Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore has been the architect of two No. 1 offenses in the last three seasons for the Dallas Cowboys. That has led to him being one of the most sought-after potential head coaches across the NFL landscape for the 2022 season.
Moore has interviewed with the Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings, and Jacksonville Jaguars for their head coaching vacancies. He's scheduled for a second with the Dolphins, but according to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network, Moore isn't expected to get a job as a head coach at the moment.
Now that Moore will likely stay in Dallas, the 2022 season is the most important of his career. It's obvious that he wants to be the head man someday for an NFL franchise, but if he can't show that he can consistently get one unit ready, there's no way he'll be able to handle all three phases of a football team.
In the first six weeks of the 2021 season, the Cowboys' offense was on fire averaging 34.1 points and 460.8 yards per game. They finished as the top unit in both categories, but after their bye week (Week 7) the numbers started to dwindle a bit. Ultimately, Moore's offense picked the worst time to look flat when they took on the San Francisco 49ers in the wild-card round. They produced a minuscule 17 points, nearly half of the 31.2 points they averaged for this season.
The main reason for this decline was predictability. Teams started to figure out some of Moore's concepts, and when things didn't go well, he failed to adjust far too many times. His running plays lacked any creativity and he didn't scheme to get the ball to his playmakers in the passing game enough.
Wide Receiver CeeDee Lamb only had one reception for 21 yards on just four targets against the 49ers in the playoffs. Hall of Famer and Cowboys legend Troy Aikman was critical of his former team and how they abandoned Lamb, which is an indictment on Moore.
“There was a lot of single coverage on CeeDee Lamb,” Aikman said. “If it was back when I was playing — and I hate going back to that point because nobody cares — but what I see around the league… a lot of these offenses, they want to scheme things. The coordinators, it’s all about scheme rather than this corner is playing soft, he’s scared to death. Just run the route tree. Just run a comeback. Run a dig route. Run a curl. Run anything. And you’re going to complete the pass whenever you want, and [Michael] Irvin would have had 10 catches at halftime if they played us the way that they played CeeDee Lamb in that game. So, I just don’t quite understand that.”
It's things of this nature that will keep Moore from getting a head coaching job. No team, regardless of the state of the franchise, will feel confident giving Moore the responsibility to handle an entire roster if he can't have his offense prepared or make adjustments during the most important time of the season, the playoffs.
Moore has to take his play-calling wizardry, which he does have regardless of his struggles from time to time, to another level. Not only because he wants to be a head coach someday, but he needs to make sure he keeps his job as offensive coordinator in Dallas for the foreseeable future.