The rumor mill was reaching a fever pitch this weekend as the NFL reaches the culmination of their 17 week season. Kellen Moore was engaged in discussions with Boise State University to become their next head coach. What seemed like an inevitability before the new year was turned on its head when it was announced that Kellen Moore signed a three-year contract extension to remain the offensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys.
Per Chris Mortensen and Ed Werder of ESPN, Kellen Moore has turned down the opportunity to become Boise State's head coach, opting to stay with the Dallas Cowboys as offensive coordinator.
Kellen Moore will remain as the Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator in 2021, bypassing an opportunity to return to his alma mater at Boise St as HC, per league sources to @WerderEdESPN and me.
Cowboys expect to sign Moore to an extension, per sources.
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) January 3, 2021
When addressing the new contract, Kellen Moore cited his optimism for the future of the Dallas Cowboys. He said, “we are building something special here in Dallas.”
Cowboys OC Kellen Moore: “We are building something special here in Dallas. I am thankful to the Jones family and Mike McCarthy for providing me with the opportunity to coach these special players. I am excited for us to put it all together and finish the job.”
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) January 3, 2021
“Building something special” is exactly right. Though the Cowboys were struggling to put wins together early in the 2020 season, they put together incredible offensive output. Before Dak Prescott's injury, the Cowboys' offense was averaging 32.6 points per game despite injuries to their top two tackles and several self-inflicted turnovers per game. All while the defense was allowing 36 points per game during that same stretch.
Kellen Moore and Quarterback Dak Prescott were putting up a ton of yards and a ton of points. Prescott was at one point on pace for more than 6,000 yards passing in 2020, which would be an NFL record.
When Mike McCarthy was hired, the Cowboys made many moves to overhaul the coaching staff. There were few holdovers from the Jason Garrett era, but two were Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore and Quarterbacks Coach Doug Nussmeier. It was clear that the Cowboys wanted to keep coaches around that had a relationship with their franchise quarterback as they prepared to make him one of the highest-paid players in the NFL.
What's as impressive as that is the offense's performance with backup quarterbacks while fielding an offensive line featuring several backups and backups to backups. Nobody expected Terence Steele to be a contributor this season. At best, he was fifth on the depth chart if you didn't account for preseason injuries.
The first four games for the Dallas Cowboys after Prescott went down weren't pretty. The offense averaged just 10.25 points per game and had this team looking destined for a top-five pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. However, after falling to 2-7, the Cowboys have averaged 28.67 points per game as a team. The level of competition hasn't been great. However, still, the offense made adjustments. It improved down the stretch to put the Cowboys in a position to make the playoffs if they're able to win and the Washington Football Team loses to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football.
Now with the rumors put to bed, Moore and the Dallas Cowboys can focus on finishing this season on a high note. If the season is to end today, they can begin retooling for the 2021 season. With Dak Prescott back at the helm and the offensive weaponry available to Kellen Moore next season, the offensive output we saw from this team early in the season could be a taste of what's to come in 2021.
Here is the Dallas Cowboys and Kellen Moore's official statement via NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.