Mike McCarthy is the new head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. It will be the first time since the change of the decade that this Cowboys team will be coached by someone other than Jason Garrett. McCarthy brings with him 26 years of NFL coaching experience with half of them being the head coach of the Green Bay Packers. He has 10 playoff wins during his time as head coach, including a Super Bowl win in 2010.
The change to McCarthy will give the Cowboys a different look as fans hope he is able to take a roster full of talent to the next level. The Cowboys have been competitive throughout most of Garrett’s tenure, but he hasn’t been able to get his team past the divisional round of the playoffs. Under McCarthy, the Packers reached the NFC Championship game four times, and fans are hoping he can bring a little bit of that to Dallas.
One thing that McCarthy should be able to improve upon is the development of Cowboys young quarterback, Dak Prescott. He inherits Prescott around the same age Aaron Rodgers took over the reins at quarterback for the Packers, after spending his first three seasons backing up Brett Favre. McCarthy spent a total of five years as quarterback coach for both the Kansas City Chiefs (1995-1998) and then Packers (1999) and has experience with not only Favre and Rodgers, but Rich Gannon - all of which have won league MVP’s at least once.
During Prescott’s time in Dallas, the team has played musical chairs with their quarterbacks coach as Wade Wilson, Kellen Moore, and Jon Kitna have all held the position at some point over the last four seasons. Having a head coach with the experience of McCarthy at coaching quarterbacks will be a nice luxury for Prescott.
McCarthy also brings with him a more fast-paced offense. During his final five seasons with the Packers, McCarthy’s offense used a no-huddle at the rate of 21 percent of their plays. This was the third-highest use of the no-huddle during that span. This allowed Green Bay to push the tempo and camouflage their looks, creating all sorts of problems for the defense. Cowboys fans can attest to this first hand as they’ve watched Aaron Rodgers feed off an unprepared defense.
While McCarthy’s Packers are one of the most frequent users of no-huddle, the Cowboys have only used no-huddle on nine percent of their plays since Prescott has taken over the starting quarterback gig. Look for that to change.
Prescott is a very cerebral player and shows a lot of maturity, so the new Cowboys coach has been gifted the right type of player to run his up-tempo offense. And while some of McCarthy’s former quarterbacks have been known for airing it out, he now gets Prescott who is coming off a season where he passed for 4,902 yards - that’s more than the career highs of Gannon, Favre, or Rodgers.
Mike McCarthy has coached some quarterbacks who have been known to air it out - Rich Gannon, Brett Favre, and Aaron Rodgers. But he's never coached a QB who has thrown for over 4,900 yards in a single season at some point in his career.— Dan Rogers (@DannyPhantom24) January 7, 2020
That all changes now. pic.twitter.com/dYRwY7l6c3
Despite being a part of some impressive offensive squads, the group he inherits in Dallas is loaded with talent. Not only does he get Dak, but he’ll have one of the league’s best running backs in Ezekiel Elliott carrying the ball. He’ll have one of the league’s top route-runners in Amari Cooper catching the ball. All of those guys will have one of the league’s best offensive line blocking for them.
There is a lot to be excited about with this coaching change, but nothing will be more important than what it does for Prescott as he changes them from a slow grind to a fast pass offense that offers much more explosiveness.