Cowboys Interview Rams’ Thomas Brown For OC; Mike McCarthy To Call Plays

Mike McCarthy will indeed return to a play-calling role. Rumored to be readying to be a play-calling head coach, the former Packers HC will take on that responsibility next season for the Cowboys, Jerry Jones confirmed Wednesday.

The Cowboys have begun interviewing offensive coordinator candidates to replace Kellen Moore, meeting with Rams assistant Thomas Brown and Panthers staffer Jeff Nixon (via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Clarence Hill), but the position will come with a reduced workload in 2023.

While McCarthy did not call plays for all of his Green Bay stay, he spent extensive time doing so. He last served as the Packers’ play-caller during the 2018 season, when the team fired him before the year ended. McCarthy played a major role in Aaron Rodgers‘ first two MVP awards — in 2011 and 2014 — but also drew frequent criticism. The Cowboys will sign up for a season of McCarthy at the controls.

The Pack ranked in the top 10 in scoring offense in nine of McCarthy’s 13 seasons, including a 2013 campaign in which Rodgers missed seven games. Brett Favre bounced back in his age-38 season under McCarthy, who was then in his second year coaching the Packers, and Rodgers’ first offense ranked fifth — despite Green Bay’s 6-10 record. While McCarthy gained a conservative reputation during his Green Bay years, he does have considerable experience as a play-calling HC.

Dallas moved forward with an unusual setup in 2020, hiring an offense-oriented coach but keeping its OC not only employed but as its play-caller. McCarthy kept Moore in that role for three seasons, and the Cowboys ranked in the top five in scoring offense in both years Dak Prescott has finished. This included a fourth-place ranking in points this year, despite Prescott missing early-season time because of a thumb injury. Jones confirmed (via the Dallas Morning News’ Calvin Watkins) McCarthy and Moore had philosophical differences.

The Chargers have since hired Moore, adding him as their play-caller a day after the Cowboys ousted him. Nixon, the Panthers’ running backs coach under Matt Rhule, became an immediate OC candidate. Brown, who has interviewed for HC and OC positions this offseason so far, is now on the radar as well.

Brown met with the Texans about their HC position and interviewed for the Chargers and Commanders’ OC gigs. Mentioned as a potential OC candidate with the Rams, Brown remains in place as their tight ends coach. He has been on Sean McVay‘s staff since 2020, coming to Los Angeles after spending most of the 2010s in the college ranks. Brown, 36, is viewed as a rising sideline talent, though the Rams made an outside hire — ex-Jets staffer Mike LaFleur — for their next OC.

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