Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy to have appendix surgery, plans to coach vs Eagles Sunday night

From @ToddBrock24f7: The 60-year-old coach experience abdominal pain Wednesday morning, but is expected to be released from the hospital later in the day.

Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy is set to have appendix surgery on Wednesday, according to the team, but he still plans to be on the sideline Sunday night when the Cowboys host the division-leading Eagles.

McCarthy, who just turned 60 last month, reportedly experienced abdominal pains Wednesday morning “that warranted further evaluation and resulted in a diagnosis of acute appendicitis,” the Cowboys said via a statement.

The coach is expected to be released later in the day; coordinators Brian Schottenheimer, Dan Quinn, and John Fassel will run team practices until McCarthy returns. Additionally, Quinn will handle Wednesday’s regularly-scheduled press conference; Schottenheimer will do Thursday’s.

The typical recovery time from an appendix surgery is only a few days, provided the appendix has not burst. If the appendix has burst, recovery time can be longer.


McCarthy reportedly intends to be back on the job in time for an NFC East showdown that could see the 9-3 Cowboys move into a first-place tie with a win over the 10-2 Eagles.

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‘Really ridiculous’: Jerry Jones attempts to shut down talk of replacing Prescott, McCarthy

From @ToddBrock24f7: Despite a 42-10 blowout loss and loads of doubt around the fanbase, the Cowboys owner is unwilling to consider a change at QB or playcaller.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones saw the same disastrous performance in Santa Clara that the team’s fans did, but he has a very different take from most on what to do about it moving forward.

Dak Prescott’s 14-of-24 passing numbers and his one-touchdown-to-three-interceptions ratio, in a game that the entire organization had built up as a monumentally important measuring stick within the NFC, have renewed longstanding doubts about the quarterback’s viability. And despite posting blowout wins in two-thirds of their outings, the offense under head coach Mike McCarthy’s play-calling has yet to really find itself.

It’s led many within Cowboys Nation to wonder out loud- just five weeks into the season- if it’s time to blow it all up and make a radical change, either in the starting lineup or on the coaching staff… or both.

Jones doesn’t see it that way.

“Do we have the ability to do this? I think that’s the question every fan should be asking,” Jones told 105.3 The Fan’s Shan and RJ. “Do we have the players? Do we have the healthy players that can get this done? Do we have the players that can do the protections and the blocks? The answer is: we do.”

On paper anyway, he seems to be right. At least most Cowboys thought so as recently as a few weeks ago. Having utterly dismantled the Giants and Jets in back-to-back contests to start the season by a combined 70-10 score, Dallas was sitting at or very near the top of most power rankings, a true front-runner for the conference crown.

Their no-show of a showing versus San Francisco erased that talk. Even the eternal optimist Jones was able to say as much.

“When something tells you what it is, don’t try to dream that it’s something else. What I’m trying to say is: we can do better than what we did out there Sunday night. That’s a given. We can do better, we have the potential to do better. We have the preparation to do better. We didn’t do it at all,” he admitted, “Sunday night.”

But with Dallas’s Super Bowl drought having now surpassed 10,000 days, Jones says he is convinced the organization is as close as ever to finally getting back there with Prescott at the helm.

“Let me be very affirmative: I completely believe that we have the quarterback that can take us where we want to go,” the billionaire said.

“Dak Prescott is a quarterback that can get us to the Super Bowl. That’s the way that’s going to be. We have other quarterbacks on that roster, and players that certainly [are capable] if something should happen to Dak. But I want to be real clear: Dak is very capable of making this team be where we want it to go.”

Over the course of his 20-minute weekly call-in, Jones also gave a definitive vote of confidence to the coaching staff as a whole, pointing out that the team is just five games into McCarthy’s new tenure as the offense’s play-caller.

“We’re just getting started,” Jones reminded. “We did view this game as a game that would tell us where we are, and nobody likes where we are.”

The Cowboys are averaging 327 offensive yards per game, a mediocre 17th in the league. They do rank 6th in total points, but four of Dallas’s 13 total touchdowns- or 30 percent- have come from the defense and special teams. Of the offense’s 52 possessions thus far, only 19 have penetrated the red zone… and just seven have resulted in six points.

They never reached the red zone at all at Levi’s Stadium in their 42-10 loss, but Jones doesn’t believe the sky is falling.

“We should recognize that we had a very bad outing, and San Francisco had a very good outing,” he said. “We should recognize that and call it what it is and not mislead ourselves. But as far as sitting here and saying we should completely change out the towels here, that’s not even in the cards. And it’s really ridiculous.”


