In a stunning turn of events, ex-Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Chargers offensive coordinator Kellen Moore recently signed to the same position with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Cowboys and Moore shared some high scoring years together. According to StatMuse, the Cowboys ranked sixth, 17th, first and third in total offensive efficiency and points per game spanning 2019-22. In that span, the Cowboys put together a combined 38-28 regular season record.
If Moore ever wanted to prove something, going to the Cowboys foremost rival is the ultimate challenge. There's more incentive now. Moore is going to want to beat an old foe. With that, Mike McCarthy will try to do the same, but he needs to be careful.
Oftentimes, when a team has some personal feelings involved (McCarthy in this case) they can get desperate or try too hard to win. When a team is playing for more than just another win, they can get in their own way. The Cowboys cannot afford to do that when the Eagles come to town.
McCarthy pushed for the Cowboys to relieve Moore of his offensive coordinator duties after disagreements with the offense's identity. Moore loved going for the "big-play" while McCarthy vowed for a more conservative approach. Moore's big-play approach in Dallas would get the offense in trouble and forced Dak Prescott into ill-advised turnovers.
Kellen Moore's first Cowboys-Eagles game could be costly for Mike McCarthy
With Moore in Philadelphia, you can expect QB Jalen Hurts to have the same kind of risky passing season but it could work for them. Eagle receivers A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith thrive in big-play situations, and if the Eagles implement a more pass-happy offense, they can be dangerous.
This year while controlling the offense, McCarthy went conservative and waited for the big-play to eventually open up. Judging by the numbers Dallas put up this year, it worked. Yet, in big games, the play-calling crumbled when the teams' back was against the wall and the worry is the same when they have to play opposite Moore.
The clock-management woes by McCarthy were apparent often and he could fall under the same trap when playing against Moore who he wants to show he can call a good game. At the very least, McCarthy getting out-schemed by his predecessor could make his already-lukewarm seat scalding hot.
Think about what kind of message that would send to Jerry Jones, who's putting a lot on the line by running it back with McCarthy. If McCarthy's worst tendencies rear their ugly head against Moore's Eagles, especially if there's big stakes on the line, the head coach might dig himself an insurmountable hole.
As long as Moore is in Philadelphia, these games will something extra and it causes for concern from McCarthy's standpoint. The silver lining is that the Cowboys are well aware of Moore's offensive philosophy so they should have the upper hand in these matchups.