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.
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.