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Mike McCarthy’s staff taking form with Scott Tolzien promotion to QB coach, other changes

The Cowboys are forming the rest of their coaching staff after some recent changes.

Green Bay Packers v Chicago Bears Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The commitment the Cowboys have made to Mike McCarthy, at the very least for the upcoming 2023 season, took another step forward on Wednesday with additional promotions being announced on both sides of the ball. Most notably, Scott Tolzien will become the fifth quarterback coach to work with Dak Prescott since 2016 after being brought in as an assistant by McCarthy in 2020.

Tolzien’s promotion continues a pattern of the Cowboys shuffling their existing staff instead of bringing in outside names. McCarthy has not backed down from hiring past players and coaches he’s worked with, but now faces the pressure of being the play-caller and needing to prioritize hires that can earn him more time in Dallas. Tolzien steps into the QB coach role with four career starts from 2013-17 with San Francisco and Green Bay. Having played in the same offense McCarthy is now tasked with installing on the fly, Tolzien can be a valuable voice in Prescott’s ear this season.

The Cowboys have also made it abundantly clear they plan on adding a new quarterback in the draft, raising the importance of Tolzien’s ability to develop and teach. Tolzien replaces Doug Nussmeier, who held multiple roles on the offensive coaching staff since 2018.

Also of note, Jeff Blasko has moved from assistant offensive line coach to run game coordinator/running back coach. Once the season rolls around, positional coaches are rarely in the spotlight, but until then the Cowboys backfield situation with Ezekiel Elliott and free agent Tony Pollard will be just the first thing Blasko has to prepare for.

Veteran coach Cannon Matthews, another member of McCarthy’s first staff with the Cowboys, has stepped into assistant defensive backs role while Scott McCurley returns at linebacker. Like running back, both position groups also face big free agency decisions and the need for a retool.

The glass-half-full Cowboys fans will see the continuity the team has built under McCarthy, good enough for consecutive twelve win seasons, as the best way to continue being mainstays in the NFC playoff field. Others will see a team preparing for a full rebuild with the ability to make sweeping changes to the roster and staff under the premise they were mostly hired by McCarthy.

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