The Cowboys will look to get themselves back on track against the 2-2 Los Angeles Chargers, who are coming off a bye week and putting up top-ten numbers in yards per game and points per game under Kellen Moore, the offensive coordinator who Dallas parted ways with in order to hand the reins to McCarthy.

What once looked like a game the Cowboys should win handily now feels like one they absolutely must win- and arguably, with authority- even if for purely psychological reasons. If they go into their own bye week swimming in the doubts and bad juju that are swirling now, keeping their heads above water the rest of the way could prove very difficult.

The Cowboys, clearly, are not the team everyone thought they were.

The question now, though, as Jones himself put it repeatedly on Tuesday: are they capable of becoming that team?

Jones says yes, but he, like the rest of us, are still waiting to see it.

“Sure, we all had aspirations of going through this thing and being dominant, really being dominant,” he concluded. “But the facts are that every game for us is going to be a challenge.”

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Risk vs rust debate will wage until Cowboys actually win Week 1

The Cowboys have fallen under scrutiny for not playing starters in the preseason – it’s a criticism that won’t stop until they win Week 1. | From @ReidDHanson

In a move that sparked controversy, both locally and nationally, the Cowboys have decided to rest virtually all of their starters throughout preseason action. At a time when most other NFL teams are trying to find a rhythm with live action reps, Dallas has preferred to err on the side of caution and employ the bubble-wrap method.

After seeing promising young linebacker, DeMarvion Overshown, tear his ACL in Seattle, everyone has been reminded what’s at stake. Losing a player for the season in a meaningless game unquestionably stings. Then again, so does starting the season flat and beginning the year in the loss column.

The Cowboys haven’t had the best track record on opening week as of late. In each of the last three seasons they’ve started with a loss. In each instance they appeared out of sync on at least one side of the ball.

It stands to reason more preseason action could have prevented those issues.

Determining the risk is not worth the reward, Mike McCarthy has put his faith in his practices, banking on his own controlled environment to get his starters game ready.

Entering Year 4 in Dallas, McCarthy has a certain comfort level with his veterans. Even with the slight changes being made to the offense in the post-Kellen Moore era, he trusts his players to be ready to hit the ground running.

“Where are you at as a team?”  asked McCarthy rhetorically. “What are you trying to get done? Do you have a veteran group you believe in? This is Year 3 for a lot of our group.”

From a roster turnover perspective, the Cowboys have been a fairly stable club entering 2023. They had a couple departures but overall were able to retain or upgrade everywhere they wanted to. McCarthy’s Texas Coast offense will be different, but it’s not the degree of change teams with coaching changes typically undertake over an offseason.

Granted, it’s hard to argue with the results: 0-3 in Week 1 over the last three seasons under McCarthy. Those Cowboys teams proved to be pretty solid ballclubs too, even going to the playoffs twice.

But so were the opponents Dallas lost to in those three seasons.

In 2020, Dallas lost to the Rams. The Rams went to the Divisional Round that season. In 2021, Dallas lost to the Buccaneers 31-29. Tampa Bay went on to the Divisional Round that season as well. In 2022, Dallas again lost to the Buccaneers, this time 19-3. Tampa Bay eventually lost to the Cowboys in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.

The reality is Dallas just played against some really good football teams in Week 1s over the past three seasons. A case can be made a few more preseason reps wouldn’t have changed a thing.

Until the Cowboys come out firing and win in Week 1, their preseason strategy will continue to be questioned. They pulled a tough draw again on the schedule in 2023, playing Sunday night on the road against the division rival Giants.

New York most recently advanced to the Divisional Round of the playoffs so they come into the game with some skins on the wall. The Cowboys can’t afford to come out flat against a playoff team and expect to walk away with a win.

Rust vs Risk. It’s a debate all over the NFL but a particularly heated one in Dallas. No one should expect it to change until the Cowboys find a way to win one.


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The truth about Dak Prescott’s training camp and his consistency

Prescott’s throwing interceptions all over the place? That’s not what the training camp tallies say, and his head coach applauds his QB. | From @KDDrummondNFL

There’s been a lot of air time spent and ink spilled over the supposed issues quarterback Dak Prescott has had over the course of the 2023 preseason. Prescott had a big uptick in interceptions last season, including the last time folks saw him in competitive action against the San Francisco 49ers in the Cowboys’ final game of the 2022 playoffs. Prescott tossed two interceptions, one his fault, and had another interceptible pass while the offense struggled to do much of anything.

