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

Kevin Brady



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.

  • 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

Redskins Have Not Had Success With Former Cowboys

Jess Haynie



Redskins Have Not Had Success With Former Cowboys

Now that he's signed with the Washington Redskins, cornerback Orlando Scandrick joins a lackluster list of former Cowboys players and coaches who have gone from Dallas to its historic rival. The history of these moves is ugly for Washington, going back over 40 years, and can't have their fans too excited anytime they sign an ex-Cowboy.

The most recent example was just last year with defensive tackle Terrell McClain. After a strong season as a 15-game starter in Dallas, McClain got a four-year, $21 million deal to join the Redskins. He missed four games with injuries and was only credited with two starts; hardly what the team wanted given the money they paid.

Before him it was Jason Hatcher, whose 11-sack season for the Cowboys in 2013 got him a four-year, $27.5 million deal from Washington. Hatcher would battle knee injuries for two season, getting only 7.5 sacks from 2014-2015. His early retirement in 2016 brought an abrupt end to a disappointing tenure.

Continuing the legacy of defensive linemen was Stephen Bowen, who Washington paid a shocking amount of money ($27.5 million over five years) to in 2011 to pick up in free agency. Bowen had a great first year for the Redskins with six sacks and 16 starts, but injuries would soon cost him 14 games from 2013-2014. He was eventually released after only one standout season in four with the team.

Going back even further, DT Brandon Noble joined Washington in 2003 after being a full-time starter for Dallas for over two seasons. He would miss all of 2003 with a knee injury, have an unimpressive year in 2004, and then missed all of 2005 with more health issues. He retired after being released by the Redskins in 2006.

Redskins Have Not Had Success With Former Cowboys 1

Hall of Fame CB Deion Sanders

Orlando Scandrick won't be the first cornerback to go from Dallas to Washington, or the best. At age 32, Deion Sanders was released in 2000 by the Cowboys and then got a huge seven-year, $56 million deal from the Redskins. This came less than a year after Daniel Snyder bought the franchise and was desperate to get them relevant again.

The Sanders move backfired horribly. Even after a solid season by his lofty standards, Primetime was disgruntled with both the coaching staff and his increasing struggles as an aging player. He suddenly retired after just one season of the seven-year contract.

Washington also tried to tap into the Cowboys' glory days when they signed receiver Alvin Harper in 1997. Harper had left Dallas in 1995 and spent two years with Tampa Bay, but had not carried over the same success he enjoyed playing in the Dallas offense.

The Redskins hoped that reuniting him with Norv Turner, who had been Harper's offensive coordinator and was now their head coach, would help Alvin get back to form. But between ongoing injuries and the absence of Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, and Emmitt Smith as teammates, Alvin Harper was never the same guy as when he won two Super Bowls in Dallas.

The failed poaching attempts go back many more decades, another one being running back Calvin Hill. The fourth-leading rusher in Cowboys history and a four-time Pro Bowler while in Dallas, Hill joined Washington in 1976. He served as a backup only, averaging only 3.8 yards-per-carry as he played behind the likes of Mike Thomas and John Riggins.

Redskins Have Not Had Success With Former Cowboys 2

Norv Turner also couldn't bring his Cowboys success to Washington. (Brian Bahr/Allsport)

The bad history doesn't stop with players. The aforementioned Norv Turner, who was one of the hottest assistant coaches in history after the Cowboys first two Super Bowl wins in the 90s, was hired as the Redskins' head coach in 1994.

Turner's run started with a whimper, drafting quarterback Heath Shuler third overall in that first year. Shuler would go down as one of the biggest QB busts in NFL history

Norv's Redskins never seemed to recover from that blunder. He only had two winning seasons and one playoff appearance from 1994-1999, and was fired midway through the 2000 season.

Far more recently, Cowboys offensive line coach Bill Callahan left the team in 2015 and took the same job in Washington. He didn't get to bring the offensive line or DeMarco Murray with him, though. As such, the Redskins have remained one of the league's worst rushing teams for the last three seasons. They fell to a new low of 28th in the NFL in 2017.

~ ~ ~

Of course, none of this means that Orlando Scandrick won't have success in Washington. But with the Redskins generally the most mismanaged team in the NFC East, all of the Dallas players and coaches who've gone there have not walked into good situations. For all that Cowboys fans love to complain about Jerry Jones, he handles the owner and GM roles better than any pair Washington's had in almost 30 years.

