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Cowboys news: Does Dallas have its offensive coordinator?

The Monday morning links.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys may promote Kellen Moore to offensive coordinator - Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk
Reports began to leak Sunday morning that the Cowboys are heavily considering promoting quarterbacks coach Kellen Moore to its vacant offensive coordinator position.

A year ago Kellen Moore went from a Cowboys backup quarterback to the Cowboys’ quarterbacks coach. Now he may move up on the staff.

Moore is a possibility for the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator vacancy, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

The 30-year-old Moore is far less experienced than most coaches who become coordinators, having been a position coach for just one year. He spent six seasons as an NFL backup quarterback, with the Lions and Cowboys, and was a star at Boise State, but has been a coach for only a year.

Cowboys to hire Jon Kitna as quarterbacks coach - ESPN
Moore and Jason Garrett are not the only former Cowboys quarterbacks expected to be on staff next season. It is looking likely that Jon Kitna will be brought on board.

Former NFL veteran quarterback Jon Kitna, now the offensive coordinator for the San Diego Fleet in the Alliance of American Football, is expected to become the Dallas Cowboys’ quarterbacks coach, a league source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Kitna played 14 seasons in the NFL, including his final two with the Cowboys in 2010 and 2011.

Report: Jon Kitna expected to be hired as Cowboys new QB coach; Kellen Moore is a candidate for offensive coordinator - David Moore, SportsDay
Here are some more tweets regarding the two potential hires.

How ‘little bitty’ Kellen Moore shakes off criticism of his size, plays with ‘ice water in his veins’ - Jon Machota, Sportsday
Machota wrote this piece back in 2015, but it is interesting to look back on now considering what is occurring.

Kyle Efaw can’t remember what class he was sitting in on Boise State’s campus eight years ago, but he says he’ll never forget what his roommate was scratching out on a notepad.

Efaw’s roommate was Kellen Moore, the quarterback who will make his first NFL start Sunday for the Cowboys.

Efaw: “What are you doing over here?”

Moore: “You know, this would be good against Cover 2.”

”This guy’s just over here, drawing concepts out on a notepad,” said Efaw, a tight end who was a teammate of Moore’s for four seasons at Boise State. “He just did that for fun. He’s just always thinking about football.

”He kind of blows you out of the water with the amount of stuff he knows and the way he thinks.”

Jason Garrett likely to be Cowboys’ offensive play caller in 2019 - Jared Wingate, Cowboys Wire
Despite the rumored change in position for Moore, it appears that Jason Garrett will be the one calling the plays according to Chris Mortensen.

Days after moving on from Scott Linehan as coordinator for the team, the Dallas Cowboys’ plan for the offensive coaching staff is starting to come into focus. Although there have been several rumored candidates to replace Linehan, Kellen Moore has emerged from dark-horse candidate and looks likely to become the next offensive coordinator.

The team has also decided to add another former backup QB, Jon Kitna, as their quarterbacks coach. That’s plenty of shakeup from how things were done in 2018, but head coach Jason Garrett isn’t finished switching things up, apparently.

Garrett relinquished play-calling duties when Linehan was hired in order to focus on the whole team’s game plan. Now, with Garrett scheduled to be entering the last year of his contract, he will be facing a do-or-die season in Dallas.

Jason Garrett calling plays in 2019 may seem crazy, but this is how it could make sense for the Cowboys - Tim Cowlishaw, SportsDay
Cowlishaw explains how this will work in 2019.

If Garrett is on the final year of his contract and he is the play-caller and this offense finds another 150 points and repeats as East champs in 2019, then Jerry can roll out whatever extension he wants for his favorite coach. There will be no more quarreling from this corner and perhaps Garrett’s approval rating will reach as high as 30 percent with the fans.

But everyone, Jones included, should keep in mind one thing if Garrett is the new (old) play-caller. Jones likes to describe how this coach is “evolving” after eight years. That wasn’t really an apt description of Garrett as play-caller last time around.

Arriving in 2007 (and inheriting a playoff team) Garrett called plays that enabled Dallas to reach the playoffs that year and again in 2009. He continued to call plays as a head coach for 2 1/2 seasons but the team never got beyond 8-8. Only with Linehan making the calls did this team reach the playoffs three of the last five seasons.

Garrett’s got another chance to prove himself. He has a winning record as a head coach but a slim 2-3 record in the post-season.

Riddick: Dak needs help schematically - ESPN (VIDEO)
ESPN’s Louis Riddick explains that getting the scheme right is crucial for Dak’s development.

3 Reasons Not to Hate Kellen Moore Becoming Offensive Coordinator - Mauricio Rodriguez, Inside The Star
Why would promoting Moore to OC not be a bad thing? Rodriguez explains.

1. Bad Player Doesn’t Mean Bad Coach

First of all, let’s forget about the idea than a player’s performance is any indication of what he can be as a coach. It has absolutely no correlation. A bad player can turn into a pretty good coach and a good player can be terrible at coaching.

When we’re talking about Kellen Moore, we’re talking about a pretty smart kid. Ever since he was coming out of Boise State, scouts and analysts talked about his excellent football IQ. Moore clearly didn’t last in the league because of his talent. What helped him stick around was his intelligence and knowledge. Teams that had him as a backup signal caller basically had a second QB coach on the locker room.

I actually found it funny how the perception around Moore has changed. When he was a backup on the roster, we talked about how he was very smart and could become a great coach someday but he didn’t have it as a player. Now that he is a coach, we’re talking about how he can’t coach because he didn’t play well. How is that logical?

Stats show offense surviving in dysfunction, Cowboys had no choice but to show Scott Linehan the door - Michael Sisemore, BTB
Moving on from Linehan was the obvious decision, and the stats back that up.

The Cowboys offense dropped from eighth to 11th in 2017 and took a nosedive to 20th in 2018. Comparing the Cowboys to the NFL’s top offenses is saddening:

Minus 1,300+ in total yards, at the Cowboys’ pace, it would take four games to reach that

Minus 1,700+ passing yards, a pace of seven games to reach the mark

Minus nearly 600 rushing yards, a pace of five games to reach

Dallas scored two touchdowns less per game on average than the top offenses

Cowboys offense was 25% less efficient in the red zone despite having Dak Prescott (tied for seventh in RZ TD’s) and Zeke (tied for sixth in RZ TD’s)

Three years into the Dak Prescott-era and Linehan was still trying to prove that he could fit him into the “Air Coryell” formula? Instead of embracing his quarterback’s athleticism with designed runs, play-action passing, or misdirection plays in the backfield, Linehan handcuffed his own offense.


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