Cowboys Assistant Hired by NFC Rival as Offensive Coordinator: Report

Ben McAdoo Cowboys

Getty Ben McAdoo.

The raiding of Mike McCarthy’s staff has begun.

As first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Carolina Panthers are “expected to hire” Dallas Cowboys consultant Ben McAdoo as its new offensive coordinator. McAdoo will replace Joe Brady, whom Carolina fired during the 2021 regular season.

“They need to work out the contract, but there aren’t expected to be issues. McAdoo is back as an OC, where he initially rose to prominence,” Rapoport tweeted on Friday, January 21.

“The last coach to take the #Giants to the playoffs — who has also coordinated several Top 10 offenses — is hired in Carolina,” added Rapoport. “It was a wide-ranging search, but coach Matt Rhule now has his guy.”

The hire since has been confirmed by local Panthers media.

“Ben McAdoo interviewed with Matt Rhule for the Panthers’ quarterback coach position each of the past two years and did not get it. Now he’s headed to Charlotte as Rhule’s OC,” The Athletic’s Joseph Person tweeted, noting that “McAdoo has a pretty successful track record calling plays. And he and Rhule both have background with Tom Coughlin.”

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Quick Refresher on McAdoo

The ex-New York Giants head coach and play-caller had just completed his first season in Dallas, brought aboard last May as an offensive consultant to HC Mike McCarthy, his longtime confidant. McAdoo spent the 2020 campaign on the Jacksonville Jaguars’ staff, serving as the quarterbacks coach. He’s also held coaching stints in Green Bay (QBs, tight ends), San Francisco (offensive line), and New Orleans (quality control).

Although kept behind the scenes, McAdoo assisted McCarthy and Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore in their weekly preparations — so instrumental, apparently, that the 44-year-old was bandied as a candidate to succeed Moore if the latter landed a HC gig this offseason.

“Should Moore depart Dallas, McAdoo – the former New York Giants coach who was fired in late 2017 following a 2-10 start and who in 2021 worked as a consultant for the Cowboys this season after spending a year as Jacksonville’s quarterbacks coach – is an in-house candidate to move up and become the Dallas coordinator,” Mike Fisher of SI.com wrote on January 18.

“McAdoo is not a popular name in Cowboys Nation, largely due to his Giants foibles. But despite the lack of a title here at The Star, he was a helper as Dallas built the league’s No. 1 offense.”

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Jones Yet to Evaluate Season

“Extraordinarily” disappointed by his team’s quick playoff exit, owner/general manager Jerry Jones has not yet evaluated a 12-win season that once was rife with tantalizing Super Bowl designs.

“I haven’t completed my overall evaluation, and I don’t have any idea when I will complete my evaluation, but there’s a lot of moving parts here,” Jones said January 21 on 105.3 The Fan. “We have 29 coaches, it’s not uncommon at all for members of the coaching staff to come and go. That’s the NFL today. … I won’t be getting to statements for evaluations for several weeks.”

First and foremost on Jones’ docket is figuring out whether he wants to retain McCarthy and company for another year. Although the option of firing McCarthy was “not on the table” immediately after Dallas’ defeat in the NFC Wild Card, the former’s job security now appears tenuous.

“We have 29 coaches, that’s three coaches for every player,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan. “I have a lot to think about with the coaching staff, and these scouts, and regarding various aspects of the organization.”

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