Kellen Moore

NFC East Notes: Wentz, Smith, Cowboys

Carson Wentz‘s status has fluctuated considerably over the past month and change, with the veteran quarterback having gone from starter to backup and then trade candidate to a player around whom the Eagles again want to build. The fifth-year passer’s issues with the since-fired Doug Pederson began well before the December benching, with the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane noting the quarterback would randomly audible out of Pederson play calls down the stretch this season. This helped lead to Pederson benching Wentz on his own. During training camp, however, Eagles staffers saw warning signs of a potential decline, per McLane, who adds that some within the organization were concerned about passing-game coordinator Press Taylor‘s promotion. The proposition of a Pederson-Wentz-Taylor offensive power structure returning next season did not sit well with Lurie. The Eagles promoted Taylor last year but brought in Rich Scangarello and Marty Mornhinweg to help the offense as well; the latter two will not be back next season.

The Eagles are in the process of hiring Pederson’s replacement. Colts OC Nick Sirianni and Cowboys OC Kellen Moore interviewed Tuesday. Here is the latest from Philly and the other NFC East cities:

  • Alex Smith said at season’s end he would take a few weeks before deciding if he wanted to play a 17th season. He is under contract through 2022. But the Washington quarterback indicated during a 60 Minutes interview (via CBSNews.com) that the 2020 comeback season “has only emboldened for me that I can, you know, play at this level.” After cutting Dwayne Haskins, Washington has Smith and Kyle Allen under contract for next season. Though, Taylor Heinicke is a restricted free agent. Washington cutting Smith — an onerous proposition in 2019 and ’20 — would save the franchise $14.7MM in cap space, however, creating a complex situation for the QB-needy team.
  • Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper recently underwent ankle surgery, but Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram described it as a cleanup procedure (Twitter link). The Cowboys are not concerned about their top wideout missing much offseason time.
  • On that note, Giants left tackle Andrew Thomas also went under the knife recently. Last year’s No. 4 overall pick also underwent ankle surgery. Thomas played through ankle pain for much of the season, per Dan Duggan of The Athletic, who adds (via Twitter) the Giants expect Thomas to be ready for their offseason program.
  • The Eagles will have a new linebackers coach next season. Ken Flajole will not be back, according to Alex Marvez of Sirius XM Radio (on Twitter). The 66-year-old assistant joined the Eagles as part of Pederson’s first staff in 2016. After spending most of the 1980s and ’90s as a college coach, Flajole has been an NFL assistant for 22 seasons.

Eagles Request Kellen Moore Interview

The Eagles have requested an interview with Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore (Twitter link via Todd Archer of ESPN.com). This marks Moore’s first head coaching interview in the 2021 cycle. 

Moore, 32, inked a three-year extension with the Cowboys towards the close of the season. At the time, he had an opportunity to lead Boise State as their head coach, but chose to stay in Dallas with a pay bump. The ink has barely dried on that re-up, but Moore could still explore other opportunities in the NFL.

The Eagles fired Doug Pederson on Monday, making them the most recent — and likely last — addition to the vacancy pile. So far, they’ve contacted 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady, Titans OC Arthur Smith, Bucs DC Todd Bowles, Patriots assistant Jerod Mayo, and Sooners HC Lincoln Riley.

Injuries to the offensive line and quarterback Dak Prescott hindered the Cowboys this past year. Still, the Cowboys managed to finish top-12 in of total yardage under Moore’s watch.

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Cowboys To Retain OC Kellen Moore

Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore is staying put. Moore may or may not have taken an interview to become Boise State’s head coach, but despite mutual interest between him and his alma mater, the 32-year-old will remain in the professional ranks, the Cowboys announced.

Moore’s contract with Dallas was due to expire at the end of the season, and as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports, he signed a lucrative extension that will run through the 2023 campaign (Twitter link). According to Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports (via Twitter), Moore would not have even considered collegiate openings, but because it was Boise State that came calling, he had to think about it.

“I am very excited to remain with the Dallas Cowboys as the offensive coordinator,” Moore said. “I will no longer be pursuing the head coaching job at Boise State. I love Boise State. I will always root for them, and I hope one day to be a part of the program again.”

