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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

How Will Safeties Xavier Woods, Kavon Frazier Fit Kris Richard’s Secondary?

Sean Martin

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How Will Safeties Xavier Woods, Kavon Frazier Fit Kris Richard's Secondary?
(Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Unfortunately, David Irving's most recent four game suspension is the main story for a Dallas Cowboys team finished with OTAs and mini camp, left only to wait for training camp now. I've chosen to focus on the players that were on the field for the offseason program, that will continue to contend for starting jobs in Oxnard. Standing out from a lackluster group of safeties, for a Kris Richard led secondary that is off to a fast start, are safeties Xavier Woods and Kavon Frazier.

Joined by Jeff Heath, Tyree Robinson, Jameill Showers, and Marqueston Huff, the Cowboys are lacking a dominant force at safety to pair with their young and talented group of cornerbacks. With the likes of Chidobe Awuzie, Byron Jones (the former safety), and Anthony Brown already improving under Richard, the Cowboys hope is that the same will apply to this group of safeties.

It's still entirely too early to know how the Cowboys want to deploy their safeties this season, but the only players that have shown their strengths and weaknesses over any period of time are Heath, Frazier, and Woods. This is sure to cause an uphill battle for the fringe players looking to push this trio of versatile safeties.

Jeff Heath has appeared in 77 games over five seasons with the Cowboys. Frazier and Woods combined? Just 24 games, with 16 of them making up Woods' rookie season a year ago. This makes finding a potential role for both players vital to the Cowboys.

How Will Safeties Xavier Woods, Kavon Frazier Fit Kris Richard's Secondary? 2

Dallas Cowboys S Kavon Frazier (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

Safety Kavon Frazier

Working mostly as a special teams player through two seasons in Dallas, Kavon Frazier has patiently awaited his opportunity to spark the Cowboys defense as a sixth round pick of 2016. Doing so in a memorable week 13 win over the Washington Redskins, Frazier earned an increased role as an enforcer on defense.

This is a player whose straight line burst and power is ideal for a ST starter, and when Frazier connects coming downhill on defense, the results can be catastrophic for an opposing offense.  Surely these are traits that will remind Kris Richard even slightly of his Super Bowl winning "Legion of Boom" defenses.

The distinction between Frazier being a part-time player or one maximizing his potential to start deep in the Cowboys secondary is an important one. Limited in coverage, Frazier may be at his best when conceding snaps to another safety on the Cowboys roster with more of an all-around game -- which the Cowboys can only hope Xavier Woods continues to be.

Safety Xavier Woods

Xavier Woods may not have the pure stopping power that Kavon Frazier possesses, but as a fellow sixth-round pick there is more than enough to like about what Woods brought to the Cowboys in 2017 out of Louisiana State. With 14 interceptions and six forced fumbles out of college, Woods slid in the draft enough for the Cowboys to trade up for his services.

The team wasn't cheated out of their investment in Woods last season, giving him the "Byron Jones treatment" as Woods lined up all over the field. It was Richard that came to Dallas and almost immediately moved Byron Jones down to cornerback, seeing a better use of his natural size and skills there.

Doing the same for Woods -- while keeping the natural FS free to react -- should be next up on Richard's offseason to-do list. This is a player with sideline to sideline range, enough athleticism to cover down in the slot, and the functional strength to compete in the box.

Amidst this uncertainty for both Frazier and Woods, early reports out of the Cowboys practices thus far have Jeff Heath specifically matching up against the tight end. This is an ideal role for Heath, and one that could compliment Woods very well.

How Will Safeties Xavier Woods, Kavon Frazier Fit Kris Richard's Secondary? 1

Dallas Cowboys CB Anthony Brown, S Xavier Woods, Jeff Heath

Regardless of where Heath is on the field, Woods should be able to coexist with him as a similarly instinctive safety.

There is also the possibility that both Heath and Woods struggle to handle these "starting" responsibilities, leaving the Cowboys with very little trusted depth at safety. If there is an area Woods needs the most improvement in, it is the angles he takes against the run to consistently make stops, a weakness also potentially mitigated by the Cowboys improved linebacker play (investing the 19th overall pick at the position).

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Between Frazier and Woods, it feels safe to say the Cowboys must find a starter for a secondary that could still achieve great things in 2018. The Cowboys are entering this season with a loaded group of cornerbacks, all capable of making a safety's job relatively easy, especially while learning under Richard.

Such can be the hope for a raw player like Frazier and, in a sense, Xavier Woods. The second-year player in Woods is a great unknown for the Cowboys right now, as he'll remain that way for some time before next month's training camp.

With this, we'll have much more time to sit around and continue pondering what certain position groups will look like once meaningful Cowboys football graciously returns. I've written before that I'm paying close attention to this team's group of wide receivers, and you can add in the secondary players they'll be competing against too.

