When Mike McCarthy first took over the Dallas Cowboys and filled out his staff, a notable quality that seemed to be rather common throughout it all was experience running an NFL team. McCarthy has shown an inclination to hire people who were head coaches at one point or another in their NFL careers, and this past week the team continued that trend when they brought in former New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo.
The move was a curiosity for a lot of Cowboys fans who got to see McAdoo’s Giants fall short of expectations during his time running the team, although McAdoo did oversee the group that Dak Prescott faced in his first NFL start, a game that Terrance Williams lost in the final seconds.
McAdoo’s NFL experience is on the offensive side of the ball so it stands to reason that he was brought in to work on matters there, but the Cowboys already have a highly-touted staffer on that side of the ball in Kellen Moore. So where exactly could McAdoo make a difference?
Could Ben McAdoo help take the Dallas Cowboys receivers to new heights?
If there is one thing that the New York Giants had going for them during McAdoo’s time (he was their offensive coordinator from 2014 through 2015 and then became head coach before being fired in 2017), it was wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr.
Obviously what OBJ did as a Giant is in large part due to who Beckham, Jr. is as a talent in his own right. However, McAdoo managed to produce the league’s sixth-ranked offense in his final year as a coordinator before being promoted. What’s more is doing this with Eli Manning as your quarterback is hardly an easy thing.
In the aftermath of the McAdoo news, Bucky Brooks discussed, over at the mothership, how the new Cowboys staffer could theoretically have a similar impact on Dallas’ top wide receivers.
The Cowboys’ decision to bring in McAdoo as a consultant will not only give Mike McCarthy an extra set of eyes on the offense but he could add some creativity to the game planning process. The former New York Giants’ head coach is a crafty schemer with a knack for creating opportunities for star players, particularly wide receivers. During his tenure with the G-Men as a play-caller, he helped Odell Beckham, Jr. take the league by storm with three straight seasons with at least 90 receptions and 1,300-plus receiving yards. In addition, OBJ tallied 35 touchdowns in 43 games despite opponents paying close attention to his whereabouts.
Given the Cowboys’ talented WR corps, the Cowboys’ new consultant could help McCarthy and Co. devise a few schemes that enable Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and CeeDee Lamb to cook on the outside. Moreover, McAdoo’s experience crafting dynamic, quick-rhythm passing games could help Prescott torch defenses with a “dink-and-dunk” approach that produces big numbers with minimal risk.
While McAdoo had Odell Beckham, Jr. to work with at wide receiver in New York, he will have a bevy of talent to work with in Dallas as he has Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and CeeDee Lamb. If great players do make him look great, he is certainly set up well in his new gig.
McAdoo’s title isn’t wide receivers coach, but it is worth highlighting that spot as Brooks pointed out. The next-best wide receiver that McAdoo had in his offense with the Giants was Rueben Randle who almost had 1,000 yards receiving in 2014 (938).
It’s not entirely cleat why McAdoo was hired by the Cowboys given that he was coaching the Jacksonville Jaguars quarterbacks in 2020 and there wasn’t much there to write home about. Perhaps McCarthy envisions a role where McAdoo focuses on highlighting elite talent and there seems to be a lot of that at The Star.