Adding onto his 15 interceptions in 12 games with a lackluster group of targets, the narrative picked up when national media did what they do. Talking Dallas warrants attention and talking bad about the Cowboys brings monumental ratings. So when Prescott tossed a couple interceptions early in training camp, it was easy for the vultures who can’t draw an audience without being sensationalistic seized on the opportunity to throw dirt. But the reality is, Prescott had a great camp and the folks that matter in the organization love having him.

Ranking Cowboys coaches by how much they have to prove in 2023

The players get most of the attention, but the coaching staff is under just as much pressure from the front office to win now. Maybe even more so. | From @KDDrummondNFL

It’s funny how all of the attention gets paid to the players. Certainly, they’re the ones who have to go out on the field and put their body through 7-car pile ups each and every week. That doesn’t mean they are the only ones facing the stress of prepping for the season. The guys in charge of putting those players in the best position to succeed, to grow their talent and execution each day; the coaches are under pressure too.

The Dallas Cowboys have what many believe to be a top five or six roster across the entire league. Whether they perform as  one of the league’s best or not will depend on how good of a job the coaching and training staff put them in the best position to succeed for the entire season.

Here are some thoughts on what each of the coaches is facing and a not-to-be-taken-too-serious ranking of how much pressure they’re under.

This top Cowboys’ offseason objective was achieved

While the Cowboys had a full slate of objectives in their offseason minicamps, staying healthy was quite possibly the most important of all. | From @ReidDHanson

With the close of last week’s minicamp, the Cowboys slate of offseason practices officially come to an end. The next time players meet for practice will be in roughly six weeks, when training camp kicks off in Oxnard.

Offseason OTAs (organized team activities) and minicamps are important to every team in the NFL. It’s a time when teams can start installing their playbooks, test players in different roles and rotations, and lay the groundwork for training camp.

For the Cowboys this offseason, it’s especially important since the offense is undergoing a renovation of sorts with Mike McCarthy taking over play-calling and Brian Schottenheimer replacing Kellen Moore as offensive coordinator.

For as important as installs and rotations are, they pale in comparison to health and safety. Getting out of minicamps without suffering any major injuries is always the top objective and it’s an objective the Cowboys thankfully avoided.

“I have no major injury concerns,” McCarthy said following the final practice. “The state of our practice structure is part of that. There’s nobody we’re worried about right now.”

After being fined in each of the previous two seasons for violating NFL offseason practice rules, McCarthy had no choice but to dial things down. A third violation could have resulted in the loss of a draft pick and given the rules themselves are in place to protect the health of players, lighter offseason work is intuitively safer.

Injuries, in general, have long been an issue on McCarthy-led football teams. After Green Bay ranked near the top of the NFL in injuries from 2010-2013 (per Football Outsiders’ adjusted games lost measurement), McCarthy made the conscious effort to focus on health and safety. It’s then when he added GPS tracking to his players (to ensure they weren’t overworked) and when he changed the way his team practiced in the offseason.

“I’ve always felt since the first day I came here that scheduling and how you train a football team is the most important part of the head coach’s job,” McCarthy said in 2014. “That’s another competitive arena you’re in.”

Since McCarthy arrived in Dallas, he’s noticeably treated injuries and rehabs with extra care. Often erring on the side of caution he’s given his veteran players added time off in offseason, preseason, and regular season practices.

While injuries are unavoidable, McCarthy seems to be focused on avoiding as many needless offseason injuries as much as possible. Aside from a quick scare from CeeDee Lamb during the most recent minicamp (he’s fine), the Cowboys appear to have escaped without any new injuries to report.

Several players are still rehabbing from 2022 injuries, but majority are on track to be participants in training camp (with the possible exception of Jourdan Lewis still rehabbing from a lisfranc injury).

The Cowboys were able to lay the groundwork for the 2022 season but more importantly, they were able to escape without fines or injuries. That marks a pretty successful offseason for a McCarthy team.


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Cowboys’ Dak Prescott fine-tuning playbook, relationship with McCarthy: ‘It’s refreshing’

From @ToddBrock24f7: Coach and QB believe more communication now will lead to less extraneous noise- and cleaner play for the Dallas offense- come game day.

For the first time since the 2019 season, the voice in Dak Prescott’s head will be different.

And this one speaks with a distinct Pittsburgh accent.

