Kellen Moore

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. 

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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. 

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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.

Coaching Rumors: Moore, Dolphins, Steelers

Kellen Moore is, in fact, expected to call the Cowboys‘ plays next season, Jason Garrett said. The 29-year-old OC has yet to begin his second season as an NFL coach, but the Cowboys wanted change (without looking outside their staff to seek it).

I think it’s a great opportunity for our team and our players,” Jerry Jones said, via Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “He has a great staff on the offensive side with him and they all have some great ideas. We have Jason sitting there as a safety net. I think it’s an ideal time to stretch out.

“I said to everybody, ‘I want those new ideas. I want them thought through far. And if they are not being implemented call me.’ But let’s get in there and do the kinds of things to get the most out of a very talented roster. Kellen has the skill, and the right attitude, and style to make this work.”

Garrett was coaching Moore as recently as the 2017 season, but the 10th-year Dallas coach said he will surround Moore with experience to help this major transition. Tight ends coach Doug Nussmeier, a longtime college OC, is expected to take on a larger role.

The coaching circuit brought some news post-Super Bowl LIII. Here is the latest:

  • Another Patriots assistant will be following Brian Flores to Miami. The Dolphins are expected to name Jerry Schuplinski as their new quarterbacks coach, according to Alex Marvez of Sirius XM Radio (on Twitter). Schuplinski served as New England’s assistant QBs coach for the past three seasons and has been a Pats staffer for six years. The Patriots gave Schuplinski his first NFL job; prior to that, he was an assistant at Division III program Case Western Reserve for six years.
  • Dennis Allen‘s new Saints contract is a three-year agreement, Albert Breer of SI.com notes. The former Raiders HC has been the Saints’ DC since the 2015 season. His unit has gone from one of the worst in NFL history, in ’15, to one of the top groups in the league.
  • Steelers DC Keith Butler will assume more responsibility next season. The team will not replace Joey Porter as outside linebackers coach, instead having Butler directly oversee that position in addition to his defensive coordinator duties, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Butler, who will enter his fifth year as Pittsburgh’s DC after being the team’s linebackers coach for 12 years, joins OC Randy Fichtner in doubling as a position coach. Fichtner still coaches the Steelers’ quarterbacks.
  • The Giants will hire one of Rutgers’ assistant coaches, Henry Baker, as assistant defensive backs coach, James Kratch and Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com report. This is interesting because Baker accepted a job with the Scarlet Knights for the 2019 season, and it was to be his second stint at Rutgers. This will be Baker’s first NFL job, though he did receive minority coaching internships with the Lions and Giants during recent offseasons. Baker will replace Deshea Townsend, who is now with the Bears. Football Scoop first reported the hire.
  • A former Giants great, Antonio Pierce spent the 2018 season on Herm Edwards‘ Arizona State staff. The Chiefs, however, were interested in prying Pierce away and making him their linebackers coach, per Marvez (on Twitter). But Pierce, who just wrapped up his first season as a college coach, opted to stay with the Sun Devils.

Cowboys Promote Kellen Moore To OC

The Cowboys have filled their offensive coordinator post, and it will be Kellen Moore who will take over for Scott Linehan. The team announced Moore, rumored to be the frontrunner for this post, will become an OC in his second season as a coach.

Jon Kitna will be the team’s new quarterbacks coach, taking over for Moore. The latter’s playing career did not conclude until after the 2017 season, and it is now fair to label Moore, at 29, as one of the fastest-rising assistants in NFL history.

Moore is expected to call plays next season, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Jason Garrett was initially rumored to reclaim play-calling duties, but the Cowboys prefer their head coach in a CEO-type role on game days. Dallas will be taking a gamble on an inexperienced coach, who will be flanked by Kitna — a high school head coach until being brought back to Dallas this month. Moore and Kitna served in their new roles at the Pro Bowl, Albert Breer of SI.com tweets.

The Cowboys made Dak Prescott a major part of this process, and the three-year starter again gave Moore a ringing endorsement, despite his lack of coaching credentials.

He can be crazy-creative,” Prescott said, via David Moore of the Dallas Morning News. “From the time he was a player to his time now, he sits over there, we’re watching plays and he’ll draw a play up and say, ‘Hey, this is a complement off that.’

“I mean that was the main reason I pushed for him to be the quarterback coach in the first place because I knew the intelligence he has in the game, how smart he is, how creative he can be. He’s a phenom when it comes to the game.”

