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“Kellen Moore, QB Coach” Isn’t as Crazy as it Sounds

Kevin Brady

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Is QB Kellen Moore's Playing Career All But Over?
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

As will happen due to the short life span of a coach in the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys are planning to deal with a high amount of turnover on their coaching staff this offseason. While the Cowboys have decided to retain head coach Jason Garrett and both of his coordinators, Scott Linehan and Rod Marinelli, substantial change appears to be on the way at the position coach level.

The Cowboys are getting ready to replace their coach of the most high-profile and important position in football: Quarterback. And, it's been rumored the man who will be promoted to do the job is current Cowboys QB Kellen Moore.

Moore, who played in the final three games of the 2015 season for the Cowboys, lost his backup job this year to Cooper Rush. Rush simply outplayed Moore during the preseason, and most of Cowboys Nation was calling for Rush to win the QB2 job after those performances.

The one thing we've always heard about Kellen Moore, though, is how smart he is. And honestly, you can tell.

For someone as physically limited as he is to stick around in the NFL since 2012, he must have some value off the field. It was rumored last season that while Moore was out with a severe leg injury he worked with the coaches to scout opposing defenses weeks in advance. Obviously this would greatly help the team's preparation, allowing Moore to scout the future opponents as they were primarily focused on the team of the week.

But despite his football IQ, I've seen a lot of people against hiring Kellen Moore as the quarterbacks coach this year.

Kellen Moore

Dallas Cowboys QB Kellen Moore

The main argument against this hire would be the Cowboys accepting "more of the same." Fellow Staff Writer Sean Martin asked where the "fresh ideas" would come from this offseason, and hiring a current member of the team for a different role in the franchise certainly doesn't seem "fresh".

Still, I think that hiring Kellen Moore is a fine idea.

The fact that it wouldn't be "fresh" isn't that big of a deal. In fact, I contend that Moore's familiarity with both Scott Linehan and Dak Prescott would be an advantage.

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott had a shaky finish to his sophomore season, and due to these struggles his third season will be vital to both his development and the trust of the franchise in him.

I still believe in Dak Prescott as this team's franchise quarterback, and I do believe he will turn things around next season if given help by his pass catchers. But there's no question that a good quarterback coach would be helpful to the young quarterback this season.

Do we know that Kellen Moore will be a good quarterback coach for sure? Of course not. But hiring Moore -- who has a relationship with Prescott and knows this offense already -- on a cheap contract would be more advantageous than bringing in a high-profile outsider who would cost more money and come with a transition period.

The philosophies of internal vs. external recruiting in business have their pros and cons, but the key advantages of internal recruiting are limited cost and increased continuity. These outcomes can certainly be applied in sports as well.

I completely understand if you're ready to see Linehan and all associated with him out the door in Dallas, but it's clear that isn't going to happen in 2018. So, the Cowboys might as well make the best of it and surround Linehan with coaches who understand his philosophies.

Kellen Moore fits that bill perfectly.



Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. George_Johnson

    January 5, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    I think K Moore would be a good choice for the reasons you stated. I would add that most everyone says he will be a successful coach someday because of his football knowledge/smarts, obsession for more information and the fact his dad was a coach and he knows a ton from a coaches perspective.

    If I was K Moore I would think twice about taking the Dallas QB coach position and also reach out for other opportunities. One of K Moore’s best strengths is QB instincts/smarts and it is not clear to me you can teach that. He gained that from studying, practicing and playing QB relentlessly from the time he could walk as he was in a constant football environment with his dad as a coach. D Prescott can develop into a good dual purpose QB but probably will never be franchise QB. C Rush is probably not as good as K Moore based on his college performance VS K Moore and the fact he was a rookie last year and had his outstanding success playing third string QB and K Moore has several years of NFL experience. I actually think K Moore could contribute to coaching/mentoring D Prescott as the 2nd team backup QB. If I was K Moore I would ask to compete for the 2nd team backup QB in 2018. K Moore might be able to beat out C Rush for this position. If he will not be given this opportunity with Dallas or another team than it is time to start looking for the right coaching opportunity. My guess is K Moore will be a college head coach one day and could get the opportunity in Idaho or the northwest as he is a legend in Idaho and one of the best college QBs to every play. I believe the Dallas QB coaching job will likely be a one and done job unless Dallas really turns things around next year especially at QB. K Moore could help as a coach but can’t easily teach/pass on his QB instincts/smarts/acumen/knowhow/etc. to D Prescott or C Rush.

