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Training Camp | 2023

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Mike McCarthy 'having fun' as Cowboys play-caller: 'I'm back in my element'


OXNARD, Calif. — At least one resounding theme has carried over from OTAs and minicamp into training camp for the Dallas Cowboys, and that's the consensus that head coach Mike McCarthy is operating with a rejuvenated vigor, a borderline glow, that is directly connected to his commandeering of the play-calling duties in the wake of parting ways with Kellen Moore.

He agrees with everyone's observation of his vibe as of late.

"With more responsibility, it's important to have more energy," said McCarthy just ahead of the team's third full practice in Oxnard.

But in classic McCarthy style, a tongue-in-cheek comment was chambered and ready.

"It's kind of hard to be fired up about schedules every damn day," he said with a playful grin.

The reality is McCarthy does very much look like a kid in a candy store, and having added weapons like Brandin Cooks and Deuce Vaughn to the mix truly does create a variety pack. 

"He is re-energized. He is excited," said newly-promoted offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer of McCarthy's vivacity. "Being in my role last year, he and I would have a chance to talk and, look, when you're a competitor, and you're a play-caller and that's what you love to do; and you think you're the best at it, that's what you want to do. 

"He is re-energized and excited about that opportunity. And, quite honestly, he's a hell of a play-caller. He's aggressive. He's confident. We want to play with an attacking scheme, and you're going to see that." 

An attacking scheme, you say? Noted.

For McCarthy, whose last time calling plays was last decade with the Green Bay Packers, the feeling of having both hands back on the wheel is as electric as a Ford Lightning. 

"I feel like I'm back in my element and doing what I feel like I do best," said McCarthy. "It's been fun. I just have so much respect for Brian and, obviously, we go way back, and [offensive line coach] Mike Solari back in the room — I'm very impressed with our young coaches. It's hard not to have energy around here because our coaches bring it each and every day. 

"It's definitely evident."

It certainly is, and especially from him.

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