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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

QB Dak Prescott Continues To Come Through In Clutch Situations

Kevin Brady

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Dak Prescott Continues To Be Money In Clutch Si

Dak Prescott is possibly the most criticized quarterback in all of football.

Of course, this comes with the territory of being the Cowboys starting quarterback, but each throw Prescott attempts is placed under an intense microscope, even by NFL standards. We analyze every snap of every game, looking to find where Dak was right or wrong with this reads.

There's no question, though, that Prescott has been inconsistent throughout his young career. Week to week, drive to drive, and even play to play, we seemingly have no gauge on just how Dak Prescott will perform.

One scenario where we can say with confidence he will come through, however, is when it matters most. Last Sunday, in yet another must-win game for the Dallas Cowboys, Prescott orchestrated a game winning drive to lead his team over the favored Atlanta Falcons.

The Cowboys offense was pedestrian for much of the afternoon, but when Prescott got the ball in a tied game, I felt confident he would give Brett Maher a chance to win the game. Even on the road, and even after the offense had struggled a bit through the air all day.

Prescott got the ball late in the fourth quarter, looking to answer former NFL MVP Matt Ryan's game tying touchdown strike to Julio Jones. Dak went for it all on the first play, looking for Michael Gallup deep down the sideline, but the ball fell incomplete. After that throw, Prescott went 4/5 for 45 yards, including a huge completion to Cole Beasley, putting Dallas in game winning field goal range.

This confidence in Dak Prescott is justified, as is shown by his numbers in late game situations. Prescott now has 12 game winning drives, tying him for the league lead over the last three seasons. For comparison sake, Eagles starter Carson Wentz has just 3 game winning drives over that same stretch.

Overall the box score shows a rather quiet day for Prescott, but it was exactly the kind of Sunday they need from him. He completed over 60% of his passes, ran for a touchdown, and avoided the key turnover which could have sung this close game.

He played efficient football, and gave the Cowboys a chance to win it late. Then, he did what he does best, making plays in clutch situations and coming through in the 2 minute drill.

For all of Dak Prescott's flaws, those end-of-half and end-of-game situations have been a clear strength for the young quarterback, and continued to be this week.



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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: Evaluando la Administración

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Can we Believe General Manager Jerry Jones?

Entre los aficionados de los Dallas Cowboys, pocas cosas son criticadas tan frecuentemente como la administración de la franquicia que no ha ganado ningún Super Bowl en más de dos décadas. Se ha convertido en un equipo que, a pesar de ser el más valioso en el mundo deportivo, no ha sido nada relevante en el emparrillado. Lo que alguna vez fue una dinastía se ha convertido en una unidad que rompe frecuentemente los corazones de los fans.

Jerry Jones y Stephen Jones, siendo los operadores del ámbito deportivo del negocio familiar, son criticados semana tras semana y en gran parte por justa razón. Pero en gran parte, por cosas no muy válidas.

Cambios de Coach

A mi parecer, lo más criticable para la administración de este equipo viene cuando hablamos de los coaches. Muchos se burlan de los Cincinnati Bengals y de la manera en la que están atascados con el Head Coach Marvin Lewis. Con Jason Garrett al volante, la situación para los Cowboys no es nada diferente.

A mediados de la temporada 2018, no parece que esta narrativa vaya a cambiar. Una vez más, los Cowboys arrancaron de una manera muy inconsistente y ya no sabemos que esperar de ellos. Gran parte de las derrotas, la mayor parte, es el coacheo.

Sin duda el equipo no será exactamente el mismo en 2019, pero ¿serán suficientes los cambios como para decidir quedarse con el mismo capitán que no ha podido mantener el barco navegando por años?

El Draft

A diferencia de como se manejan muchos equipos en la liga, los Jones fungen como general managers de su propio equipo. Con la ayuda de Will McClay han logrado superar varios de los fracasos de los Jones de antaño, pero actualmente, siendo sinceros no han hecho un mal trabajo.