Tell us what you think about "How Will Safeties Xavier Woods, Kavon Frazier Fit Kris Richard’s Secondary?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Star Blog

No, Cowboys Shouldn’t Cut David Irving

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys' Pass Rush: Who Will Be QB Sack Leader In 2017?
Jeff Hanisch / USA TODAY Sports

For the past five years, Dallas Cowboys fans have gone through painful offseason stories regarding upcoming suspensions for defensive players. It doesn't matter how much talent the front office is able to find through the Draft, there's always one player that ruins what feels like a successful offseason. This time, for the second consecutive year, David Irving is the player to let Cowboys Nation down.

On Friday it was announced that Irving will serve a four-game suspension after violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

Understandably, a lot of Cowboys' fans want to see Irving released by the franchise that has preached the "Right Kind of Guy" philosophy while failing to establish such a thing. It's disappointing to see such a talented player limiting himself  by not "wanting it" bad enough and by making mistakes like this repeatedly.

However, even if it's a very frustrating situation, the Cowboys shouldn't cut David Irving. 

First of all, Irving's hit against the cap space is pretty minimum and nothing to be concerned at all. After being handed a second-round tender earlier in the year, #95 was set to earn $2.91M during the season. With a four-game suspension ahead of him, that number will be even lower.

We're talking about a guy who in eight games managed to get to the quarterback seven times in 2017 and consistently pressured opposing signal callers. Not to mention he's going to be just 25 years old when the season begins.

For the Cowboys, David Irving has the talent needed to average one sack per game. All of this for less than three million.

Irving has proven by now that he's not worth a long-term extension. That much is clear.  In order to get one of those, a player must prove his availability.

Talking specifically about 2018, though, I'm sure the Cowboys will be better off if they count on Irving for the final 12 games of the season. The team counts with pretty decent depth at the position with Maliek Collins, Datone Jones and Jihad Ward, but Irving has the potential to end the season with double-digit sacks.

The team gains nothing by releasing Irving. The team will not even be "sending a message" if they were to release #95. Maybe if the team had consistently sent this kind of "messages" over the years it would make sense.

However, we know this team sticks with their players and supports them in moments like this. They have done just that with Randy Gregory and it seems like it will pay off soon.

Whether we're mad at Irving's actions or not, the truth is letting him go wouldn't be wise at all. The Cowboys are not paying him big-time money, he's young and he'll be productive on the field when the defense needs him to.

We're talking about a football team that wants to make a run for the Lombardi Trophy. They can't be letting starting-caliber players go just like that. They need all the help they can get and even though his situation is far from ideal, David Irving will play a big role on defense.

Tell me what you think about "No, Cowboys Shouldn’t Cut David Irving" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 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

Should Cowboys Add Another Safety Before Training Camp?

Brian Martin

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Should Cowboys Add Another Safety Before Training Camp?

The Dallas Cowboys are extremely thin at the safety position. Fact. They haven't really brought in anyone to upgrade the position from last season. Fact. I just wanted to point that out because there's a lot of discussion as to whether or not the Cowboys need to add another safety before training camp.

I don't know where you stand on this debate or how I feel about it personally, but it's definitely something that needs to be discussed from the Cowboys end. It is the one position where there is a lot of unknown and inexperienced. If one of their current safeties were to go down with an injury and miss any time, the whole defense would suffer.

As things stand right now, Jeff Heath is the only one who will reprise his starting role on the backend of the Cowboys defense. Behind him are Xavier Woods and Kavon Frazier, but knowing exactly how they fit in at this moment is completely up in the air.

Unfortunately, that's the top three safeties for the Dallas Cowboys heading into the 2018 season. What's even more bothersome is their fourth might be an undrafted rookie, Tyree Robinson. I don't know about you, but I find that very concerning. But, maybe Kris Richard, the defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator, knows something we don't.

Kris Richard

Dallas Cowboys DB Coach Kris Richard

Fortunately, Kris Richard was recently asked if he had any concerns about the safety position on the "Doomsday Podcast" with Matt Mosley and Ed Werder. He said he had "none".

"I'm confident. I feel really good at this point in time and it's because the level of character of our guys," he said. "We're going to get better. That's the deal because our guys are young, focused, I think the hunger's there. I love the look in their eyes. I love how everyone is buying in, is focused and paying attention to detail. It makes a difference when guys care. It makes a difference when each one wants to teach one. We're trying to build something special. We want to be tribe-like. We want to be more than a team."

It certainly sounds like Kris Richard is excited about the Dallas Cowboys current safeties. Of course, he would never just come out and say that this group is terrible or he wished they'd add Earl Thomas another available safety. That's just not how things work. He's here to coach up the guys on the roster and not worry about personnel moves.

I don't know about you, but I know I would feel a lot better if they had one more experienced safety who could come in and compete for a starting job. Maybe someone like Tre Boston or Kenny Vaccaro, who are still unsigned. Maybe make that trade for Earl Thomas? That's a dream that just won't die.

Regardless, the Dallas Cowboys need to do something to address their depth at the safety position. I don't know what their plans are moving forward, but hopefully they have a contingency plan in place. It's just smart business.

Do you think the Dallas Cowboys need to add a safety before training camp?



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