“It’s different,” the Cowboys quarterback joked with reporters about head coach Mike McCarthy’s new play-calling responsibilities for 2023. “I tell you, you hear that accent a little bit more when he’s calling these plays. He called one out there today, and I looked back, and I go, ‘Was it the right one?’ Yeah, it was, it’s just that his accent was tough to hear. No, it’s been fun.”

Prescott and McCarthy have been together for over three years. But this offseason, it’s like they’re just now getting to know each other.

Kellen Moore was the Dallas offensive coordinator for the past four seasons. He served as the team’s quarterbacks coach in 2018. And he was Prescott’s teammate for the two years prior to that.

This is Prescott’s first NFL offseason without Moore to lean on, but the Cowboys 2023 offense will still be built off the foundation they laid.

“As far as the installation, obviously there are some adds, some things taken out,” Prescott said Thursday. “I think you just get the overall feel that maybe the game is going to be called a little different.

“It’s not like we’re going to throw away our playbook and try to start over, anything like that. Obviously, we’ve had some success. There is good there. We had to take that and detail the hell out of it. Everything we’re doing. Plays we’ve already had, new plays in, just understanding the purpose and just making sure everyone knows the why and what the purpose is in their play and in their roles. Just detailing it all and, I think, will make us play faster and be better.”

Purpose is a word McCarthy is using a lot these days, too. It’s clearly a point of emphasis as he and his quarterback feel each other out in their new working relationship.

“We’ve got a thing called PCP, really just the purpose of the play-call. Play-call purpose: PCP,” the coach explained in his Thursday press conference. “It’s one thing to learn the play and the intricacies of the play, but when you continue to know and anticipate when and where it’s going to be called, I think that’s just stronger communication and connection that a quarterback and play-caller need to have.”

Both men hope that having a better understanding of the purpose of a particular play call in a given situation will reduce the number of sloppy mistakes that helped contribute to a career-high interception total last season for Prescott.

“That’s the detail and the accountability and discipline within a play that all 11 guys have to have,” Prescott offered, “understanding their role and understanding if they’re a clear-out or they’re really eating up a window or eating up a guy to open up that space and for that guy to understand to not kill his window, to open it up and… Yeah, some things I guess some of these young guys may not have heard, and you see it click and you see them understanding early on. It’s just been good. You can see it and feel it and understand everybody is locked in, everyone is buying in to the purpose of it and the purpose of their role, which overall allows us to play faster and play cleaner.”


And interestingly enough, more communication now on things like play-call purpose means Prescott will actually hear less of McCarthy’s voice in his head on game day: just the play call, no extra reminders of the details of a play.

“No, no, no, leave me alone,” Prescott said of his in-helmet preferences. “Because the time we spend throughout the week. He shouldn’t have to give me a reminder, and I think he would say the same. It’s because we’re going to be talking all week long about the communication, the play, what its purpose is, the situation of the game, down and distance. Therefore, when that play is called, that conversation should have been held a couple of days ago, I know what he’s thinking, why it’s called, where we are in particular with that situation, and how to execute.”

That kind of fine-tuned deep dive of the Cowboys playbook has forced the two to go back through the entire playbook to more closely examine what has worked for the offense of late… and what maybe hasn’t.

“As we broke [Thursday’s practice],” Prescott explained, “[Coach McCarthy] said, ‘You know what? Go look at everything we put in, and make sure we’re running the things you like and the things we’re good at. If it’s something you’re a little iffy about, let’s get it out. Let’s master what we’re great at.’ Just having that clear communication and being able to work with him day in and day out, it’s new, it’s refreshing, it’s fun for both of us.”

The beginning stages of a new relationship are supposed to be refreshing and fun. Cowboys Nation is about to see whether Prescott and McCarthy are destined to make it past this honeymoon phase and be a happily-ever-after kind of couple, complete with shiny new jewelry.

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Cowboys RB Tony Pollard participating in OTA walkthroughs, McCarthy says

From @ToddBrock24f7: The Cowboys RB is making strides in his recovery from a fractured fibula and high ankle sprain; he’s benefiting from the OTAs’ slower pace.

Just four months after being carted off the field in a playoff loss at Levi’s Stadium, Cowboys running back Tony Pollard is participating in OTA sessions with the team.

Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy made the revelation Thursday while speaking to reporters at a pre-practice press conference.

“Tony’s doing the walkthroughs and things like that,” McCarthy said from the podium at The Star in Frisco on the third day of organized team activities.

