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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 am currently a college student. Lets get going.

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10 Comments
  • George_Johnson

    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

      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

        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

        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..

  • Travis Diggs

    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

  • Travis Diggs

    Tony romo for qb coach/oc assistant

    • homeytennis

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

  • Ronald Dulaney

    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

      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.

  • Russ_Te

    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.

Star Blog

Cowboys Defense is Ready to Win Now, Time for Offense to Prove the Same

Sean Martin

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Cowboys Defense is Ready to Win Now, Time for Offense to Prove the Same
(Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)

The Dallas Cowboys lead the NFC East at 1-1, and have a favorable schedule ahead of them. With such an inexperienced roster, early season growing pains were expected, and likely should be still as the team comes off their first win to play in Seattle on Sunday.

Through a season opening clunker in Carolina and hard-earned divisional win against the Giants, the Cowboys have exceeded already high expectations on defense.

With the currently 0-2 Seahawks, Lions, and Texans awaiting Dallas, the time is now for Scott Linehan's offense to hit their stride. It will take more than a five week assessment to determine if the Cowboys are truly playoff contenders for 2018, but it could take even less than that for Cowboys Nation to realize this team is fighting an uphill battle at QB and WR.

Following Dak Prescott's 64-yard touchdown pass to Tavon Austin against the Giants, the Cowboys punted on four of their remaining seven drives. The Cowboys did a better job mixing up their early down play calling to remain ahead of the chains for most of the night, but even still their execution was lacking. Finishing three of ten on third downs, the Cowboys didn't sustain the type of originality on offense that earned them an early cushion.

Thankfully, the Cowboys turning back the clock to 2016 on a clinching touchdown drive of 14 plays would be all the defense needed. Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott would both convert a pair of first downs on the ground. The Cowboys took a 20-3 lead, and more importantly the game clock down to 5:45 with an eight minute and 23 second march.

As such, the Cowboys offense is an enigma. With the return of Brice Butler, the team is currently carrying seven wide receivers and four tight ends.

On defense, the Cowboys are expecting reinforcements in Xavier Woods, Randy Gregory, and David Irving to further bolster this aggressive, blitzing unit in the coming weeks. For the offense, Dallas must make the most out of the unknown depth they have, without any drastic change in style around the corner.

The Cowboys record under Prescott proves they're at their best when Dak is efficient. The ceiling for a new-look Cowboys offense built for Dak is not as high for this reason. Through just two weeks, it's clear that the Cowboys offense will be as good as the sum of its parts - instead of relying on any individual talents.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Cowboys' record when Dak Prescott ... Doesn't throw an interception: 20-4 Records at least a 100.0 passer rating: 15-1 Commits no turnovers: 18-1

After a strong preseason from rookie Wide Receiver Michael Gallup, the third-round pick has played less than half his team's offensive snaps through two games. Cole Beasley has seemed to regain his connection with Prescott, snagging a team high nine catches so far. Terrance Williams has been a non-factor, and the same is surprisingly said about FA acquisition Allen Hurns.

Regardless of what the Cowboys do over the coming weeks, a few narratives and lingering questions about the team feel evident. With the defense set to tee off against the Seahawks sub par OL this week, Rod Marinelli's unit will still likely not receive the credit it deserves heading into week four.

With the task at hand being maintaining their standing atop the division, the Cowboys must also be out to prove they can sustain success without a consistent passing game.

All of this to effectively say, the Cowboys are going to Seattle expecting to control the game on defense. To finish off Russell Wilson in his home opener (already at 0-2), it will take a sharper performance for a full four quarters on offense too.

A win at the Seahawks might not mean as much as it has in past seasons, but in improving the Cowboys record to 2-1 on the way back to AT&T Stadium, it could be all the confidence they need to understand the NFC East is theirs for the taking while continuing to truly find their identity.

2014 NFL: Week 6 Cowboys vs. Seahawks highlights

Week 6 Own by nfl

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys Defense is Ready to Win Now, Time for Offense to Prove the Same" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Cowboys Defense So Far So Good as Seahawks Up Next

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Cowboys Defense So Far So Good as Seahawks Up Next

Dallas may only be 1-1 on the season, but the Cowboys are officially tied for first-place in the NFC East, and fresh off a workmanlike victory over divisional rivals, the New York Giants. It was a game they should have won, and did win, but the takeaways so early in the season are that, although the offense has not clicked on all cylinders, the defense is getting high praise.

The Cowboys sacked New York’s Eli Manning six times and limited the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 draft, Saquon Barkley, to a mere 28 yards rushing. It was also a night in which Dak Prescott not only out-gained Barkley by 17 yards on the ground, but torched the Giants’ secondary on a 64-yard touchdown strike to Tavon Austin which proved New York’s Safety Landon Collins wrong when leading up to this game he remarked that the key to a Giants’ victory would be getting Prescott to throw. When Prescott was made aware of the comment in a midweek interview he replied, "…challenge accepted," and the third-year veteran made good on his word leading to the 20-13 victory.

