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Cowboys' Mike McCarthy on taking over play-calling duties: 'Most fun I've had since I've been in Dallas'

INDIANAPOLIS -- Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy is reinvigorated after taking over play-calling duties.

Speaking Wednesday from the NFL Scouting Combine, McCarthy said he's excited about the changes coming to the Cowboys offense in 2023.

"This is the most fun I've had since I've been in Dallas," he said. "Just to be in the meeting room again with the coaches full time. Just to go 8 to 11:30 and break, and you're talking nothing but scheme. I haven't had that. So that part's different."

The Cowboys parted ways with offensive coordinator Kellen Moore after four seasons, including three under McCarthy. Moore subsequently took the OC position with the Los Angeles Chargers.

Moore did an "excellent job," according to McCarthy, but the coach felt like it was "a good time to make that change" after the latest playoff shortcoming.

McCarthy will take over play-calling, a task he held for the majority of his run with the Green Bay Packers. Dallas hired veteran coordinator Brian Schottenheimer to buffer the offensive staff.

McCarthy said there would not be "wholesale" changes to the offense, noting he liked the run-pass ratio in 2022. The coach suggested 30-35% of the offense would change after parting ways with Moore.

After four years under the former OC, Dak Prescott will have a new voice for the first time since 2018. McCarthy noted that the fresh perspective could bring the best out of the star quarterback.

"I think, number one, we all can use a new voice," McCarthy said. "We all can use a sense of motivation and challenge and so forth. This is a new challenge for him -- his words -- he's very excited about it. I just think, like anything, he's had a chance to go from the different variations of the offense that was in place. He's getting ready to take another turn as far as the variation of what we're getting ready to do. We're gonna build it off of what he has established."

Prescott struggled with turnovers in 2022, tying for the league lead with 15 interceptions despite playing in just 12 games. McCarthy noted that the offseason program is critical for Prescott and the Cowboys to put the struggles in the past and become immersed in the new offense.

The Cowboys finally broke their streak of road futility in the postseason. The next step is getting back the NFC Championship Game for the first time since 1995.

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