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The Cowboys offense led the NFL in yards per game and points per game in 2021. As the architect of that unit, offensive coordinator Kellen Moore was expected to be a hot prospect for teams in the market for a new head coach this offseason. Sure enough, the 33-year-old received invites to sit down with four teams, some of those requests to discuss his next step coming before the Cowboys’ regular season had even concluded.
“Obviously, if the opportunity shows up, that would be awesome,” Moore said back in late December. “But we’ve got to take care of this thing first.” That was when Dallas was still priming themselves for what they believed would be a deep postseason run.
Now, of course, the Cowboys are watching the playoffs from home. And reports suggest that Moore will be taking care of this thing for at least another season.
According to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network, Moore is not expected to receive a head-coaching offer from any of the teams he has interviewed with. Wilson cites “league sources not authorized to speak publicly” in his report.
Moore met with representatives from Jacksonville, Denver, Minnesota, and Miami over a span of about 12 days. But as per Wilson, “at least one hiring committee came away wondering if he has the commanding personality and leadership style to stand in front of an entire team and grab players’ attention.”
To be sure, Moore has a soft-spoken way about him. And he’s just two years older than a couple of his unit’s star players, Tyron Smith and Zack Martin; he’s three years older than backup lineman Ty Nsekhe.
After setting the college record for wins by a quarterback, Moore had an unremarkable stint as a pro passer, throwing just 104 balls (61 completions, four touchdowns, six interceptions) over a six-year career. After beginning in Detroit, he ended in Dallas, where a 2016 training camp injury helped pave the way for a rookie named Dak Prescott to be named the starter on opening day.
Moore became the Cowboys’ quarterbacks coach in 2018 after announcing his retirement. The next year, under head coach Jason Garrett, he was the team’s offensive coordinator and considered one of the brightest young playcallers in the league. He was retained by Mike McCarthy upon his hire in Dallas in 2020. Moore had an offer to become head coach of his alma mater, Boise State, and met with the Philadelphia Eagles in early 2021, but he ended up staying with the Cowboys.
It’s been a rapid ascent for Moore on the Cowboys coaching staff, one that McCarthy says will end with him being a head coach somewhere, despite his offense going out on a low note in this year’s wild-card exit.
“Kellen is on a fast track,” McCarthy said, even as Moore was in the middle of his four-team interview slate. “I think he’s definitely someone that’s worthy of this, and he has prepared himself very well.”
Now all signs are pointing to Moore getting another year of prep to put on his resume as he looks to keep the Cowboys offense among the league’s elite and build on 2021’s stats with postseason success.
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