Despite injuries along the Cowboys’ O-line and starting quarterback Dak Prescott this year, the team’s offense is still a top-12 unit in terms of total yardage. Prescott played under the franchise tag this season, but the expectation is that he will remain in Dallas for the foreseeable future, and he has spoken in the past about the importance of a quarterback having continuity at the OC post. The future is also bright at the skill positions and on the offensive line, so Moore’s unit should be able to produce at a high level going forward.

And as Jon Machota of The Athletic observes, Moore’s ultimate goal is to become an NFL head coach. Assuming the offense does, in fact, continue to thrive, he may start attracting HC consideration from other clubs — and maybe even the Cowboys — within the next couple of years.

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Cowboys OC Kellen Moore Interviews For Boise State HC Job

Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore has interviewed for the head coaching job at Boise State, as Mike Prater of the Idaho Press was first to report (via Twitter). Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, meanwhile, says the interview has not happened yet, but he confirms that Boise State is interested in Moore and would like to speak with him soon (Twitter link).

Regardless of whether a summit has taken place, it sounds as if the interest is mutual. Moore, 32, quarterbacked Boise State from 2008-11 and finished in the top-10 in Heisman voting in three out of his four seasons on campus. According to Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News, Moore sees the Broncos’ HC gig as a “highly attractive opportunity,” and he is in the last year of his contract with the Cowboys.

Moore’s collegiate success as a player did not translate to the pros, as he suited up for just three regular season games in his NFL career. However, he became Dallas’ quarterbacks coach in 2018 and was elevated to OC in 2019. He has called the team’s offensive plays in each of the past two years, and his unit was the best in the league last season in terms of total offense. It looked as though the Cowboys would be equally prolific this year, but injuries to quarterback Dak Prescott and the team’s O-line have obviously made life difficult.

Still, Moore’s work has attracted plenty of attention. The University of Washington wanted to hire him as its OC last season, but Moore stayed with the Cowboys and managed to adapt to new head coach Mike McCarthy‘s schemes. He might now have the chance to run a prolific college program now that Boise State’s former HC, Bryan Harsin, has accepted the head coaching job at Auburn.

If Moore does leave, it’s unclear if McCarthy — who will be retained for 2021 — would take over play-calling duties.

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Kellen Moore To Call Cowboys’ Plays

Kellen Moore will stay on board as the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator and he will be the one calling the plays, head coach Mike McCarthy confirmed. Not everything will remain exactly the same, of course – the head coach explained that Moore will be blending McCarthy’s schemes with the Cowboys’ existing terminology. 

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Between us,” McCarthy said of Moore and himself. “We can take this offense forward another step.”

Under Moore, the Cowboys jumped from 22nd in total offense to first from 2018-19. Another step forward would restore the Cowboys as Super Bowl contenders in 2020, provided that the defense holds up. It’ll be interesting to see how the offenses combine. Under Jason Garrett, Moore ran a version of the Air Coryell offense, which is drastically different from McCarthy’s West Coast philosophy.

Moore had other opportunities this offseason, including an opportunity to return to his home state and manage the University of Washington’s offense. The opportunity to make full use of his headset likely played in a role in Moore’s return to Dallas.

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Kellen Moore To Stay With Cowboys

Kellen Moore will remain the Cowboys’ OC in 2020 as a member of new head coach Mike McCarthy‘s staff, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. In addition, the team will add former Rams special teams coordinator John Fassel to serve in the same capacity in Dallas, and it is also hiring Mike Nolan as defensive coordinator and Jim Tomsula as defensive line coach.

Moore, 30, had drawn interest from Washington for the Pac-12 program’s OC job, but Mike Garafolo tweeted yesterday that the expectation was for the wunderkind coach to stay with the Cowboys.

Despite Dallas’ disappointing season, the team is intent on keeping Moore. Jerry Jones made it a point during the Cowboys’ HC interviews to express his desire for Jason Garrett‘s eventual successor to retain Moore. And McCarthy is a fan of the one-year coordinator. One year remains on Moore’s contract.

