NBC obsesses over Dallas renaming legendary 49ers coach’s offense

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Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy is seen on the field prior to a game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on October 08, 2023 in Santa Clara, California.

Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy is seen on the field prior to a game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium on October 08, 2023 in Santa Clara, California.

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers legend Bill Walsh’s “West Coast offense” — a term applied to the high-percentage, passing-first offense he birthed in Cincinnati and brought to the Niners, where the Pro Football Hall of Famer won three Super Bowls during the 1980s — remains a foundational piece of the NFL landscape. Walsh’s deep coaching tree roots reach far and wide, and include the likes of Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy, legendary former Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren and current Chiefs head coach Andy Reid. But the offense remains very much his, no matter how many iterations emerge.

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“We haven’t seen them be able to do it so far tonight,” Tirico noted.

“No we haven’t,” color commentator Cris Collinsworth responded.

“Let’s talk about Texas Coast-, West Coast-offense, whatever you want to say,” Tirico added, alluding to the fact that there was not really any notable difference between the two. “The whole point of it is to not have Dak Prescott turn the ball over like he was.”

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So if the Texas Coast offense is a made-up thing, where did it come from?

“The offense has created a unique layer that the quarterback room has coined as the ‘Texas Coast’ offense,” dallascowboys.com beat writer Nick Harris wrote, “with its combination of horizontal concepts that open up the opposing defense with tempo, pace and concepts that have worked for the team in years past.”

Again, sounds exactly… like… the regular West Coast Offense.

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“This is the Texas Coast, we’ve just re-named that,” Prescott told dallascowboys.com. “It’s definitely got some West-Coast principles, but it has a little bit of what we’ve done in the past and just marrying them together with a lot of detail into a system that’s not out there.”

Except the system is already seemingly out there and it’s called — wait for it — the West Coast Offense.

“We began to control the ball through the short pass, always looking for the big play, but always going through the short pass,” Walsh once described his offense, as detailed in NFL Films’ “Bill Walsh: A Football Life.”

“The ball was coming out so much faster than had happened in the past in the passing game that defenses did take 15-20 years to catch up,” Steve Young explained in that same film.

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Apparently, though, it took Prescott even more years than that.

Colllinsworth eventually went on to abandon the “Texas Coast Offense” verbiage, and simply note that the Cowboys were using the West Coast Offense.

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