Pollard suffered a fractured fibula and high ankle sprain on Jan. 22 during the divisional-round matchup with the 49ers. He was dragged to the ground from behind by San Francisco safety Jimmie Ward, who employed a “hip-drop” tackle that many called to be outlawed by the league’s owners moving forward.

That effort may have stalled, but Pollard is plowing full speed ahead in both his rehab and his new role with the offense. He signed his franchise tag tender in March and is set to earn $10.09 million as the club’s uncontested RB1 after the offseason release of Ezekiel Elliott.


Pollard is not yet up to full game speed, of course, but it’s still early. League rules prohibit live contact during OTAs; McCarthy described the work currently being done as coming at a “walkthrough or jogthrough” pace.

Apart from OTAs, the team will have a four-day “ramp-up” to this summer’s training camp, McCarthy said, that will be designed to help players like Pollard and offensive lineman Terence Steele, who are coming off injury.

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Mike McCarthy on new Cowboys coaches around Dak Prescott: ‘It’s a continuation’

From @ToddBrock24f7: The Cowboys look to build off the past 2 seasons offensively, but with an entirely new staff of assistant coaches around Dak Prescott.

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott finds himself surrounded by a lot of new faces as OTAs get going in Dallas. And not just guys in the offensive huddle, like Brandin Cooks or Luke Schoonmaker or Deuce Vaughn. Even when Prescott gets back to the sideline or the meeting room, he’ll notice there’s been a lot of turnover since last season.

Kellen Moore is gone. So is Doug Nussmeier. As offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach respectively, theirs were the voices Prescott heard most often under head coach Mike McCarthy’s tenure over the past three seasons.

Now McCarthy is also his play-caller. Brian Schottenheimer has the OC title and is working with him on installing the game plan. Scott Tolzein is his new quarterbacks coach.

It’s a lot of change, even if most of it is behind the scenes.

But McCarthy doesn’t see it that way.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a transition; I think it’s a continuation,” the coach told reporters Thursday from The Star.

The system, McCarthy stressed, is still designed around Prescott, right down to keeping familiar terminology as the 29-year-old (he’ll turn 30 in July) enters his eighth season under center for the Cowboys.

“We’re still in Dak’s language,” McCarthy confirmed.

And although the assistants speaking that language are new to their day-to-day roles this year, they both have plenty of experience operating within a coaching philosophy that McCarthy has built over three decades in the NFL.

One of McCarthy’s first gigs at the pro level was on the offensive side of the ball for the 1993 Chiefs, supporting none other than Joe Montana.

So McCarthy understands all too well the significance of putting Tolzein, who quarterbacked under him in Green Bay, in the same position now with the field general of the Cowboys’ offensive attack.

“The quarterback room is a critical room in your coaching operations, as far as the design of it, the responsibility,” McCarthy continued. “Really, it’s no different than it was back in the early ’90s: the way I view it, the way we define it, the job description, job responsibility. The quarterback coach is a very significant component of that, maybe one of the most important components. The quarterbacks coach does the heavy lifting. That’s the way I’ve always set it up. That’s the way I was fortunate to go through it when I was a quarterbacks coach. All the extra time on the phone that you spend communicating with your quarterbacks, the little things..”

On the field, Tolzein never exactly lit it up over just ten game appearances in four seasons, going 88-of-146 passing for 1,065 yards, two touchdowns, and nine interceptions as both a Packer and a Colt.

McCarthy brought him to Dallas for his mind, though, rather than his arm.

“Scott is built for this. He was the quarterback, as a player, that if everybody was averaging 150 minutes a week on his iPad, Scott was at 480. Just the way he’s wired. And he has the magnetic personality. Brian Schottenheimer has a great personality. The way that room’s structured is similar to the way I’ve always done it in my past experience. It was a little different with Kellen and Doug, but I just look at it as more of a continuation of what’s already been established.”


What’s been established is that the Cowboys under Prescott are capable of being among the NFL’s elite. Dallas led the league in total yards, yards per game, total points, and points per game in 2021. Those numbers dipped slightly in 2022, but the team still went 12-5 in the regular season and scored 28 points or more in seven of their outings.

That’s a wheel that McCarthy isn’t looking to re-invent, either.

“If you just look at the history of our offense here, 2020 was really trying to figure out who we wanted to be, with all the pandemic and all the injuries and so forth. I think the evolution from ’21 to ’22 is really the direction we want to continue to build off of. If you look at the statistics of those three years of offense and the area of how we’re going, we’ll continue in that direction.”

