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Mike McCarthy ‘Extremely Impressed’ with Kellen Moore

Looking back on the 2019 season, one of the more frustrating trends was the conservative nature in which the Dallas Cowboys approached road games played in tough environments or games against contending teams. What had become a trend over the years of the Jason Garrett era was on full display as the Cowboys played not to lose so often in 2019 that it kept them from winning enough games to make the playoffs. Eventually, that led to a coaching change at the top of the mountain.

You’ve seen the stat that the Dallas Cowboys were 1-7 against teams with winning records in 2019, but it’s not like they were getting blown out. At least that’s generally what the final score read.

There was a difference in their offensive approach against lesser teams where they’d come out attacking. They’d get big leads early and generally coast to victory in the second half. In those games against lesser teams, we got to see Kellen Moore unleashed. Against some of the top teams on their schedule, Jason Garrett’s risk-averse nature kept the Cowboys from being in attack mode until they absolutely had to be.

That’s another reason why the hiring of Mike McCarthy and his retention of Kellen Moore made so much sense for the Dallas Cowboys. Their partnership is one of the reasons for excitement surrounding the Cowboys entering the 2020 season.

McCarthy is known for his offensive prowess and aggressiveness as a play-caller, often going for it on fourth down, while Jason Garrett had one of the lowest “go for it” rate in the NFL during his tenure as Dallas Cowboys head coach.

All offseason people have speculated as to how the relationship would work between McCarthy, who has been accustomed to calling plays, and Moore who is a rising star in the NFL. While much of the offensive language is to remain the same from 2019, McCarthy’s presence along with the plethora of new coaches on the offensive side of the football will lead to some adjustments in language, game-planning, and preparation. Integrating all of that into the offense that we’ll see from the Dallas Cowboys moving forward has been Kellen Moroe, with whom Mike McCarthy has been impressed.

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Mike McCarthy: I can’t say enough about the job that Kellen Moore has done. I’ve been extremely impressed.

There’s been a lot of hype surrounding Kellen Moore for years. Even when he was still a player, many pegged him for greatness as a coach. He needs to build on his rookie season as an offensive coordinator, but there was a lot to like from 2019. Moore’s vertical passing game put a lot of pressure on opposing defenses and helped overcome their poor average starting field position. Even if there were times when there was a dissidence between the head coach and the offensive coordinator, Moore’s aggressiveness helped get them back in games or overcome long third downs.

Now paired with a head coach who will allow Kellen Moore to be aggressive from the opening kick and allow Quarterback Dak Prescott to take his position at the forefront of the offense.

What do you think?

John Williams

Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.


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  1. Nice John! I think many have suspected Garrett put the brakes on Moore’s play-calling. Would love to hear someone provide concrete evidence. Maybe an ex-player, ex-coach, etc. Else we have to always consider that perhaps Moore just tightened up on his own at times.

  2. To me it doesn’t make sense that Moore was the one that went conservative, especially given the fact that he was so successful being more creative and in attack mode in the early stages of season. Even if that were the case with JG being a so called OC guru, and being the HC with final say why would he allow that. The buck stopped with JG

    • I thought that was how I referred to the relationship. When games or matchups were tougher or on the road, Garrett’s philosophy of playing things close and not making mistakes took over. Kellen nearly bailed them out several times after they had to play catch up.

      Hopefully they’ll start every game in attack mode this year.

  3. Garrett coached like a pussy to many weapons. They need to unleash dak we got to be aggressive. This is the time to win the Super Bowl so much talent

  4. Dak is going to show the world!!! (That he chokes against top defenses) I’m still laughing at the rhetoric about how Garrett’s “conservative” play calling made Dak suck. He is a COMPLETELY different player vs. ANYTHING above average. There is a reason Jerry tagged him. He’s got a ways to go and his greed is likely going to sink his ship.

  5. I think ur article was spot on John. We were in alot of close games last yr and u could definitely see a trend of predictability as those games unfolded. As Sean L alluded to in a previous post, we kicked way too many FGs for a team this high powered. The bigger or closer the game the more “scared” he coached, which is indicative of a coach who’s job is in jeopardy.

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