FRISCO, Texas — Brian Schottenheimer is in a unique position heading into 2023, in that it's his first time taking on the offensive coordinator role for an NFL team without also being dubbed the play-caller. That said, he already knows what he and head coach Mike McCarthy expect from the offense, and you can believe quarterback Dak Prescott is on board.
The duo is off to a fast start this spring, and that bodes well for a Cowboys offense that is looking to take the next step in returning to the top of the NFL's totem pole from a production standpoint.
"First of all, I love him, and I've always admired him from afar," said Schottenheimer of his quarterback. "I've competed against him many times."
As former offensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks who spent the 2022 season as a coaching analyst for the Cowboys, the two have met in-between the lines a time or two, and Schottenheimer made sure to remind Prescott of at least one of the outcomes.
"I reminded him we got the best of him in 2019 up in Seattle," he said, wearing a sly grin. "But they got us in the playoffs in 2018 so I think we're close even."
And now they're on the same side.
"I love the man," Schottenheimer said. "I love the work ethic. He's a tireless preparer. The way the guys follow him. The way he wants to be coached, the way he wants to be open-minded to trying different things from a fundamental standpoint.
"That shows you the sign of a true winner, a champion, and I'm looking forward to working with him going forward."
For Prescott's part, the feeling is mutual.
"Things have been great," said the two-time Pro Bowler, speaking from the 10th Annual Reliant Home Run Derby in early May. "The way that the coaches have been working together, you can see their chemistry and how together they are in making sure they give us everything — the right way, the first way. Right now, it's about getting comfortable in the plays that we wanna run and finding out who exactly we wanna be, and what we run the best.
"It's about taking as many reps as we can to get the plays, learn the plays and make whatever changes to the plays that we already have."
The addition of speedy wideout Brandin Cooks along with fellow offensive additions Luke Schoonmaker and Deuce Vaughn promise to provide Prescott and Schottenheimer with no shortage of weaponry, but it's all predicated upon everyone getting on the same page; and that work has already begun.
"All the guys have been great," said Schottenheimer. "I want to make sure they feel like I feel that the connection piece is real. We want these guys to be connected. We truly look at it like a family."