It all starts with the quarterback and getting Prescott to make some adjustments to his game, particularly in the interception category. McCarthy is banking on the revamped coaching staff around him being the key.

And he made it perfectly clear- even while fulfilling his media obligations by addressing reporters- that’s where his real focus is.

“I’m here right now,” McCarthy complained. “I’m missing a damn quarterbacks meeting.”

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‘Where do those touches go?’: Cowboys’ McCarthy focused on ball distribution in new-look offense

McCarthy says little will change, but after free agency departures, almost 4 out of every 10 touches will have to go someone else in ’23. | From @ToddBrock24f7

The Cowboys offense is currently in the shop. Whether it’s getting a minor tune-up or a massive overhaul remains to be seen. Several staffers are gone. A couple offensive playmakers, too. There are new guys to work into the mix.

Head coach Mike McCarthy maintains that he doesn’t foresee “a huge change” in 2023’s overall scheme or philosophy as compared to 2022’s.

But a deeper dive into the numbers suggest it’s going to have to be a rather significant change, with the team needing to revamp over one-third of all its run and pass plays, no matter how the coach (and now play-caller) chooses to soft-sell it.

“How we play this year will be similar to how we played last year,” McCarthy said Tuesday at the NFL owner meeting in Phoenix.


But without Kellen Moore, without Dalton Schultz, without Ezekiel Elliott… some things will undoubtedly have to be different, as McCarthy is well aware.

“Just look at Zeke’s opportunities,” McCarthy offered. “Where do those touches go? So much of this game is made about how many times you run it or pass it, but it’s really: how do you get the ball distributed to your perimeter players?”

2022’s ball distribution shows just how much the Cowboys leaned on their highly-paid-yet-declining two-time rushing champ.

Dallas logged 531 rushing attempts last regular season, and saw a player officially targeted for a pass attempt on 545 plays. That’s 1,076 legitimate opportunities for someone to have gotten an offensive touch.

Elliott had 254, or 23.6% of them, come his way.

“So you just look at where those touches go,” the coach went on. “Do some of those touches go to receivers? Tight ends? The new backs will definitely absorb some of those opportunities. Maybe Tony’s will go up.”

Pollard’s usage will almost certainly climb… but how much is reasonable to expect? He already nearly matched Elliott’s touch opportunities last season, with 248 total, or 23.0%.

Player Rush Att Pass Tgt Touch Opp Pct of Team Total
Ezekiel Elliott 231 23 254 23.6%
Tony Pollard 193 55 248 23.0%

New addition Ronald Jones will obviously hear his number called more than he did in Kansas City; the Chiefs handed him the ball just 17 times and targeted him once in two game appearances in 2022. And Malik Davis stands to see an increase over his 45 touch chances as a rookie.

But 254 possible touches- Elliott’s share last year- is an awful lot of football pie to divvy up. The former first-round pick ranked in the top 20 leaguewide last year in touches, so we’re not talking about just a few handoffs here and there; almost one in every four of the team’s offensive play calls now has to be designed to go to someone else.

And that doesn’t even factor in two key departures in the passing game. Tight end Dalton Schultz accounted for 89 targets in 2022, or 16.3% of the Cowboys’ pass plays that resulted in a targeted throw (8.2% of the total touch chances).

Noah Brown? Another 74 targets, or 13.5% of pass plays (6.8% of the total).

Player Rush Att Pass Tgt Touch Opp Pct of Team Total
Dalton Schultz 0 89 89 8.2%
Noah Brown 0 74 74 6.8%

In all, Elliott, Schultz, and Brown had 417 touch opportunities in 2022, equivalent to 38.7% of the Cowboys’ total.

Now we’re up to nearly four out of every ten play calls needing to suddenly end up in someone else’s hands.

Thankfully, the Cowboys appear to be assembling a solid cast of playmakers. Brandin Cooks alone is a clear upgrade in the WR corps to work alongside CeeDee Lamb and a hopefully-fully-recovered Michael Gallup. Drafting another tight end threat to add to an already-promising rotation of Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot feels like the right move. And the team may not be done in free agency, either.

“Ball distribution has always been my focal point,” McCarthy explained, “because when you have 70 plays in a game, if you’re not getting the ball distributed 75 percent of those plays, then you’re playing uphill to the defense.”

But now it’s up to McCarthy and new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer to make the Cowboys’ engine fire on all cylinders to make up for the horsepower that has pulled out of the garage this offseason.

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