Mike McCarthy leaving Kellen Moore means this for Dak

The Dallas Cowboys and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore have agreed to part ways.

The Dallas Cowboys and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore have agreed to part ways.


Mike McCarthy’s reluctance to discuss the status of his offensive coordinator said it all, and Kellen Moore’s departure was officially inevitable.

Rather than announcing Moore’s departure from the team along with the other coaching staff changes last week, the Dallas Cowboys waited until the middle of the NFL Conference title games to make the news official.

If you can’t reach the NFC title game, the next best alternative is to make a title right in the middle of it.

When McCarthy arrived at the Cowboys in 2020, he inherited Boise State’s offensive coordinator/QB coach from former head coach Jason Garrett.

McCarthy gave Moore every opportunity to thrive as a caller and play coordinator. In 2021, the Cowboys ranked first in the NFL in points in yards; in 2022, they ranked fourth in points and 11th in yards.

And he is the problem.

Now the Cowboys and Kellen Moore have parted ways, but both want what’s best for the kids, which is the quarterback.

Dak Prescott is now McCarthy’s savior.

And, because Moore is so bad at his job, he went to Los Angeles to work in the same role with the Chargers and their passer, Justin Herbert.

This ending may not ultimately come directly from NFL Films or Hallmark, but McCarthy does what he has to as a head coach and exerts control. He’s the head coach, and if he thinks it’s going to benefit the team, he has to do it.

It’s not a matter of control. McCarthy is not a control freak.

It’s about getting to the quarterback and making him see it all. Moore has been with Dak, either as a teammate or as a coach, since Dak entered the NFL in 2016.

Dak ‘n’ Keller was a great little duo. The QB still needs to be better, and even if that doesn’t work out, at least McCarthy can say he tried to do it himself.

This is Dak who plays both in the playoffs and in the regular season. That This is the problem.

The Cowboys are 24-10 the past two years with back-to-back playoff appearances and one playoff win; as aggravating as the 2021 and now 2022 finals are, Jerry Jones could never have fired McCarthy, which he never wanted in the first place.

The Sean Payton-to-the-Cowboys storyline was an empty media-generated narrative that Jerry wouldn’t dodge because no one in sports grasps the need for new content like Jerry.

And Jerry has only himself to blame for setting up a plausible scenario because From 1997 to 2004 he had four head coaches (Barry Switzer, Chan Gailey, Dave Campo, Bill Parcells).

Jerry told McCarthy he wanted him there as long as Tom Landry was the Cowboys head coach; don’t bother doing the math. In Jerry’s mind, it’s 2 + 2 = My name is on the check.

Whoever McCarthy hires to serve as the new coordinator, the function should be more of an adviser or complement. McCarthy should only leave Moore if he wants to call the plays and play the design.

Moore came from the Scott Linehan/Jason Garrett coaching tree, and his offense worked quite closely to the preferences of those two men.

McCarthy’s background is offensive and with quarterbacks; that’s the reputation he built during his 12+ year tenure with the Green Bay Packers.

McCarthy was the Green Bay head coach who orchestrated the transition from Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers in 2008.

Whatever McCarthy’s detractors may say of him, his teams moved the ball, scored and played well on offense.

There was no indication that McCarthy’s relationship with Kellen Moore was strained. This situation reads like a head coach who knows he has to try something else in order to get the desired outcome, which is another playoff win or two.

So McCarthy is going to do it himself.

Dak can save him.

If that doesn’t work, at least McCarthy can say he tried.

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Mac Engel is an award-winning columnist with extensive experience covering Fort Worth-Dallas area sports for 20 years. He covered high schools, colleges, the big four sports teams as well as the Olympics and the world of entertainment. It combines dry wit and first-person reporting to complement an almost unfair hairdo.
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