Although Moore went to Boise State, he is from a town southeast Washington. So, the Huskies OC job would generate natural appeal. And McCarthy being an offensive-minded coach would stand to lessen Moore’s impact with the 2020 Cowboys. But Jones being in the young coach’s corner will likely make a difference in shaping McCarthy’s offensive staff.

Under Moore, the Cowboys jumped from 22nd in total offense to first from 2018-19. Dak Prescott surpassed his previous career-high yardage total by more than 1,000, and his 30 touchdown passes were seven more than his previous career high. The fourth-year quarterback fell one yard shy of Tony Romo‘s single-season Cowboys record. The franchise appears to be on the verge of a McCarthy-Moore partnership, which would be an interesting meld of offensive philosophies given that the new head coach is steeped in the West Coast offense and Moore ran a version of Air Coryell.

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Cowboys’ Kellen Moore Considering UW Job

New Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy would like to keep offensive coordinator Kellen Moore on his staff, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. However, he’s also mulling an opportunity to return home and become the new offensive coordinator at the University of Washington. 

[RELATED: Giants To Consider Jason Garrett]

Moore ran a Air Coryell offense in 2019, though former head coach Jason Garrett might have been the one pulling the strings on the scheme. McCarthy leans more towards the West Coast offense and he apparently believes that Moore can adjust to his preferred style.

Moore is a native of Prosser, Washington, so the UW job would presumably hold lots of appeal. At the same time, the Cowboys job would probably be more lucrative for him.

The Cowboys’ offense got off to a roaring start in 2019, though their three consecutive wins to open the season came against the lowly Giants, Redskins, and Dolphins. With hiccups on both sides of the ball, Dallas finished the year 8-8 and ceded the divisional crown to the Eagles.

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Coaching Notes: McDaniels, Cowboys, Rhule

Two years ago, Josh McDaniels had assistants ready to follow him to the Colts. Multiple staffers did so, even though the Patriots assistant backed out of the agreement. This time around, McDaniels looks to have a staff lined up again. McDaniels is now “very much ready” to leave New England, Albert Breer of SI.com notes, adding that the longtime Patriots play-caller has Redskins OC Kevin O’Connell and Colts defensive backs coach Jonathan Gannon set to be key players on his staff (should McDaniels accept a job if offered). The Redskins are interested in retaining O’Connell, their offensive coordinator this season, but his NFL years began as a quarterback under McDaniels during the latter’s first stint as Patriots OC. Gannon joined the Colts’ staff in 2018. Like McDaniels, Gannon is a Cleveland-area native. He was a scout with the Rams during McDaniels’ one season in St. Louis.

McDaniels is the frontrunner for the Browns job. He will interview with the Panthers on Tuesday, the Giants on Wednesday and the Browns on Friday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

Here is the latest from the coaching carousel:

  • Matt Rhule had issues with the Jets attempting to overrule him on staff decisions, but Ralph Vacchiano of SNY notes the Giants would not do the same. The Giants would let Rhule select his assistants, and the Baylor HC is believed to have candidates in place to follow him to New York if hired. Former Giants assistant and current Lions QBs coach Sean Ryan and Baylor defensive coordinator Phil Snow are believed to be Rhule’s coordinator choices should he land either the Giants’ or Panthers’ HC jobs, Vacchiano reports. Ryan, 47, held a key role with the Texans from 2017-18 but was with the Giants for nine years, including in 2012, when Rhule was on staff. Snow, 64, has been Rhule’s DC at Temple and Baylor. He coached with the Lions from 2005-08.
  • Had the Jets hired Rhule last year, Jets management would have insisted Gregg Williams be attached as defensive coordinator, per Vacchiano. Previous GM Mike Maccagnan also had an issue with Ryan bringing brought aboard as OC. Ryan ended up in Detroit instead.
  • As for Giants incumbent defensive coordinator James Bettcher, the front office was not exactly pleased with his game management nor were Giants brass happy with the entire defensive staff, Vacchiano adds. Lacking in talent and depth at linebacker and cornerback, the Giants ranked 31st in pass-defense DVOA. Bettcher’s better-stocked defensive front, however, produced the No. 7 run-defense DVOA figure.
  • Not only is Mike McCarthy a fan of 30-year-old Cowboys OC Kellen Moore, Jerry Jones spoke of his desire to keep the young coordinator on staff in each of the Cowboys’ interviews, Breer notes. The Cowboys promoted Moore to OC last year, and Dak Prescott had by far his best season as a passer under the former Dallas quarterback’s guidance.
  • The Falcons will not retain passing-game coordinator/defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson, according to The Athletic’s Jason Butt (on Twitter). Henderson has been with the Falcons since 2016. Additionally, the Falcons interviewed Joe Whitt for their secondary coach position, Butt notes. Whitt spent the 2007 season as Atlanta’s assistant DBs coach before being on Green Bay’s staff for the next 10 seasons. He coached the Browns’ DBs under Freddie Kitchens.

