dallas Cowboys aren’t good at the whole deception thing. Most fans aren’t able to predict their team’s next high-profile move, but the Cowboys are a huge exception in that regard. That proved true again Saturday when the team confirmed the hiring of Brian Schottenheimer as offensive coordinator.
Schottenheimer’s unsightly resume as a high-ranking offensive assistant makes you wonder how he keeps getting big-time jobs.
Perhaps a lot of it has to do with his last name. His late father, Marty Schottenheimer, coached in the NFL for 21 years for the Browns, Chiefs, the then-Redskins and Chargers, and is deeply respected in the league for what he accomplished.
Whatever the case, a large contingent of Cowboys fans are up in arms over Schottenheimer’s appointment. While Mike McCarthy will be the offense’s mastermind, Schottenheimer will have a prominent role installing schemes.
The last time we saw Schottenheimer orchestrate an NFL offense (Jaguars passing game coordinator in 2021), it wasn’t pretty. The Urban Meyer circus didn’t help, but Trevor Lawrence looked lost as a rookie with Schottenheimer overseeing Jacksonville’s passing scheme.
Despite all the backlash and fan outrage, allow us to put a positive spin on Schottenheimer becoming Dallas’ new OC.
The silver lining to Brian Schottenheimer becoming the Cowboys new offensive coordinator.
For starters, fans shouldn’t have a problem with the head coach piecing together his own staff. Unless you’re a Mike McCarthy hater — worth noting he’s led the Cowboys to their best two-year stretch in over 20 years — McCarthy has shown more than enough to allow fans to give him the benefit of the doubt.
McCarthy and Schottenheimer (mostly the former) running the offensive show might ultimately not work, but there’s something to be said that the head coach wants to sink or swim on his own terms.
If it works, the Cowboys will have presumably put together another double-digit win season, and made it to the NFC Championship Game. That feels like the bar McCarthy has to clear to earn another season as head coach with Dan Quinn back and waiting in the wings.
If the experiment doesn’t work, it allows for a clean break — a complete reset — from both parties since Schottenheimer is McCarthy’s “guy.” If Quinn is promoted as head coach, he’ll use his extensive connections to identify the team’s next offensive coordinator. How many fans would be opposed to that?
Noted Cowboys personality Jeff Cavanaugh makes a great point about Schottenheimer’s stint as Seahawks offensive coordinator. Schottenheimer loves pounding the rock, but it was Pete Carroll who consistently banged the drum for Seattle to be a run-first offense instead of handing the keys to Russell Wilson.
At the end of the day, we’re not thrilled with the hire. But don’t allow yourself to be consumed by the consensus negative reaction. This is going to be McCarthy’s offense. Schottenheimer won’t be calling plays. It’s not a Super Bowl-winning move, but it’s also not the death knell some fans are making it out to be.
Let’s see how it plays out.