Why New Cowboys Coach McCarthy Will Never Again Say 'Never Again'

Mike Fisher

In hiring Mike McCarthy as their head coach, the Dallas Cowboys brought into the organization a man with a reputation for being one of the NFL's best game-day play-callers.

So for the 2020 season, why isn't McCarthy - who once in Green Bay said he'd never again give up those reins - planning on calling plays?

“I have a new job, so I get to start over and take all those 'never again' statements back,” McCarthy said with a laugh from the NFL Scouting Combine podium in Indianapolis.

The reasoning is actually more detailed than McCarthy's "start-over'' claim. And is centers around McCarthy's belief that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

In his view of offensive coordinator Kellen Moore's work in his two seasons in Dallas, the Cowboys' game-day play-calling wasn't "broke.'' Indeed, he makes it sound like the structure of the offense - certainly starting with the roster talent but also including Moore's involvement - was a drawing card for him to take this job.

“I’ve had a lot of time to think about it,'' he said of his year outside of the NFL after being let go by the Packers at the end of the 2018 season. "I’ve had a chance to study the opportunities that were in front of me for quite some time and Dallas was the one opportunity (where) I thought it was important to keep the current offense in place because of the success they’ve had in the past.

"The productivity on offense is very high.''

There are some Cowboys critics who believe ousted head coach Jason Garrett forced his more conservative nature onto the 31-year-old Moore. One aspect of that will go unchanged in this sense: As per our visit with McCarthy at The Star a few weeks ago, he will be completely hands-on when it comes to the installation of the playbook and the week's game plans. So Moore will be the play-caller - but he'll be doing so under the direction of the head coach.

Overall, McCarthy is fired up about retaining "the successful concepts'' from 2019, starring Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper and this O-line, while orchestrating some other alterations that will make the Cowboys his Cowboys.

"There will always be things that are different,'' he said. "I think anytime you have a coaching change, that’s obvious. Our approach to offense will change. The design of how we put things together will be different. But it’s important to build off the successful concepts and particularly the language in place.”