    • Daniel Helms

      January 5, 2018 at 7:11 pm

      I am not convinced that Dak can really be improved. Next year will be worse no matter how good the QB coach is. It is all about execution vs hype. Dak does not play with enough anticipation or accuraccy to be a starter. You can’t train on those. You either have or you don’t. He is the biggest problem not the WRs. Of course there were some drops but in most cases they were doue to inaccurate throws. He will never play with WRs who get open on every play. The DC’s got him pegged know, which means they will play him and not Zeke. I expected more of the same as the last 8 games. In my opinion, Rush and Moore should have split that last game. You really can’t tell each other’s playing ability without giving the same weapons and against the same level of competition as Dak.

      • Travis Diggs

        January 6, 2018 at 7:14 am

        For the people who dont believe Dak is the future. Check one stat, Cowboys Wr drops for this year. While many people still consider Mariota, Winston, Carr “franchise qbs” Dak outplayed all of them from comp perc to rush td. Be patient cowboys nation Dak’s are guy buts he needs help like any other qb in the nfl

      • Ronald Dulaney

        January 6, 2018 at 7:17 am

        I agree with George that Kellen should look for a chance to play and hold off on the coaching aspect.
        I also agree with Daniel that Kellen should have split the time with Cooper Rush in the last game. Could he have done any worse? in 2015, playing against basically the same second and third stringers of the Eagles, Kellen threw three touchdowns and broke the NFL rookie record for passing yards at home, one of only five times a Cowboy quarterback threw for over 500 yards..

  2. Travis Diggs

    January 6, 2018 at 7:23 am

    For some reason the average/ below-average players always have the best brains. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesnt. Jason Garrett and Wade Wilson were Troy Aikmen’s back ups forever but never really quality caliber players. The new Sean Mcvay that everybody loves in LA was never really a great qb. Its hit or miss with these guys. I personally would go outside the organization for a qb coach for Dak but thats just me, we need fresh ideas in Dallas

  3. Travis Diggs

    January 6, 2018 at 8:19 am

    Tony romo for qb coach/oc assistant

    • homeytennis

      January 8, 2018 at 11:21 am

      Atlanta’s QB coach Bush Hamdan was Kellen’s backup in college.

  4. Ronald Dulaney

    January 6, 2018 at 11:41 am

    As regards Kellen Moore, I’ve never seen a more credentialed Qb ( 4 time Heisman finalist; the ONLY 50 game winning College Qb; among the all-time College top four TD passes, 143; among the all-time College top 3 leaders in interception percentage, 25 Ints in 53 games and over 1400 passes) who has been given such a small evaluation window or sampling – 2 1/2 GAMES!! And then pronounced a Loser.
    Yes, he threw 6 ints and only 4 Tds, but Aikman through 8 ints and no TDS in his first three full games. I think he deserves at least a six-game sampling before the Judgment comes.

    • George_Johnson

      January 8, 2018 at 9:10 am

      I agree with you. However, K Moore if he was to get to play in the NFL would have to really excel at his strengths (which S Linehan believed he could do) in order to overcome and compensate for his weaknesses ( i.e. lack of a real strong arm, small size, lack of athleticism and lack of ability to run). He could however be a great 2nd team backup QB that could come in an consistently do all the right things to be effective.

  5. Russ_Te

    January 7, 2018 at 8:11 am

    Moore’s football philosophy has been wrecked by Linehan… ;^)

    I think he will (if he wants) go on to a big coaching future somewhere. I also think Dak Year 3 is a critical juncture and maybe even crossroads for him and the team. If it has to be under Garrett, we need a rising OC star to coach him (and be the heir apparent for Garrett). That is the least Jones should do with this offseason.

    The obvious comparison is Bengals OC Bill Walsh getting the 49’ers job (circa 1979), drafting Joe Montana in the 3rd round and Montana eating up the curriculum and then the league. That is what Dak needs.

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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: Hablemos de los Coaches

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys en Español: Hablemos de los Coaches
Smiley N. Pool / The Dallas Morning News

Lamentablemente, la temporada 2018 de los Dallas Cowboys ha llegado a su fin. Lo hizo cuando el equipo visitó Los Angeles para intentar sorprender a los Rams en su propio campo en la Ronda Divisional de los playoffs. Ni siquiera con una invasión exitosa de la afición de Dallas pudieron ganarse un pase al Campeonato de Conferencia. En vez de eso, los Cowboys estarán viendo desde casa y la afición estará preguntándose: ¿qué sigue para los Dallas Cowboys?