However, Prescott ended the night with just 160 yards passing yet the ankle injury he sustained in Week 1 showed no signs of rearing its head as Prescott moved seamlessly in the pocket and ran the ball well.

As we move ahead to the Cowboys meeting in Seattle, we take a quick check over to one of the most reputable online sportsbooks in the industry - Intertops according to the reviews - where we can monitor the line on this pivotal NFC clash as the week progresses.

Seattle boasts a talented quarterback of their own in Russell Wilson but one who will find the sledding tough if the Dallas defense continues to shut down All-World wide outs like Odell Beckham Jr. and contain future rushing stars like Saquon Barkley. Outside of Wilson, Seattle is not loaded offensively, with their biggest target, Doug Baldwin, ailing with a knee injury and a backfield which consists of two young rushers in second-year man Chris Carson and a first-round rookie in Rashaad Penny who dealt with nagging injuries throughout the preseason and looked unsettled in Seattle’s 27-24 loss to the Broncos.

The Cowboys defense has already proven its worth in Carolina with Cam Newton under center and again last week against New York. The unit is surrendering an average of 14 ½ points per game and is incorporating more blitz packages than we’ve come to expect.

The difference this year is that the players they have on defense are capable of getting to the quarterback quick enough so that the coverage linebackers and secondary aren’t alone on an island for too long. The one concern is the status of Linebacker Sean Lee, who checked out of the game in the fourth quarter Sunday night and brought to mind his hamstring issues of a year ago, but apparently it was in fact cramping, and not straining, of the hammy which allowed Lee to return.

The bottom line in terms of the Cowboys' upcoming matchup on Sunday afternoon is that they will get the Seahawks coming off a short week, as Seattle played on Monday night and should be relatively healthy for the contest.

Dak Prescott may not have the formidable offensive line that he has had in the past, nor a top-tier arsenal of receivers, but he does have the elusive Ezekiel Elliott in the backfield and is capable of extricating himself from pressure situations when no target is available.

If the Dallas defense continues to play at the current level, it will not only be limiting the opposition on the scoreboard but putting its offense in good field position throughout. So check out Intertops, one of the most trusted and reputable online sportsbooks, to see where this line goes because a Dallas win and an ATS cover are just days away.



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Star Blog

Taco Tuesday: Cowboys DE Taco Charlton Starting to Dominate?

Brian Martin

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Taco Tuesday: DE Taco Charlton Starting to Dominate?
(Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)

There has been quite a bit of talk about what a bad decision it was for the Dallas Cowboys to draft Taco Charlton with their first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Nearly everybody wanted someone different, not a player that needed time to develop.

Well, fast forward a year later and it looks as if the Cowboys made the right decision.

Don't look now, but Defensive End Taco Charlton is starting to live up to that first-round pedigree. In the first two weeks of the 2018 season, Charlton has already looked like a much improved player from what we saw a season ago. Imagine that, a little bit of time to develop and he's turning into a solid player.

I know I may be getting a little bit ahead of myself, especially suggesting that he is starting to dominate, but I can't help myself. I'm that excited about how much he has improved in one offseason. I may be alone here, but I have high hopes he could turn into something special.

In 2017, Taco Charlton failed to start a single game for the Dallas Cowboys as a rookie. That's not really what you want from your first-round draft pick. To makes matters worse, in 16 games he only registered 25 total tackles, four QB sacks, two passes defensed, and one forced fumble. As you can imagine, it didn't sit well with most Cowboys fans.

Luckily, it looks as if Charlton's offseason in the Dallas Cowboys strength and conditioning program has paid off. Already in 2018 he has accumulated six total tackles, one QB sack, one pass defensed, and recovered a fumble. If he keeps this pace up, we could be looking at #97 reaching double-digit sacks this year.

Taco Charlton

Dallas Cowboys DE Taco Charlton

Now, I wouldn't call what Taco Charlton has accomplished so far this season dominating, but he is proving to be a starting quality DE along the Cowboys defensive line. It's a unit that has looked really good in the first two weeks of the season and is expected to be even better once Randy Gregory and David Irving are able to return to the field.

In the meantime, the Dallas Cowboys are happy to get plays like this from Taco Charlton.

Taco Charlton Eli Manning sack

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

This is a play Charlton is expected to make. He was left unblocked, but we've seen players left unblocked before not make the play. So, it may not be as impressive as some QB sacks. But, I'll take the routine tackle any day over someone trying to make a splash play and failing.

If you're looking for an impressive play from Taco Charlton, take a look at what he was able to do against Odell Beckham Jr. in the passing game.

Taco Charlton covering Odell Beckham Jr

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

In case you're wondering, that's Taco Charlton in OBJ's hip pocket 15 yards down the field in pass coverage. It looks as if that's where Eli Manning was wanting to go with the ball, but tight coverage by the Cowboys, and Charlton, across the board ended up resulting in a QB sack.

If you don't find that impressive, I don't know what will. A 275 pound DE covering arguably the best and highest paid wide receiver down the field is almost unheard of. I would count that as impressive.

What do you think of Taco Charlton's play so far in 2018?



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