Mike McCarthy Thinks ‘Lighting Up The Scoreboard’ Is Bad Strategy For Dallas Cowboys

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Mike McCarthy has revived the Dallas Cowboys to an extent, but plenty would argue the franchise is plagued with the same old problem of not being able to get over the hump and win in the playoffs.

One of the more surprising moves after the Cowboys were eliminated in the playoff loss against the San Francisco 49ers was the decision to fire offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, who was quickly swept up by the Chargers for the same role.

In the last three seasons under Moore, the Cowboys offense ranked 14th in 2020 when Dak Prescott missed 11 games with a fractured ankle, first in 2021 when Prescott set franchise record for passing touchdowns with 37.

Prescott struggled with turnovers in 2022, tying for the league lead with 15 interceptions despite playing in just 12 games. Yet still, Moore led the Cowboys offense to finish ranked 11th in the NFL.

Was Moore really the problem?

Many believe Prescott was in fact the main issue, but Jerry Jones listened to McCarthy and parted ways with arguably one of the youngest and brightest offensive minds in the game.

Mike McCarthy taking over Cowboys play calling duties in 2023

McCarthy called plays for much of his 13 years as head coach at Green Bay, which included a Super Bowl title in 2012. He was fired in 2018. Jones said McCarthy decided he needed to take over play calling from Moore after back-to-back 12-5 finishes and consecutive season-ending playoff losses to the San Francisco 49ers.

“This is the most fun I’ve had since I’ve been in Dallas,” McCarthy said about his new role. “Just to be in the meeting room again with the coaches full time. Just to go 8 to 11:30 and break, and you’re talking nothing but scheme. I haven’t had that. So that part’s different.”

McCarthy said there would not be “wholesale” changes to the offense, noting he liked the run-pass ratio in 2022. The coach suggested 30-35% of the offense would change after parting ways with Moore.

This is where things get interesting as the Cowboys’ head coach detailed his frustrations with Moore — completely ignoring the results the former offensive coordinator produced.

I’ve been where Kellen has been. Kellen wants to light the scoreboard up. But I want to run the damn ball so I can rest my defense.

Mike McCarthy

Interesting strategy in a game where scoring points is at a premium more than ever.

McCarthy didn’t stop there.

“I don’t desire to be the No. 1 offense in the league,” he said. “I want to be the No. 1 team in the league with a number of wins and a championship. And if we gotta give up some production and take care of the ball better to get that, then that’s what we’ll do, because we have a really good defense.”

All I can say, is McCarthy better make this work next season or he will be Jerry’s next casualty. The plan feels backwards in today’s NFL landscape, but maybe he knows something we don’t.

Written by Sean Labar

Lifelong die-hard DC fan (all four teams). College football and the NFL are my biggest passions but I love writing & discussing all sports. Live in Virginia with my two rescue pups Wally & Reagan. Follow me on Twitter @SeanLabarPR

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