Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has almost guaranteed head coach Mike McCarthy will return next season but things are less certain with the coordinators and assistants.
Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is among the hottest head coaching candidates this hiring cycle, but it is what the Cowboys will do with offensive coordinator Kellen Moore that could offer the most intriguing coaching shakeup in Big D.
Moore has interviewed for the Panthers head coaching vacancy and could take the heat off Dallas from making a decision on his future if he is able to land the Carolina gig. If not, the Cowboys could look to move on from Moore given the team has already backed McCarthy, and Prescott has an additional two seasons remaining on his $160 million contract.
The Dallas Cowboys could change offensive coordinators in an effort to give Dak Prescott a boost
With the way the Cowboys season ended offensively, it would not be a surprise if Jones at least considers moving on from Moore. There is also the reality that McCarthy inherited Moore as a coordinator and could pressure ownership to finally bring in his own choice for an offensive assistant.
Pro Football Network’s Dallas Robinson believes the Cowboys could look inside the division for their new offensive coordinator if Moore lands another job. Robinson points to two NFC East quarterback coaches as possible replacements: Giants’ Shea Tierney and Eagles’ Brian Johnson. Both coaches have played roles in helping their respective quarterbacks, Jalen Hurts and Daniel Jones, elevate their games this season. Former Colts head coach Frank Reich is another name to watch if the Cowboys look for a new offensive coordinator.
“Dallas could also look at external OC options if Moore departs, but a third of the league is searching for an offensive play-caller,” Robinson wrote on January 23, 2023. “A former head coach like Frank Reich or Nathaniel Hackett could make sense, or the Cowboys could target a quarterbacks coach such as the Eagles’ Brian Johnson, the Giants’ Shea Tierney, or the Bengals’ Dan Pitcher.”
Disconnect Between Kellen Moore & Mike McCarthy on Offense, Says Ex-Cowboys Scout
As former Cowboys scout Bryan Broaddus pointed out, replacing Moore is the easiest move for the Cowboys to make of the main offensive ingredients. Prescott has a no-trade clause which complicates any potential deal if the quarterback had value to opposing teams. The Cowboys have emphasized McCarthy’s job security which leaves Moore as a potential option to change in hopes that a new coordinator could help Prescott improve his play.
“I do believe there was some disconnect between him [McCarthy] and Kellen on some things and maybe Mike had to say, ‘Listen, I want to do it this way,’” Broaddus explained during a January 23 episode of “Cowboys Break.” “And Kellen’s like, ‘Oh okay, well then, we’ll do it and we’ll see.” If Kellen Moore gets an opportunity [with another team] that’s one way of taking care of that [decision]. But I have a feeling there’s going to be some coaches on the staff where they’re going to tell them, ‘Listen, if you want to go hunt a job, go hunt a job.’”
The Cowboys Will Find It Challenging to Keep DC Dan Quinn Amid Interviews
Quinn appears to be generating much more interest than Moore for head coaching vacancies, and Dallas faces a tall task in trying to retain the defensive coordinator for a second straight offseason. Last year, owner Jerry Jones is believed to have given Quinn a handsome raise which likely played a role in the assistant’s return.
The Cowboys defensive coordinator has exercised patience before taking his next head coaching gig. This year, the number of open jobs could prevent Dallas from retaining Quinn meaning the team would be in search of a new defensive coordinator and likely several assistants. Quinn has had interviews with a number of teams including the Colts, Cardinals and Broncos.