7:05pm: David Moore of the Dallas Morning News reports that McCarthy will indeed call plays on offense in 2023, a season in which he will find himself increasingly on the hot seat.
5:56pm: The Cowboys were able to once again retain one of their key coordinators for the 2023 season, but the same will not hold true on the offensive side of the ball. Dallas has mutually parted ways with OC Kellen Moore, per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link). A team announcement has confirmed the news.
Moore, 33, joined the Cowboys in 2018 as the team’s quarterbacks coach. One year later, he was promoted to the role of OC, which he held until now. Regarded as one of the league’s top up-and-coming minds on that side of the ball, the move was seen with optimism especially given the promise shown by Dallas’ nucleus led by Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. The unit’s performance under Moore has led to mixed results.
Dallas had the No. 1 total offense in the league in 2019, a feat which they repeated in 2021. In terms of scoring, the Cowboys led the NFL that season, and ranked in the top six two other times. The lone campaign in which middling numbers can be seen was 2020, during which Prescott was limited to only five games played and the season was essentially deemed a write-off. Given those figures, Moore had become a highly-regarded coordinator receiving interest from outside teams for potential head coaching positions.
On the other hand, much of the blame for Dallas’ continued postseason shortcomings has been laid at Moore’s feet. The Cowboys were eliminated by the 49ers for the second consecutive year last week, a result marked in large part by Dallas’ inability to replicate their regular season scoring success. With Moore at the helm, this past season also saw Prescott lead the league with 15 regular season interceptions despite missing five games; he threw two crucial picks in the team’s divisional loss to San Francisco as well.
That has led to the expectation that Dallas will seek upgrades at the wide receiver position in particular, with their running back spot facing plenty of uncertainty as well. Regardless of which players are retained or replaced, the team will have a new play-caller in place for 2023. Some have speculated that head coach Mike McCarthy could take on that responsibility, one he held during his OC days and much of his tenure as the Packers’ bench boss.
As for Moore, he may not be unemployed for long. Pelissero’s colleague Ian Rapoport tweets that the Buccaneers are expected to have “significant interest” in adding him as their new OC. Tampa Bay is searching for a Byron Leftwich replacement, after he was fired following a very disappointing season on offense for the NFC South champions.
The Cowboys will have both McCarthy and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn on the sidelines once again in 2023, which will lead to expectations remaining high for the team. Before the new season kicks off, however, they will need to navigate the sizeable OC market which has taken shape this year around the league.