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Cowboys coaches room needs to be clear about what success means in 2023

In our previous post on Fixing The Cowboys, we took a hard look at Jerry Jones and the Front Office, which is where most of what ails the Cowboys begins. But the coaches' room is not immune from blame.

There is still a need for work to be done on the staff to right the ship and end the Cowboys' 27-year drought of championship game appearances.

With this post, we'll take a look at the .


The Cowboys stole a little of my thunder already by sending packing to the Chargers. Moore's retained far too much of 's influence.

His tendency to abandon the run often put the Cowboys' into bad situations.

If I could watch the game on TV at home and call the upcoming offensive play nine times out of 10, what do you think an experienced NFL could do?

How Kellen Moore Has Redeemed Himself

The questions now are, will taking over play calling make the Cowboys less predictable?

How much, if at all, will the offense change under new

And can McCarthy and Schottenheimer find ways to better utilize the players than Moore did?

Perhaps more importantly, will they be able to make the in-game and halftime adjustments that Moore seemed incapable of during his tenure?

How these questions are answered will determine how far the Cowboys will go in 2023.


Yes, McCarthy is the first Cowboys coach to get the team into the in back-to-back seasons since Chan Gailey back in 1998-1999.

was the in 2006. But was the head coach in 2007, the last time the team had made the playoffs in consecutive seasons prior to 2022-2023.

What will Mike McCarthy's Cowboys offense look like?

He's also 30-20 overall following consecutive 12-win seasons, something Dallas hadn't done since the 1994-1995 seasons. But he's 1-2 in the playoffs and hasn't even made it to the game.

Making the conference title game is the bare minimum for having a good year in these parts.

McCarthy needs to go into the 2023 season with his head coaching seat already on fire. He needs to understand that another exit in the wildcard or will be promptly followed by his exit from


The best coaching move Dallas has made was retaining as defensive coordinator for another year.

Not letting him go off to be head coach for another team may yet save the franchise.

Dan Quinn Awarded Game Ball After Demolition of Falcons
DC Dan Quinn

Quinn has the defense in good order and only — and a turnover-happy offense (looking right at you Dakota Prescott) — wore it down toward the end of the year.

If Team McCarthy/Schottenheimer can right the offense, Quinn's defense will be a force in 2023.

If the offense falters again, and McCarthy is fired, the Cowboys have their next head coach already in the building — Quinn.

Many point to the epic collapse by the Falcons with Quinn at the controls in LI. But that loss was on the Falcons' offense, which abandoned the run in the second half. The Falcons got pass-happy, as well as turnover-happy, and put the defense in bad situations.

Does this sound familiar to by any chance?

If McCarthy fails in 2023, give Quinn command of the Cowboys in 2024. With his defense — along with a new, innovative offensive coordinator — the sky's the limit.


Give McCarthy one more year to get the Cowboys beyond the divisional round. If he can't, he's gone and Quinn takes over.

But no matter who the head coach is, he needs to return the team to the days of 's .

Johnson's teams were disciplined because he held them accountable.

Aside from the Parcells years, that discipline and accountability has been non-existent ever since Johnson left. This is a primary reason why Dallas has only made the playoffs in 12 of the 27 seasons since winning .

Nor have they made it past the divisional round since that year.

Fix that shortcoming in the coaching staff and it's a big step toward fixing the team. But fixing the players is an even bigger step and that comes next.

Speaking of next, we're on to look at the quarterback in the Fixing the Cowboys 2023 series.

Richard Paolinelli
Richard Paolinelli
Richard has covered sports at all levels - from local, prep, college, and professional - since 1984. He has been a fan of the Dallas Cowboys since 1969. Since retiring as a full-time sports writer in 2013, he has written and published several novels, two dozen short stories and two sports non-fiction books.

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