Parece ya una tradición anual que no podemos dejar pasar. Este momento en el que comenzamos a cuestionar, una vez más, que entrenador es digno de quedarse en la franquicia y cual debe irse. En esta edición de "Cowboys en Español," hablaremos específicamente de los tres principales coaches en el equipo.

Cowboys DC Rod Marinelli Should Be On The Hot Seat

Coordinador Defensivo Rod Marinelli

El futuro del coordinador defensivo de los Dallas Cowboys no se puede tratar sin mencionar a Kris Richard. Fue la defensiva la que llevó al equipo hasta la postemporada y fue la unidad que cargó al equipo en muchas de sus victorias. Incluso con la llegada de Amari Cooper a Dallas, la defensiva fue siempre el pilar de la franquicia esta temporada.

Jaylon Smith y Leighton Vander Esch sorprendentemente se perfilaron como uno de los mejores duos de linebackers en toda la liga, la línea defensiva fue muy exitosa con Randy Gregory y DeMarcus Lawrence en los extremos y con la grata sorpresa que fue Antwaun Woods en el centro. La secundaria vio la mejor temporada en la controversial carrera de Byron Jones e hizo un excelente trabajo con un talento decente, pero no genial.

Todo esto, y el haber terminado como la sexta mejor defensiva en puntos permitidos (20.2) y la quinta mejor contra la corrida (94.6), hace a Rod Marinelli merecedor de una ronda de aplausos. Sin embargo, Richard probablemente merezca más aplausos.

Fue Richard quien revolucionó la defensiva de los Cowboys y la convirtió en un grupo mucho más agresivo. Fue él quien implementó jugadas de "blitz" en el equipo (algo no común con Marinelli) y quien en un punto de la temporada, comenzó a seleccionar las jugadas desde la banda.

En esta posición, me parece que los Dallas Cowboys tienen que enfrentar la dura decisión de decirle a Marinelli que es tiempo de dejarle el puesto a Kris Richard. Si bien no se llevó un trabajo de head coach, es muy probable que le llovieran ofertas a Richard si no se hace con el título de coordinador defensivo en Dallas.

Scott Linehan Acknowledges Need for New "Wrinkles" in Cowboys Offense

Dallas Cowboys OC Scott Linehan (Tim Heitman / USA TODAY Sports)

Coordinador Ofensivo Scott Linehan

Con un equipo tan polémico como este, la afición de Dallas no concuerda en muchas cosas. Sin embargo, lo hacen al hablar del pésimo trabajo que Scott Linehan ha realizado mandando las jugadas en ofensiva. Realmente ha sido doloroso de ver y es en mi opinión, el mayor problema que tiene el equipo actualmente.

Semana tras semana, fuimos testigos de pésimas decisiones en la ofensiva de los Cowboys. Vimos como el equipo se aferraba a llenar la caja de defensivos antes de correr el balón con Ezekiel Elliott. Vimos incontables pases pantalla en tercera oportunidad y largo. Pero no solo es lo que vimos, sino lo que no vimos.

A pesar de la innegable habilidad para correr el balón de Dak Prescott, Linehan se rehusó a explotar esta versatilidad de su QB. Vimos pocos "QB sneaks," jugada donde el mariscal toma el balón bajo centro y consigue poco yardage detrás del empuje de su línea ofensiva.

Siendo honestos, los Cowboys llevan dos años sufriendo por este coordinador. Dejarlo volver en el 2019 sería una decisión ridícula. Los comentarios en la radio de Jason Garrett no lucen prometedores, pero realmente sería una sorpresa que fueran ciertos. Linehan no debe volver... punto.

Jerry Jones Delivers Vote of Confidence in "Real Deal" Jason Garrett

Head Coach Jason Garrett

El futuro en esta posición será muy debatido durante los próximos meses, pero de los tres que hemos mencionado es sin lugar a dudas el más seguro de todos. Nos guste o no, Jason Garrett estará al frente del equipo la próxima temporada.

Garrett está lejos de ser un gran coach y aún le hace falta demostrar que puede cumplir las aspiraciones de los Cowboys de traer un sexto Trofeo Lombardi a casa. Pero siendo honesto, este equipo debería tener suficiente con Garrett y un par de buenos coordinadores. ¿El problema? No hay un par de buenos coordinadores en el equipo.

Sin embargo, Garrett ha demostrado que cuenta con el amor y apoyo de sus jugadores. Ha demostrado que efectivamente, puede ganar la división (lo ha hecho en tres de los últimos cinco años). Este año el equipo le dio la vuelta a la temporada después de comenzar 3-5.

