When former Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore agreed to mutually part ways, it seemed like a bit of a head-scratcher. A month removed from that announcement, head coach Mike McCarthy has finally decided to let us inside the Cowboys think-tank to explain why it happened.
Because really, if anything, some portions of Cowboys fans likely viewed the up-and-coming Moore as eventually departing for a head coaching opportunity some point down the road.
Anyway, here’s what McCarthy had to say on Wednesday.
Mike McCarthy doesn’t want to “light the scoreboard up” like Kellen Moore
On one hand, this makes sense. It was not McCarthy’s offense, and the head coach of any team should be completely comfortable with the offense at hand if they’re not the one dialing up the plays.
On the other hand, it’s confusing.
Seeing the way Moore was able to work with Dak Prescott to create an effective passing game, particularly in the 2021 season, was one thing. Not to mention being dealt a terrible hand in his just second year as offensive coordinator (2020) that saw Prescott play just five games due to injury.
It was quite another to see how the 34-year-old Moore was able to maximize the talents and the usage of running backs Zeke Elliott and Tony Pollard this past season. Oftentimes, a star player like Elliott might get the type of usage that would completely drown out what a dynamic player like Pollard could bring to the table and put a cap on his touches.
But Moore made it work and both players produced in different ways. The ideal changeup in running styles, as Pollard’s ability to make significant plays when catching the ball out of the backfield paid huge dividends.
In the end, the running back duo combined for 24 touchdowns. There’s a reason why Pollard is expected to get the franchise tag.
So it’s sincerely unclear what McCarthy could have wanted more from what was a balanced, creative running attack that he apparently wants to enforce in 2023.
The head coach, who will be heading into his fourth season in Dallas, could have completely ditched the “Kellen wants to light the scoreboard up” theme and simply said he wants to call his own plays.
Kellen Moore was on the unemployment line for what felt like five seconds, as the Los Angeles Chargers swooped in quickly to hire him as their new offensive coordinator. The positive out of this is now Moore gets to “light the scoreboard up” with 24-year-old phenom of a quarterback, Justin Herbert.