Given the nature of the rivalries, we naturally can't wish success for Scandrick or anyone else who leaves Dallas for a division opponent. With the track record we just discussed for Washington, it's not something I'll be losing any sleep over.

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Star Blog

Xavier Woods, the Real Reason Cowboys Didn’t Pursue Tyrann Mathieu?

Brian Martin



Cowboys Have Their Version of Tryann Mathieu in Xavier Woods?

It's not uncommon for Dallas Cowboys fans to zero in on certain free agents in hopes that they will bring their talents to America's Team. In fact, just about any "big name" player to hit the open market is often linked to the Cowboys in some way or another. That was the case when the Arizona Cardinals decided to move on from Tyrann Mathieu.

Once Tyrann Mathieu became available, Cowboys fans immediately wanted to see him with a star on his helmet. But, despite the fans petitioning, the Cowboys brass seemed to show almost zero interest in the former Cardinal.

The decision to not pursue Tyrann Mathieu certainly didn't sit well with a lot of Cowboys Nation, but I think it was the right decision.

Despite Mathieu's perceived talents and youth (he's just 25), the Cowboys weren't interested in paying the price to bring him to Dallas, especially since they already have a similar player on their roster.

Xavier Woods

Dallas Cowboys DB Xavier Woods

It may sound crazy, but I think the real reason the Dallas Cowboys didn't show much interest in Tyrann Mathieu is because of Xavier Woods.

I honestly believe Xavier Woods and Tyrann Mathieu have a similar skill set. Both players are little undersized to be a full-time safety in the NFL, but each of them have the versatility to play several different roles in the secondary.

Mathieu may have been listed as a safety on the Arizona Cardinals roster, and now the Houston Texans, but the truth is he played mostly out of the nickel/slot in his professional and collegiate career. That is where he is at his best, and the same can be said about Xavier Woods.

As a rookie, Xavier Woods showed his versatility with the Dallas Cowboys by playing a variety of different roles in the secondary. His versatility was one of the reasons the Cowboys decided to trade up in last year's draft to acquire his services.

His name might not carry the same kind of weight as Tyrann Mathieu right now around the league or amongst NFL fans, but I don't think Xavier Woods is that much of a drop off talent wise.

Xavier Woods

Dallas Cowboys DB Xavier Woods (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Personally, I believe Mathieu is starting to decline a little as a player. I think injuries are starting to take a toll on his play, although it may be minimal. I actually prefer Xavier Woods' upside, especially when you take into account the difference in salaries between the two.

Surprisingly enough, Xavier Woods might just have been more productive in 2017 then Mathieu. Woods started just four games and finished the season with 42 tackles, three passes defensed, and one interception. Mathieu on the other hand started all 16 games and accumulated 78 tackles, one quarterback sack, one forced fumble, and two interceptions.

As you can see, Xavier Woods was almost just as productive as Mathieu in nearly a third of the playing time. What's even more impressive about this is that Woods accomplish this as a rookie.

Of course, all of this is speculation, but I for one am not all that upset the Dallas Cowboys missed out on Tyrann Mathieu. I'm willing to bet on Xavier Woods being able to do everything Mathieu can and at a fraction of the cost.

Were the Cowboys right not to pursue Tyrann Mathieu?

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Star Blog

Free Agent CB Orlando Scandrick Joining Washington Redskins

Jess Haynie



Orlando Scandrick

Just two days after being released by the Dallas Cowboys, cornerback Orlando Scandrick has found a new home in the nation's capitol. After 10 seasons in Dallas, Scandrick is signing with the rival Washington Redskins.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Redskins and Orlando Scandrick have agreed to a 2-year deal worth a max value of $10M, source said. From Dallas to a rival.

By joining Washington after leaving Dallas, Scandrick follows in the footsteps of many ex-Cowboys: Terrell McClain, Jason Hatcher, Stephen Bowen, and even Deion Sanders to name a few.

Last week, Orlando reportedly requested his release from Dallas. It was widely expected that he would be a salary cap casualty anyway, though, and especially with the young stockpile of cornerbacks the Cowboys currently have.

Dallas has three young corners they believe in with Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, and Anthony Brown. There is also talk that Byron Jones could be moving back to CB next year.

Scandrick, 31, will get to stay in the NFC East and now cover some of his former teammates. Give the reportedly salary, he should at least be the slot corner for Washington next year if not a starter.

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