Jerry Jones confirms Mike McCarthy will call Cowboys plays in 2023
MOBILE, Ala. – The Dallas Cowboys have yet to fill their 2023 offensive coordinator position.
Nevertheless, their play-caller already seems under contract.
Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy will announce the games, team owner/general manager Jerry Jones and executive vice president Stephen Jones confirmed Wednesday morning ahead of Senior Bowl practices.
“It’s the logical step to build on that and use what we’ve established,” said Jerry Jones. “It’s a moment for us to build. That’s what it’s all about: a building stage.
Jones said he expects the offense to be more like the McCarthy principle than the Dallas operation in the Cowboys head coach’s first three years.
The Cowboys hired McCarthy as head coach in January 2020 after his 13-year stint as head coach of the Green Bay Packers included a Super Bowl title and nine playoff appearances.
The staff turned almost entirely when McCarthy arrived. But offensive coordinator Kellen Moore stayed put, due both to unit productivity and McCarthy’s desire to give quarterback Dak Prescott stability and comfort in the system.
The Cowboys announced Sunday night that they have mutually parted ways with Moore. On Monday, Moore was announced as the Los Angeles Chargers’ offensive coordinator.
Moore’s vision “doesn’t totally match” what McCarthy was looking for on offense, Stephen Jones said.
Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy will call plays for the team in 2023 following the departure of offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. (Jeff Hanisch – USA TODAY Sports)
“I think he wanted Kellen to ride, but he didn’t totally agree 100% with all the philosophies and the little things that went into it,” Jones said, “and it ultimately came down to to, hey, if we’re going to take it to the next level, he wants to see if he can make the changes that he thinks can make a difference that he didn’t necessarily think Kellen might have believed in.
Stephen Jones declined to confirm whether the front office had consulted with Prescott about the coordinator’s decision, even pledging to Prescott for years to come.
The Cowboys offense has ranked in the top six scoring three of the last four, except for Prescott who suffered a season-ending broken and dislocated ankle in Week 5.
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Dallas has ranked first in offensive yards twice in the past four years, and at least 14th each of those years.
But turnovers, including Prescott’s league-leading 15 interceptions, have set back 2022 success. A long playoff run eluded Dallas, which last qualified for the conference championship after the 1995 season. The offense exploded in a 19-12 Divisional Round loss to the San Francisco 49ers just a week after Prescott scored five touchdowns in a 31-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“Sometimes to take the next step you have to be uncomfortable,” said Stephen Jones. “And sometimes, for Dak to take the next step, he might have to feel uncomfortable and do something different. For Mike to take the next step, he has to do something different. For us to take the next step, same thing.
“At some point, if you keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results, good luck.”
This developing story will be updated.