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McCarthy set to call plays for Cowboys after Moore departure

Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy speaks at a news conference after an NFL divisional round playoff football game against the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy is set to call plays in 2023 after the club parted ways with offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.

Owner/general manager Jerry Jones told reporters at the Senior Bowl on Wednesday that McCarthy will run a version of the West Coast offense he used when calling plays as head coach in Green Bay from 2006-18.

Executive vice president of personnel Stephen Jones hinted at philosophical differences between McCarthy and Moore, who kept the play-calling role for three seasons after McCarthy was hired.

The Los Angeles Chargers hired Moore as offensive coordinator Monday, a day after the Cowboys announced Moore's departure.

The Cowboys haven't had the head coach calling plays since Jason Garrett gave up that role after the 2012 season. Moore's debut as offensive coordinator came in 2019, Garrett's final year in Dallas.

McCarthy said he wanted to keep Moore as the play-caller because he thought it was the best thing for quarterback Dak Prescott.

The Cowboys had one of the league's most productive offenses the past two seasons when Prescott was healthy. But they misfired on offense in playoff losses each time, most recently in a 19-12 divisional-round loss to San Francisco last month.

McCarthy briefly gave up play-calling with the Packers, and said he'd never give up that role again after taking it back over.

He was fired midseason in 2018 and reversed course on that declaration after joining Dallas in 2020. Now McCarthy is back in that role.

“This is the logical step to build on it and use what we’ve established, if you will, the foundation of the things we’ve got,” Jones told reporters in Mobile, Alabama. “This is the time for us to build on it. That’s what this is, a building step.”

Moore's departure came a few days after the Cowboys announced six assistant coaches on expiring contracts wouldn't return.

With McCarthy set to call plays, Dallas is still planning to hire an offensive coordinator. Among the interviews are Carolina's Jeff Nixon and Thomas Brown of the Los Angeles Rams. Both have been assistant head coaches, with Nixon in charge of running backs and Brown coaching tight ends.

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