It's no secret the Cowboys will change playcallers in 2023, and while how it all will impact Dak Prescott and the offense remains a question mark, the goals are crystal clear
FRISCO, TX — There's change brewing for the Dallas Cowboys offense in 2023, to say the least. With the decision to part ways with offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, the team is moving to toss the keys to the playbook fully to head coach Mike McCarthy, who will call plays for the first time since leaving the Green Bay Packers following the 2018 season.
How that impacts quarterback Dak Prescott is to-be-determined, the two-time Pro Bowler now preparing to enter his eighth year in the league under his third play-caller — having also previously taken snaps under Moore's predecessor, Scott Linehan, early in his career.
For McCarthy, it's not about overhauling the language that Prescott has become both comfortable and proficient with, but instead making some tweaks to help the offense reach what the Cowboys hope will be the final level.
"I just think, like anything, you've got to be in tune with the climate of the National Football League," McCarthy said, speaking from the league meetings in Phoenix. "I think we all recognize that the defensive line play, I know in my time in the league, it's at a historical high. The value that's put into the d-line play — as far as draft and free agency, that's a priority position."
That said, goal numero uno is to keep Prescott upright after having been sacked a total of 50 times over his last 28 regular season games, and that's not counting pressures allowed.
"Just look at our division alone," said McCarthy. "You have to pay close attention to that. With that, from an offensive perspective, you have to take a hard look at your protection schemes and we do that every year. This isn't anything new. We'll be different in some things, but it'll be about protecting him better.
"My goal is for Dak to play 20 games next year. If he plays 20 games next year, obviously we'll be right where we want to be."
Where the Cowboys want to be is in next year's Super Bowl, taking the next two steps beyond the progress they've made year-over-year since the 2020 season.
To McCarthy's point, it's all about keeping Prescott clean and making sure he not only has the weapons to succeed — e.g., trading for Brandin Cooks — but also in calling the plays that will keep opposing defensive coordinators on their heels and backing into losses on a weekly basis.