Kellen Moore

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.

Coaching Rumors: Cowboys, Gruden, Bengals

The Cowboys‘ offensive coordinator position is now vacant after the team parted ways with Scott Linehan several days ago, and we learned that tight ends coach Doug Nussmeier may be the favorite to replace Linehan. However, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com suggests that Dallas could look to promote quarterbacks coach Kellen Moore — whom Rapoport described as “fast-rising” and “impressive” — to the OC job (Twitter link). If that happens, RapSheet suggests that the team could add another one of its former QBs to the coaching staff by hiring Jon Kitna, most recently the offensive coordinator for the AAF’s San Diego Fleet, as the new quarterbacks coach.

As Jerry Jones mulls the coaching credentials of his former signal-callers, let’s take a look at other coaching rumors from around the league:

  • Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports believes that the Redskins‘ failed pursuit of Todd Bowles and Gregg Williams does not bode well for head coach Jay Gruden‘s future in Washington. La Canfora writes that owner Dan Snyder put the “full-court press” on Bowles, and if Bowles had said he would only join the Redskins as a head coach, Snyder may have gone for it. Gruden will return in 2019, but if he does not lead the Redskins to a playoff berth, La Canfora would not be surprised if Snyder reaches out to Bowles and Williams again, perhaps to discuss a head coaching position.
  • If the Patriots prevail in today’s AFC Championship Game, the Dolphins will meet with New England de facto defensive coordinator and future Miami head coach Brian Flores during the week before the Super Bowl to discuss staffing and other issues, per Rapoport (via Twitter). The Fins can formally commit to Flores as their next HC at that time.
  • The Bengals have been very hands-off with their presumptive new head coach, Zac Taylor, but Rapoport (video link) says that is only because the team is closely adhering to league rules regarding coaching hires (Taylor, of course, is the Rams’ quarterbacks coach, and the Rams’ season isn’t over yet). Rapoport says Cincinnati still fully intends to hire Taylor, and he names Jack Del Rio as a potential defensive coordinator on Taylor’s new staff. La Canfora agrees that Del Rio is a DC target, and he adds John Fox as another possibility. Both JLC and RapSheet say that Raiders QB coach Brian Callahan is a top choice for offensive coordinator.
  • Former Cardinals tight ends coach Jason Michael will join the Colts in the same capacity, a source tells Albert Breer of The MMQB (on Twitter). Michael served as the Titans’ offensive coordinator from 2014-15 and was the team’s QB coach from 2016-17.

Cowboys Notes: Dez, Lawrence, O’Quinn

Speaking to the media today, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he intends on wide receiver Dez Bryant being part of the club’s roster in 2018, but wouldn’t comment on a possible pay cut for the mercurial pass-catcher, according to Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). Bryant will turn 30 years old during the 2018 campaign, and is coming off a disappointing season in which he managed only 69 receptions, 838 yards, and six touchdowns, the third straight campaign in which Bryant has failed to top 1,000 yards receiving. He’s due a base salary of $12.5MM next year, so while Jones refused to touch the subject of a pay reduction, the topic figures to come up this offseason.

Here’s more from Dallas, with all links going to George’s Twitter account:

  • While Bryant’s contract will be on the Cowboys’ docket over the next several months, the team’s “first goal” is to sign defensive end Demarcus Lawrence to a long-term extension, said executive vice president Stephen Jones (link). A multi-year pact is always preferable to the franchise tag from a team’s perspective thanks to the salary cap implications of each contract, but Lawrence holds all the leverage after a posting a 12.5-sack performance in 2017. A one-year franchise tender for the 25-year-old Lawrence will cost the Cowboys nearly $18MM.
  • Jerry Jones confirmed reports that the Cowboys have re-signed running backs coach Gary Brown and hired the recently-retired Kellen Moore as the club’s quarterbacks coach (link). Both the Raiders and Texans expressed interest in hiring Brown this offseason, but Dallas had always maintained dialogue with the longtime coach, who joined the Cowboys in 2013. Moore, meanwhile, has a backer in Dallas offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, who has called Moore a “machine” in terms of learning and communicating.
  • The Cowboys are closing in on a deal to promote assistant special teams coach Keith O’Quinn to the lead role, per Jones (link). O’Quinn would replace Rich Bisaccia, who left Dallas to become an assistant head coach/special teams with Jon Gruden‘s Raiders. This was one of two possible outcomes, as reports had indicated O’Quinn would either be promoted to the full-time special teams role or take over as the Cowboys’ tight ends coach.

