Cowboys will be hard-pressed to play faster than with Kellen Moore
When new Cowboys offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer was asked about the type of offense to expect in Dallas in 2023, he said “I want us to be able to play fast.”
Acknowledging Mike McCarthy will be the play-caller and his job will be to “prepare guys and prepare the staff,” Schottenheimer talked about speed and physicality on offense and how he just wants to stack wins.
His statements fell in line with much of what McCarthy has said throughout the offseason. A big reason McCarthy wanted to take over as play-caller was his focus on the big picture. He wanted to score points but also to help his defense. It was a criticism he had of former OC Kellen Moore and something he aims to fix in 2023.
“I’ve been where Kellen has been,” McCarthy famously said earlier in the offseason. “Kellen wants to light the scoreboard up but I want to run the damn ball so I can rest my defense.”
People have focused on the “run the damn ball” portion of that statement but the part following the word “so” may be the most important takeaway. If resting the defense is what McCarthy aims to do in 2023, then defining what Schottenheimer means by “fast” is important.
Over the last three seasons under Moore, the Cowboys offense has finished in the top-2 in plays per minute. Talk about fast. With a new coordinator coming in, along with a 30-35 percent churn of the playbook, chances are the offense will be slower than what Dallas fans are accustomed to.
So when Schottenheimer says “fast” he likely means the players themselves will be fast, not the way the offense operates. Swapping out Ezekiel Elliott for Deuce Vaughn and Noah Brown for Brandin Cooks certainly helps accomplish that goal.
Under Moore, the Cowboys offense was consistently one of the fastest paced in the NFL. Based on goals and strategies expressed from the head coach and coordinator this offseason, offensive tempo is likely to suffer (by design) in 2023.
When Schottenheimer says “fast” he probably means “slow, but with faster players.”
It’s an important distinction to make.
An offer for Cowboys fans
For the best local Austin news, sports, entertainment and culture coverage, subscribe to the Austin American-Statesman.
More 2023 Season!
Cowboys News: NFL's best young talent? Is Dallas better than 2022?
3 Cowboys named to top-25 list of players under age 25
Cowboys announce dates, times for back-and-forth preseason schedule