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Mike McCarthy wants a smarter, more conservative Cowboys offense for Cooper Rush

Jerry Jones is optimistic Dak Prescott will be back on the field within the next four games, but Mike Florio and Chris Simms are worried the Cowboys may be rushing the QB back too early.

With Dak Prescott injured, Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said today that he wants his offense to play the kind of football that doesn’t put too much pressure on the inexperienced backup, Cooper Rush.

McCarthy said today that offensive coordinator Kellen Moore has been drawing up an offense all year that would play to Prescott’s strengths, but that now Moore and the rest of the offense will need to shift to put Rush in a better position as he prepares to start a game for just the second time in his career on Sunday against the Bengals.

“At the end of the day, Kellen and the offensive staff have been working on this since April -- longer than April, but working with the players since April. So we’ve just got to trust what we’ve built and we’ve got to adjust when we have change in the lineup, and we definitely are working through that and we want to make sure we’re helping, but maybe not being as conservative as you’d like to be. Let’s be honest: In Kellen’s time as a coordinator, he’s been able to play very, very aggressive. But we’re in a phase right now that we’ve got to be a little smarter in certain situations, and that’s all part of growing as a play caller,” McCarthy said.

As soon as McCarthy said the words “be a little smarter,” Twitter lit up with accusations that McCarthy was throwing Moore under the bus and saying that his play calling hadn’t been smart. But in context, it’s clear that McCarthy wasn’t blaming Moore, but merely acknowledging the reality that the Cowboys have to be cautious not to put too much on Rush’s shoulders.

With Rush taking over an offense built around Prescott, the Cowboys have some major adjustments to make. McCarthy, Moore, the rest of the coaching staff and the rest of the team all play a part in making sure the offense can still function, even if it’s unrealistic to think Rush can play at Prescott’s level.