Cowboys Could Keep Kellen Moore

New Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy is a fan of offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com hears (on Twitter). McCarthy hasn’t made any firm decisions on his staff, but it seems like McCarthy is more than open to keeping Moore in his current role. 

[RELATED: Cowboys Hire Mike McCarthy]

Moore, 31 this summer, took over for Scott Linehan prior to the 2019 season. The Cowboys’ offense lacked consistency throughout the year, but McCarthy isn’t necessarily placing the blame at Moore’s feet.

Marvin Lewis – the other only known candidate for the Cowboys head coaching vacancy – was reportedly eyeing Hue Jackson as his OC. The hiring of McCarthy means that Moore will have a chance to stay in Dallas, despite the departure of Jason Garrett.

Speaking of McCarthy – Rapoport hears that he has landed a five-year pact with the Cowboys. The financial terms of the deal are not yet known.

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Latest On Cowboys’ Coaching Search

Jason Garrett is still technically the coach of the Cowboys, but everything continues to indicate they’ll be moving on with the team already scheduling interviews with Marvin Lewis and Mike McCarthy. Here’s the latest on everything pertaining to Dallas’ search:

  • The Cowboys were conspicuously quiet for a while, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t working behind the scenes. The McCarthy interview news just leaked Friday morning but the former Packers coach was apparently originally scheduled to interview on Thursday before rescheduling to accommodate his Browns interview, according to David Moore of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). That proves owner Jerry Jones hasn’t just been sitting on his hands after the season ended.
  • Garrett, meanwhile, is continuing to lobby Jones for another chance, as Jay Glazer of FOX Sports reported in Sunday’s FOX pregame show. Jones has been steadfast in his decision to move on from Garrett, but Garrett is doing everything he can to keep his post. Meanwhile, the team’s interview with McCarthy went so well that McCarthy stayed an extra day in Dallas.
  • Baylor coach Matt Rhule and Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley have also been connected to the Cowboys’ job. The Jones family should have a good read on their potential interest in the job since they have the same agent as McCarthy, tweets Albert Breer of SI.com. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network says that Jones will gauge Riley’s interest, but Riley is unlikely to leave Oklahoma at this point (video link).
  • The Lewis interview caught a lot of people by surprise, but there is one interesting link between the two sides. Jones is very good friends with Bengals owner Mike Brown, tweets Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic. Dehner writes that the two men “hold very similar view[s]” on handling their teams. Lewis, of course, was Cincinnati’s coach for 16 seasons and Brown was very reluctant to let him go. It’s possible that Brown recommended Lewis to Jones.
  • Speaking of Lewis, Rapoport says the former Bengals HC would require that the Cowboys — or any club — hire Hue Jackson as his OC (video link). That could be a deal-breaker for the Cowboys given the presence of Kellen Moore.
  • Garrett had told his assistants on expiring deals they were free to start looking for other work. Most assistants were on expiring deals like Garrett, but that notably excluded Moore and offensive line coach Marc Colombo, Breer tweets. The organization thinks very highly of Moore and he generally received positive reviews in his first year calling plays. Since both are still under contract, it’s quite possible the Jones’ will retain them even when they hire a new coach. Breer adds that Garrett hasn’t spoken to any of his staff since Monday.