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Cowboys' Mike McCarthy, Dan Quinn face critical test vs. Chargers

Mike McCarthy and Dan Quinn have a tall task ahead of them on Monday night.

NFL: Houston Texans at Dallas Cowboys Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys have moved on from the stench of their disastrous 42-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers last week. Now, they face the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 6, and a familiar face will be on the opposing sideline.

Chargers' offensive coordinator Kellen Moore spent four years as the offensive coordinator in Dallas and produced multiple top-ranked offenses. However, when it came to situational football, Moore struggled at times to make the right calls, which led to stalled drives and short fields for their opponents. So, the Cowboys went in a different direction in 2023 and hired Brian Schottenheimer while handing play-calling duties over to head coach Mike McCarthy.

In a situation like this, Moore undoubtedly wants to prove that he was the man when it came to getting the Cowboys' offense to a high level. Currently, his Chargers offense ranks fifth in total offense, so he has an arsenal to attack the Cowboys' defense with. This means that Dan Quinn has a huge challenge ahead of him.

Against the 49ers, Quinn's defense was carved up like a Thanksgiving Turkey for 421 yards and was on the field for 37 minutes. This was the second horrific performance by Quinn's unit to go along with the debacle against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 3. Having practiced versus Quinn's defense for two years, Moore knows some of the weaknesses and ways to attack it, and he'll be fired up to expose them in Los Angeles.

McCarthy is also facing a big game against the Chargers. As the play-caller, all eyes are on McCarthy, and his performance in San Francisco wasn't anything to brag about. Questionable calls in situational football, much as Moore did in Dallas, had plenty of folks scratching their heads. In the first five weeks, the Cowboys' offense has done some things well, but it's far from a juggernaut as they rank 16th in total offense, which is the middle of the pack. With weapons such as Tony Pollard, CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, and Brandin Cooks, that's simply unacceptable.

Calling plays was McCarthy's thing during his time as the head coach in Green Bay, and he even won a Super Bowl doing so. With this somewhat slow start to the 'Texas Coast' offense in Dallas, McCarthy has an opportunity on Sunday to show that he still has it on a high level when it comes to calling plays. Facing Moore, who worked for him, should give him a boost to have the Cowboys offense in top form.

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