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Cowboys' Mike McCarthy Says OC Kellen Moore Has to Be 'Smarter' with Play-Calling

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 16, 2022

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Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters offensive coordinator Kellen Moore needs to be "smarter" with his play-calling.

McCarthy said he spent additional time with Moore this week following an abysmal outing in last week's 19-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Cowboys offense compiled just 244 yards of total offense and seemed out of sync from the opening snap. Moore strangely abandoned an effective Ezekiel Elliott, giving him just 10 carries, in favor of 42 pass attempts from Dak Prescott and Cooper Rush. While Rush's passes came with the Cowboys desperately trying to work their way back in the ballgame, the abandonment of the run happened well before the game was out of reach.

Moore, 33, is in his fourth season as offensive coordinator. He spent only one year as a quarterbacks coach under Jason Garrett before earning a promotion, and he has not done much to prove himself as an offensive innovator.

McCarthy's harsh public comments may indicate Moore is on a short leash as a play-caller. The veteran head coach called plays during his tenure with the Green Bay Packers but ceded those duties when he took over in Dallas.

This will mark the second time in three seasons the Cowboys will have to spend an extended period playing without Prescott, who fractured his thumb in the fourth quarter of Sunday's loss. Rush, an unproven former undrafted free agent, will be tasked with leading the offense in the interim.

With McCarthy's seat simmering this offseason thanks to the rise of defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, it stands to reason that he might take a more hands-on approach with his preferred side of the ball if the struggles continue.

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