The Dallas Cowboys offense was asked to do more with less this season, calling on franchise quarterback Dak Prescott to make plays with a supporting cast that featured CeeDee Lamb and not much else. Ending the year with a 12-point output at the 49ers in the Divisional Playoffs, the Cowboys decided to move on from offensive coordinator and play-caller Kellen Moore.
There’s no denying that when Moore’s offense had more talent compared to this past season, the led one of the best attacks in the league. His new team, the Chargers, wasted no time selling fans on the same point totals and yardage the Cowboys put up under Moore, numbers that feel hollow to Cowboys faithful as the offense wasn’t sustainable for the long haul of a season.
While the Cowboys are trusting a shakeup of Mike McCarthy calling plays and Brian Schottenheimer filling Moore’s shoes to spark this offense, the most valuable thing they learned this season is that Prescott needs more weapons on the outside. This should serve as motivation to give Prescott a stronger all-around offense, and looking no further than their old offensive coordinator’s new team could provide much needed help.
According to reports, the Chargers could lose both star receiver Keenan Allen and tight end Gerald Everett as cap casualties before free agency. Both players would represent the type of tier one free agents Dallas has shied away from, as Los Angeles asks Moore to lead them through a transition much like the one the Cowboys went through in 2022.
Allen will turn 31 before next season, coming off his lowest number of receptions and yards (in seasons he played at least 10 games) since entering the league in 2013. When healthy, Allen is still a receiver that draws attention from a defense, something the Cowboys seriously lack outside of Lamb. His long speed keeps a secondary honest over the top, while the veteran out of California has made a living on underneath routes and run after the catch ability.
The Chargers may feel that Mike Williams and Jalen Guyton are better suited to run the core of Moore’s offense as bigger-bodied receivers, moving on from Allen to allocate cap space elsewhere. If any team ended their season on more of a sour note than the Cowboys, it may be the Chargers who blew a 27-0 Wild Card lead to the Jaguars. Losing Allen would be salt in the wound, but it’s a roster with many holes that an aging receiver can’t patch up in the same ways Allen could in his prime as one of the most feared receivers in the league.
Then there is the decision both the Chargers and Cowboys face at tight end. In his last season with Dallas, Moore got the most out of fourth-round pick Jake Ferguson and UDFA Peyton Hendershot. The expectation is that both players could make Dalton Schultz replaceable, the Cowboys franchise tagged player who will demand a big contract on the open market. The Chargers may be banking on similar tight end luck under Moore, with an interesting depth chart of Donald Parham, Tre McKitty, and Richard Rodgers behind Gerald Everett.
Everett started 11 games and put up career highs in yards and touchdowns this season, averaging nearly ten yards a catch. His ability to work the middle of the field fits Justin Herbert’s strengths as a passer well, but if the Chargers need to get some cap relief by releasing Everett, they have young tight ends ready to prove themselves.
When the Cowboys lined up with multiple tight ends on the field under Moore, it was typically to run the ball, and if this continues with the Chargers they won’t need to tie up much cap space in Everett. The west coast style offense McCarthy is installing features tight ends as more of a dual threat though, providing a reliable checkdown for the QB while also stretching the field. This is where Everett could help in Dallas, upgrading the overall athleticism and route tree the Cowboys had at the position with Schultz starting.
There are plenty of other free agent receivers and tight ends that make sense for the Cowboys, but for an organization that typically doesn’t let homegrown coaches get far, the Joneses will likely have an eye on any personnel decisions coming from the Chargers. Either Keenan Allen or Gerald Everett would be welcome additions that fill a clear need and shows the Cowboys are serious about giving McCarthy more to work with than they did Moore in his final season.