Lo más preocupante en mi opinión, es la falta de urgencia para despedir a Linehan, por ejemplo. Quizá a puerta cerrada Garrett quiere un cambio en su staff, pero nunca lo sabremos.

Jason Garrett no es un coach excelente, pero podría ser suficiente para llevar a los Cowboys a un Super Bowl si tiene un equipo adecuado. Todo parece indicar que su trabajo está seguro (incluso más de lo que pensamos) así que es tiempo de esperar que se arreglen sus coordinadores.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Hablemos de los Coaches" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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Star Blog

2018 Draft Class Season Review: LB Leighton Vander Esch

Kevin Brady

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Leighton Vander Esch Lands on List of NFL's Top 10 Rookies

As the first round draft pick of America's Team, any player would be under a ton of pressure from all angles. Whether it's from the fans on the outside or the organization on the inside, the expectations around being a first round pick for the Cowboys are immense. But the pressure placed upon linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, from the second he was announced as the 19th overall draft pick, was second to none.

It felt like Cowboys Nation let out a collective groan when Vander Esch was taken, with fans hoping for a more glamorous first round selection. Someone like wide receiver Calvin Ridley or edge rusher Harold Landry would've done the trick, but after Vander Esch's rookie season it's hard to imagine either of those players would have had the impact Vander Esch did in 2018.

Though he didn't start a game until week 4, and didn't become the unquestioned full-time starting WILL until week 10, Vander Esch earned Pro Bowl honors for his rookie season. Tallying 140 total tackles and 2 interceptions, Vander Esch made his presence felt week in and week out.

No counting stats can fully measure Leighton Vander Esch's impact as a rookie, however.

Prior to the 2018 season, the Cowboys defensive success often came down to the health of Sean Lee. When available and playing at his best, Lee led an overachieving Cowboys defense to solid performances each week. But, when Lee went out (as he often did), the entire Cowboys defense seemed to fall apart.5 Studs and Duds From the Dallas Cowboys 2018 Season

This year, though, that all changed. When Sean Lee was out with injury the Cowboys defense got better. Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith became a versatile, hard hitting tandem the NFL immediately feared, and helped to direct the Cowboys defense to signature wins throughout the 2018 season.

There are arguments against taking any off-ball linebacker in the first round, as the value of the position has been questioned due to the new style of offense in the NFL. Nowadays linebackers are relegated to two-down players, taken off the field in favor of faster defensive backs on critical passing downs.

Leighton Vander Esch is athletic enough to be both an old school run stopper, but also a three down linebacker in today's fast paced NFL.

Despite the doubts which surrounded the pick, the Cowboys absolutely nailed their first round selection in 2018. And Leighton Vander Esch made Dallas' front office look like geniuses each and every Sunday.



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Star Blog

What Is The Cowboys Most Pressing Offseason Need?

Kevin Brady

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Can we Believe General Manager Jerry Jones?

Finishing their season with a Division Round loss, Dallas Cowboys fans are getting a somewhat late start on the 2019 offseason. Of course, we'd much rather a later start, but the results are what they are.

Now Dallas must get better, and re-tool before heading into Dak Prescott's fourth season, and the Cowboys' 2019 campaign. Though they didn't feel all that close to a championship this season, looking around the roster, it's actually tough to identify one key need the Cowboys must address.

They are filled with young, talented players that they have high hopes for across the board. And in the places they are "older," such as across the offensive line, they have established veterans who aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

So what is the Cowboys' most pressing offseason need?

Well, despite already using their 2019 first round pick to address it, the answer very well might be wide receiver.

Adding Amari Cooper midseason provided a massive jolt to the Cowboys previously anemic passing attack, but on his own he is not enough to take this passing game to where it needs to be to compete in this new NFL.

Third round pick Michael Gallup is going to be a very good pro, and progressed really well as his rookie season went on. I think he can play opposite Amari Cooper nicely, and be the number two option in the passing game going forward.

Though arguably their best wide out against man coverage, Cole Beasley is a free agent, and if the reports are true about Scott Linehan returning in 2019 it could very well mean Beasley will not be opting to sign back with Dallas.

Regardless of Beasley's decision, however, the Cowboys need to seriously evaluate their pass catchers heading into next season.

This is a passing league. The rules have dictated that you must be able to pass the ball efficiently if you want to compete with the best of the best around the NFL. To take the next step in their progression, and reach an NFC title game and/or Super Bowl, Dak Prescott will need to have as explosive a group of pass catchers as possible.

The Cowboys have already taken solid steps to making this a reality, but another move or two this offseason could go a long way to putting Dallas in the conversation with teams like the Rams and the Saints in 2019.



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