Ex-NFL QB Predicts Cowboys to ‘Take a Step Backward’ After Major Decision

Mike McCarthy

Getty Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy reacts after a play during an NFL game.

The Dallas Cowboys have made some major changes to their approach ahead of the 2023 season, but one decision has a former NFL quarterback worried. Dallas parting ways with former offensive coordinator Kellen Moore wasn’t a huge surprise, but it is marking a significant departure.

Moore was the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator for four seasons after ascending from quarterbacks coach before the 2019 season. While Dallas had a high-powered offense, the inability to get over the hump in the postseason seemingly led to Moore going to the Los Angeles Chargers.

Now, ESPN analyst Tim Hasselbeck is predicting the Cowboys to regress with head coach Mike McCarthy calling plays.

“I think it’s going to take a step backward,” Hasselbeck explained. “I don’t understand this talk about how this offense was somehow a disaster under Kellen Moore. You realize, four years he was the offensive coordinator there, there’s one team that scored more points in the NFL – it was the Kansas City Chiefs… You can run the ball all you want, that’s great, but the object is to score points. I think there will be some changes, and I think there will be some growing pains with it, and I don’t know if it’s a good thing for the Dallas Cowboys.”

Dak Prescott Not Giving ‘Too Much’ of New Cowboys Offense

As Hasselbeck alludes to, it feels as if the Cowboys will be taking a more traditional approach on offense with McCarthy calling plays. Leaning into strengths like running back Tony Pollard or versatile wide receiver CeeDee Lamb makes sense, taking some pressure off quarterback Dak Prescott to carry the offense.

Prescott is learning his third new offense since joining the Cowboys, and the veteran QB isn’t trying to reveal too many details. However, the former Mississippi State star did recently speak on the experience according to SI.com.

“As far as the (West Coast Offense) installation, obviously there are some adds, some things taken out,” Prescott said. “I think you just get the overall feel that maybe the game is going to be called a little different. I can’t give away too much… But there are some changes.”

Prescott led the league in interceptions last year with 15, so the Cowboys will be hoping that it helps limit the opportunities for turnovers and mistakes.

McCarthy Details Plan After Moore Heads to Chargers

While Moore takes his playcalling abilities to Los Angeles, McCarthy will be returning to his hard-nosed roots in 2023. A physical approach with a talented QB was how the coach won a Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers, and it appears like he’s going back to that recipe again.

During the NFL Scouting Combine, McCarthy was asked about his idealogy as he takes the reins over playcalling. His answer was about as McCarthy as it gets.

“I’ve been where Kellen has been,” McCarthy said. “Kellen wants to light the scoreboard up. But I want to run the damn ball so I can rest my defense. Think when you’re a coordinator, you know but you’re in charge of the offense. Being a head coach and being a play-caller, you’re a little more in tune.”

McCarthy’s logic does make sense, but so does Hasselbeck’s point about the Cowboys being the second-highest-scoring offense over the past four years.

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