There has been a lot of ambiguity surrounding the Dallas Cowboys under their new head coach Mike McCarthy. Naturally there are a lot of questions when you make a change at the top of your football team.
McCarthy is an offensive coach and many have been wondering if that means that he will be calling the plays in Dallas. The Cowboys are retaining Kellen Moore who was the team’s offensive coordinator last season so that left people wondering who would be doing what.
A few questions were answered and things were finalized on Thursday. Here is your latest update.
Kellen Moore will be calling plays
While there has been thought that McCarthy would call plays, there is no longer any need to worry about that (if you were worried). According to McCarthy himself, it will be offensive coordinator Kellen Moore who is calling plays in 2020.
Mike McCarthy said Kellen Moore will call plays next season #CowboysNation— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) January 16, 2020
We’ve seen a lot of moves and speculated moves with regards to the Cowboys coaching staff which implies that McCarthy has his fair share of control with his new team. While it is fair to wonder whether McCarthy had this pushed on him or not, everything we’ve seen to this point would suggest that this isn’t the case.
It is huge to have Moore calling the plays in 2020, though. Continuity for an offense that reached new levels in 2019 is a great thing so while some things are obviously changing at least that part will not.
Dallas is staying in a base 4-3 defense
Some other speculation concerning the Cowboys involved what their base defense would be. While they have operated as a 4-3 unit in recent history, it was possible that new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan might want to switch to a 3-4. That is not happening.
Mike McCarthy says the Cowboys will be multiple on defense, but their base will continue to be four down linemen— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) January 16, 2020
The Cowboys paid DeMarcus Lawrence a lot of money last offseason (more than they’ve ever paid any player ever). Not that he is the single determining factor of anything, but his potential in a 3-4 defense was something that people have been debating for some time (these were Will McClay’s thoughts on the matter). While Lawrence is certainly athletic enough to do a lot of things. it seems like he won’t be asked to change a lot in 2020.
Al Harris is joining the Cowboys staff, Leon Lett will be interviewed soon
On the subject of the defensive staff the Cowboys are bringing in another new name - Al Harris.
You might remember Al Harris as a player that played for the Green Bay Packers, Mike McCarthy’s Packers obviously, and it is indeed the very same one. He will be helping the Cowboys secondary.
Mike McCarthy confirmed a number of previously reported hires to coaching staff. One addition to list: ex-Packers CB Al Harris to be an assistant in secondary. McCarthy also plans to interview Leon Lett for possible return. Still identifying new strength coach.— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) January 16, 2020
Harris has a lot of history in the state of Texas as he played his college football at Texas A&M-Kingsville (Texas A&I in a lot of minds). Also, Leon Lett may stay with the Cowboys although he has yet to interview with Leon Lett.
McCarthy has spoken to Dak Prescott
Last week a bit of outrage happened on Twitter when it came out that Mike McCarthy had not spoken to quarterback Dak Prescott yet. You know how Twitter can be.
Those days are well in the past, though. McCarthy has in fact spoken with his franchise quarterback.
Mike McCarthy has talked to Dak Prescott and he is excited— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) January 16, 2020
The coaching staff will not attend the Senior Bowl
There are three games left in the NFL season which means that it is Senior Bowl time. While this is an important part of the scouting process and lead up to the draft there will not be any Cowboys coaches in attendance.
Mike McCarthy and his coaching staff won’t attend Senior Bowl next week in Mobile, he said. Too much work to do at home. Also the ability to evaluate practices on film has improved.— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) January 16, 2020
This isn’t anything to really worry about honestly. It’s far more important that the Cowboys scouts are there as that is their domain.
No real update on Jason Witten
One thing that remains a bit unknown with the Cowboys is what is going to happen with Jason Witten.
Many people had thought that perhaps Witten would ascend to the team’s tight ends coach with Doug Nussmeier moving over to quarterbacks. That did not happen and apparently nothing firm has happened in general.
Jason Witten will not be Cowboys tight ends coach. Lunda Wells, most recently with Giants TEs, will.— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) January 16, 2020
Mike McCarthy said he and Witt "had a great conversation" and there's "a number of things he’s thinking about."
It’s possible that Jason Witten outright retires or that he tries to return for another season in 2020. We known now that he will not coach tight ends at least.