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McCarthy Explains New Play-Calling Duties


For the first time since the news first surfaced more than a month ago, head coach Mike McCarthy addressed the topic of him calling plays for the offense next season.

Speaking at the podium at the scouting combine in Indianapolis, McCarthy wouldn't get into specific reasons, only to say he felt the timing was right, especially in Year 4 as a head coach. He is hoping this decision to be more active in the play-calling will help the Cowboys take the next step.

"I think Kellen Moore did an excellent job if you look at the way we played over the course of the last three years," McCarthy said. "I think every 3-4-5 years into your offense. You need to make some changes and adjustments. I just felt like this was a good time to make that change."

The Cowboys mutually parted ways with former OC Kellen Moore, who has been the play-caller for all three of McCarthy's seasons as head coach (2020-22).

Moore is now the offensive coordinator with the Chargers.

The Cowboys have replaced his position with Brian Schottenheimer, who was an offensive consultant in Dallas last season. McCarthy said Schottenheimer's experience is extremely valuable on a staff that has a lot of turnover this year.

"When you have staff changes, there's a connection to bringing people together," McCarthy said. "(Schottenheimer) has incredible people-skills. He has that "it" when it comes to bringing people together. Brian and I have worked 25 years ago, it's been cool to see where he's gone from his path."

But McCarthy was also quick to point out that there won't be "wholesale" changes on the offense. He said maybe 30-35 percent of the playbook will change.

"We're not throwing everything away," he said. "We have a lot to build off of. Last year was the most complementary football that we've played with our run-pass (balance). We're looking to take the next step. Being more balanced and more complementary football is what I'm really looking forward to."

And with that takes a different role from McCarthy, who said he's having "the most fun since being in Dallas" during the last few weeks as he finds himself in more offensive meetings as they formulate a new plan.

The Cowboys ranked fourth in the NFL last season in scoring average at 27.4 points per game, trailing Kansas City, Philly and Buffalo.

In total yards, the Cowboys (354.9 ypg) were 11th in 2022, after leading the entire NFL in that category in 2021.

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