Cowboys QB Kellen Moore To Retire

Kellen Moore is calling it a career. The Cowboys quarterback will retire and become the team’s new QBs coach., a source tells Alex Marvez of The Sporting NewsKellen Moore (vertical)

Moore, 29 in July, was cut by the Cowboys during the season. In October, he signed on with the Cowboys’ practice squad.

Although Moore’s career began in 2012, he has only three career appearances. Of course, he was in line to start in 2016 when Tony Romo was injured, but an injury of his own opened the door for rookie sensation Dak Prescott. With Dallas, Moore went 0-2 as a starter with four touchdowns, six interceptions, and a 58.7% completion rate.

Moore will now replace Wade Wilson, who is on an expiring contract and will not be brought back. Moore does not have coaching experience, but he did spent five of his six NFL seasons under the tutelage of Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. Moore was not blessed with the tools of other NFL QBs, but his football IQ that kept him in Dallas for multiple seasons. He’ll now apply that knowhow on the sidelines.

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Cowboys Sign Kellen Moore To P-Squad

Kellen Moore‘s time in Dallas will continue despite the Cowboys releasing him on Thursday. The Cowboys are signing the sixth-year quarterback to their practice squad, Todd Archer of ESPN.com reports.

This represents the same path the 29-year-old passer took earlier this year when Dallas released him post-training camp. The Cowboys brought Moore back soon after his September release via their practice squad and promoted him to their active roster soon after.

It’s possible Moore could return to the Cowboys’ active roster soon enough, and this latest set of transactions shows the team values the left-handed signal-caller as an in-case-of-emergency option. The Cowboys run the risk of another team poaching the Boise State product, but Moore was free to sign with anyone on multiple occasions this year — including in March when the Cowboys retained him on a one-year deal — and he ended up staying in Texas.

The Cowboys cut Moore on Thursday in order to promote Blake Jarwin, thus preventing the Eagles from signing rookie tight end to their active roster.

Dak Prescott and rookie UDFA Cooper Rush, who received his first game action against the 49ers, are ahead of Moore on Dallas’ depth chart.

 

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Cowboys Release Kellen Moore

Kellen Moore hasn’t played in a game since the 2015 season, but he’s been with the Cowboys during each regular-season week since — be it on IR or as a backup. However, the Cowboys notified him of his release on Thursday, Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports (on Twitter).

The Cowboys cut Moore to make room for tight end Blake Jarwin from their practice squad, Hill reports. Moore was serving as a reserve in Dak Prescott-fronted signal-caller group, but Dallas cut the veteran previously and had prioritized undrafted rookie Cooper Rush.

Hill reports (via Twitter) the Cowboys promoted Rush because they worried another team was going to sign him off their practice squad. The Eagles were interested in poaching Jarwin, Todd Archer of ESPN.com reports.

Rush is now the only backup passer on Dallas’ roster. Rush played in one Cowboys game this season, Sunday against the 49ers, and threw two passes. Moore has not played since being one of the Tony Romo replacement options the team deployed in 2015.

The Cowboys cut Moore after the preseason but brought him back a few days later. He still has practice squad eligibility if the Cowboys choose to retain him as they did in September.

Jarwin joined the Cowboys in the same UDFA class Rush did, signing with the team in May out of Oklahoma State. He’s spent the season on Dallas’ practice squad. He caught 19 passes for 309 yards and two touchdowns last season with the Stillwater, Okla.-based Cowboys.

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Cowboys To Re-Sign QB Kellen Moore

The Cowboys are bringing back quarterback Kellen Moore, team owner Jerry Jones told 105.3 The Fan (Twitter link via Jon Machota of the Dallas News). However, he declined to say whether Moore would serve as Dak Prescott‘s backup for the season opener against the Giants. Kellen Moore (vertical)

When Moore missed the initial 53-man cut, it was assumed that undrafted free agent Cooper Rush had won the job as Prescott’s top understudy. That’s not necessarily the case. The Cowboys will carry all three QBs on the 53-man roster, but it’s possible that one of Rush or Moore will be on the active 46-man roster. Even if all three are dressed for game day, Moore could be the one to get the call if Prescott goes down with an injury.

Moore, 29, spent last year on IR after suffering an injury that opened the door to Prescott‘s remarkable rise. He was retained with a one-year, $775K deal in March, but a poor preseason led the Cowboys to consider other options.

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