A pesar de las critícas de Abril, Leighton Vander Esch está probando haber valido más que la pena. Siendo objetivos, aparte de Taco Charlton en el 2017, todas las selecciones de primera ronda de los Cowboys han sido valiosas. La línea ofensiva, el corredor, un cornerback que por fin se está perfilando como uno de los mejores en la liga.

En cuanto a la segunda ronda, ha habido varias críticas, muchas con razón. Pero el mejor caza cabezas del equipo, DeMarcus Lawrence, el linebacker Jaylon Smith, Randy Gregory y más están teniendo un impacto muy fuerte en el equipo.

Decisiones difíciles

La administración se ha visto en la necesidad de tomar decisiones bastante difíciles después de una temporada de nueve victorias en 2017. El LB Anthony Hitchens fue liberado, Dan Bailey se fue inesperadamente, se confió en Byron Jones para tomar su opción de quinto año.

Hasta ahora, pura decisión digna de aplaudirse. Pero ninguna como la más reciente de todas: Amari Cooper.

Por más caro que haya salido, los Cowboys merecen bastante crédito por haber mejorado muchísimo su posición de WR. Si el equipo llega a tener una oportunidad esta temporada, será en gran parte por él.

No cabe ninguna duda en mi cabeza de que los Jones han cometido errores a lo largo de los años, el más evidente siendo la resistencia de dejar ir a Jason Garrett. Pero a pesar de esto, la administración ha tomado excelentes decisiones y ha realizado el draft muy bien. En ese aspecto en específico, les aplaudo.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Evaluando la Administración" 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

Sack Numbers Don’t Tell DeMarcus Lawrence’s 2018 Story

Kevin Brady

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Breaking Down DeMarcus Lawrence's League High 5.5 Sacks Through Week 4

Coming off of a career year in 2017, many fans expected DeMarcus Lawrence to continue his ridiculous sack production this season. After all, he is once again in a "contract year" due to the franchise tag, and fans are hoping the Cowboys can secure him longterm this offseason.

Through the first four games of 2018, Lawrence looked as ridiculous and unstoppable as ever. He had 5.5 sacks, tied for the league lead, and was dictating the pass protection schemes of every offense the Cowboys were facing.

Since that hot start, though, DeMarcus Lawrence has recorded just 1 sack, falling behind some of the league leaders he was once ahead of. This has some people scratching their heads and wondering if Lawrence's career year in 2017 was just that, a career year. One which he will never replicate again, and one which the Cowboys should factor out when talking contract extensions.

Here's why those people are wrong.

Let's first talk about what makes DeMarcus Lawrence so good, and then we'll get into the full context of the Cowboys defense and how that explains some of the drop in sacks.

Lawrence, unlike some of the league's other top pass rushers, is a complete 4-3 defensive end. He is one of, if not the best run defending defensive ends in football, as shown by his 12 tackles for loss on the season (only Aaron Donald and Danielle Hunter have more).

Much of the year, the Cowboys run defense has boiled down to Lawrence making splash plays, as we saw against the Washington Redskins. Adrian Peterson was gashing the Cowboys during that game, and the only one who did anything to stop him was DeMarcus Lawrence, as indicated by his 3 tackles for loss that Sunday.

There's also the point that 6.5 sacks through half the season is, well, good. It's really good! And when you couple his sack numbers with his solid pressure and QB hit stats, you can see that Lawrence is having a very good season.

Then there is the context of this entire Cowboys defense, specifically their defensive line and pass rush. To put it bluntly, DeMarcus Lawrence has been their only consistent rusher this season. Though we came into the year with high hopes for Randy Gregory, and cautious optimism about first round pick Taco Charlton, neither have been all that impressive this season.

Somebody, anybody, has to step up and become a threat opposite of Lawrence. David Irving could help matters with his interior pass rush ability, but he has been unavailable for basically the entire season.

Without another pass rusher for offense's to even think twice about, Lawrence is getting double teamed and/or chipped by a tight end or running back on just about every rush. It's becoming rare that Lawrence is in a true one-on-one pass rush situation.

Of course, if you are elite, offenses are going to shift protections to you in this way and you still have to find ways to be productive.

And thus far in 2018, DeMarcus Lawrence is doing just that.



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