Both Moore and Kitna, like Garrett, served as Cowboys backup quarterbacks for a time. Moore and Kitna started games with the team this decade. Kitna, 46, finished his career in 2011 as Tony Romo‘s backup, playing that role for two seasons. Moore was not turned to as frequently, last playing in a game in 2015. But the Cowboys kept the former Boise State standout around as a third-stringer through the 2017 campaign.

Over the past three years, the Cowboys’ offense regressed from fifth to 14th to 22nd — both in scoring and yardage — and the team wanted to promote from within to see if it could improve. No outside candidates were believed to have been interviewed, though tight ends coach Doug Nussmeier — a college OC from 2008-17 — will take on more responsibility.

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Kellen Moore Leading Candidate For Cowboys’ OC Job?

Kellen Moore may well be set for a staggering rise within the coaching profession. The 30-year-old former quarterback-turned-quarterbacks coach spent one season on the Cowboys’ staff and has been linked to the recently available offensive coordinator job.

Moore appears to be the favorite to land the position, Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram notes.

Jerry Jones is eyeing an internal hire to take the job Scott Linehan held, and Moore — whom the organization regards as a “bright football mind” after making a strong impression this season as QBs coach — is receiving heavy consideration for the role, per Davison. Tight ends coach Doug Nussmeier is also a candidate, Jones said.

Regardless of the Cowboys’ hire here, Jason Garrett is expected to call plays next season.

Dak Prescott will play a “significant” part in determining his next OC, Jones said. Jon Kitna, who also backed up Tony Romo for a time prior to Moore’s arrival, is joining Dallas’ staff in a to-be-determined role — one that ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter said would be as the Cowboys’ QBs coach. Moore rising from reserve quarterback to OC within two years would be a Romo-esque leap within a profession. Moore, who made two starts for the 2015 Cowboys, retired as a player in January 2018.

The Cowboys are not expected to make any more outside hires, according to Stephen Jones (via the Dallas Morning News’ Kate Hairopoulos, on Twitter). The current staff’s roles and titles are being discussed.

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East Rumors: Foles, Kitna, Belichick

It is all but certain that the Eagles will part ways with Nick Foles this offseason, and there has been plenty of speculation as to how that might happen given Foles’ present contract situation. The most-discussed scenarios involve the team basically forcing Foles to buy his way into free agency for $2MM, and even then, the Eagles could put the franchise tag on Foles and trade him, thus eliminating any voice that Foles might have in the matter.

But as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes, Foles and the Eagles have an excellent relationship, as evidenced by the team’s most recent gesture of goodwill. As such, JLC suggests that Philadelphia could pick up Foles’ 2019 option, thereby triggering a $20MM salary, and then orchestrate a trade to a team of Foles’ liking. Realistically, there are only a handful of teams that will be in the market for Foles, so by going that route, Foles could keep the above-referenced $2MM and still end up with a team that he would have signed with anyway (and he and his new team would likely enter into a long-term pact whether he is traded or signs as a free agent). As La Canfora observes, the Dolphins and Jaguars are the two clubs who have been linked to Foles thus far.

Now for a quick roundup of a few more east-related items:

  • We learned earlier today that the Cowboys could hire Jon Kitna as their QB coach and name Kellen Moore as their new OC. Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter), Kitna will indeed become Dallas’ QB coach, which means that Moore — who served as the team’s QB coach in 2018 — may very well take the OC reins. Schefter’s ESPN colleague, Chris Mortensen, reports that head coach Jason Garrett is “in line” to serve as the team’s offensive play-caller in 2019 regardless of who the OC is (Twitter link).
  • In the past couple of years, we have heard a lot about the tension among the three pillars of the Patriots‘ franchise: owner Robert Kraft, head coach Bill Belichick, and quarterback Tom Brady. But as Mike Reiss of ESPN.com observes, when Belichick recently commented on the upcoming 25th anniversary of Kraft’s ownership, he said, “[h]ope we can continue it for a long time.” That brief but telling statement is in keeping with what Reiss has been sensing of late, which is that Belichick, 66, will be coaching New England for the foreseeable future.
  • Alex Marvez of SiriusXM NFL Radio tweets that the Bills could promote offensive assistant Chad Hall to wide receivers coach to replace Terry Robiskie, who recently joined the Jaguars’ coaching staff.