Cowboys Linked to Former $5.5 Million Head Coach

Jerry Jones

Getty Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones stands on the field prior to Super Bowl 51.

The Dallas Cowboys are officially in the market for a new offensive coordinator with the team announcing the franchise and Kellen Moore are “mutually part[ing] ways.” Dak Prescott will also have a new quarterbacks coach as Doug Nussmeier will not return to Big D for 2023.

All this has Cowboys fans wondering who Dallas will hire in Moore’s place to help Prescott bounce back from a shaky end to the season. The Athletic’s Jon Machota sees former Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury as a potential fit for the new offensive coordinator.

“The recently fired Arizona Cardinals head coach likely wouldn’t take the position unless he was going to call plays, but he’s arguably the biggest name available and there is a connection with McCarthy,” Machota wrote on January 30. “Kingsbury, 43, was on the New Orleans Saints’ practice squad in 2004 when McCarthy was the team’s offensive coordinator. McCarthy has spoken multiple times over the past few years about how highly he thinks of Kingsbury.”

Kliff Kingsbury Booked a One-Way Ticket to Thailand & Has Turned Down NFL Interviews

The Cowboys would need to convince Kingsbury to book a ticket back from Thailand where the coach is vacationing. NFL insider Peter Schrager indicated that Kingsbury is not in a rush to return to coaching after being fired by the Cardinals this offseason. Kingsbury previously signed a contract extension through 2027 which gave him a $5.5 million salary last season, per NBC Sports Boston.

“Kliff Kingsbury is in Thailand right now, and he bought a one-way ticket to Thailand,” Schrager detailed on Fox on January 14. “And he’s already been contacted by several different teams [about] whether he wants to interview about a job and he said, ‘No, I’m good.’

“He’s being paid five years guaranteed by the Arizona Cardinals. That check hits every two weeks. He’s going to take his time if he wants to come back to football but for now he has told all teams, ‘I’m not interested in returning at the moment.'”

Mike McCarthy Plans to Call Plays in 2023: Report

Dallas may find it challenging to lure a top-flight coordinator given head coach Mike McCarthy’s plan to call plays next season, per Dallas Morning News’ David Moore. McCarthy inherited Moore as a hold over from Jason Garrett’s staff and will be able to pick his offensive coordinator for the first time during his Dallas tenure.

“The club and Moore came to what is described as a mutual decision to part ways, the team announced at nearly 10 p.m. Sunday night after The Dallas Morning News had reported the move,” Moore wrote on January 29. “Head coach Mike McCarthy will assume play calling duties in the wake of Moore’s departure, a person with knowledge of the shakeup told The News.”

The Cowboys averaged 21.5 points per game last season which ranked No. 11 in the league, so why are the Cowboys moving from Moore? The offensive coordinator is the easiest thing for Dallas to change heading into next season. Prescott threw a career-high 17 interceptions, including the postseason. None was more evident than the two costly picks thrown during the Cowboys’ elimination loss to the 49ers.

Prescott still has two seasons remaining on his $160 million contract. Dallas is hoping that a new coordinator combined with McCarthy exercising more control over the offense can help Prescott bounce back in 2023.

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