Dallas fans didn’t quite know what to expect from the Cowboys this season. Sure, the defense was likely to be great. It was loaded with talent, the roster ran deep, and the mastermind behind it all stayed at the helm.
But beyond Dan Quinn’s unit, the Cowboys were shrouded with mystery entering the 2023 season.
They parted ways with their long-time offensive coordinator, Kellen Moore. Replacing him as coordinator was a somewhat maligned Brian Schottenheimer. Schottenheimer didn’t come from the most innovative coaching tree and had fairly limited success in the same role throughout his career.
Replacing Moore as play-caller was head coach Mike McCarthy. McCarthy had an impressive history as a play-caller but enough time had past since his last endeavor to question if he kept up with the times. Offseason statements like “I just want to run the damn ball” indicated he was not the man he used to be and might have taken a step backwards in his evolution as a coach.
Even special teams were a wild card for Dallas. The Cowboys turned up their noses at veteran options in free agency and opted to roll into the 2023 season with a rookie.
For as optimistic as everyone wanted to be, a lot of it came from assumptions, guesstimates, and rose-colored glasses. There were just too many unknowns.
Two weeks into the season and the murky waters have begun to clear. The Cowboys have begun to show their nature and the future is starting to take shape. While many things still remain unknown, a few key items can now be identified in this team’s DNA, so we look at those items today.