DALLAS — With the Dallas Cowboys and previous offensive coordinator Kellen Moore parting ways at the start of the 2023 offseason, the implication may have been that the offense is defective.
New offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer doesn't see it that way.
"As you guys know, the system is not broke," Schottenheimer told reporters May 13 at rookie minicamp at The Star. "I mean, it’s not broken. They’ve won a lot of games here. Mike’s [McCarthy] has been around, scored a ton of points."
Schottenheimer was on the staff last season as a "coaching analyst," which allowed him to work with Moore, who he says he has, "a ton of respect for."
After the Cowboys promoted Schottenheimer, the Los Angeles Chargers hired Moore as their offensive coordinator. At least someone else in the NFL agrees that what Moore creates isn't broken.
The challenge for Schottenheimer and the rest of the offensive staff is going through their installations during the team's offseason workouts. Currently, the Cowboys are in Phase 2 of the NFL’s dictated training regimen, which allows the offense and defense to both be on the field, but only for drills while they are barred from contact against each other. That starts in Phase 3 with organized team activities.
"We’re 12 concept-teach days in," Schottenheimer explained. "So, a concept teach day is basically where we take a family of plays and install those, all the different adjustments and things with not as many formations. And then when we get into OTAs, we’ll actually put in specific installs with formations and builds and then we’ll tweak those as we prepare for training camp."
Schottenheimer, who was offensive coordinator with the New York Jets (2006-11), St. Louis Rams (2012-14), and Seattle Seahawks (2018-20), used Phase 1 of the offseason program — classroom work — to teach the system. Phase 2 is used to refine details. Phase 3 during OTAs and minicamp will be time for practicing the offense and perfecting the system.
"The goal is to come out where you’ve perfected it where the guys can play fast and react, and that’s what you’re trying to get done in training camp and preseason games," Schottenheimer said.
The Cowboys finished 10th in the NFL in total offense and third in the league in points scored. Despite Dallas' lofty finish with a 12-5 record, they were capped 19-12 in the NFC divisional playoffs at the San Francisco 49ers. The offseason focus has been about finding more points in the system, even if it isn't broken.
Do you think the Cowboys offense will pick up where it left off with a new coordinator? Share your thoughts with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.