Kellen Moore is running the offense at the Pro Bowl. The kid hasn’t even landed the offensive coordinator job yet, but there he is in Orlando, Florida - configuring the plays for the NFC’s best offensive stars. The Cowboys coaching staff has the honor to coach this year’s group of Pro Bowlers and that’s just what they’re doing. First-year quarterback coach Kellen Moore is taking full advantage.
The Cowboys haven’t officially announced who will be taking over the offense following the firing of Scott Linehan, but Moore’s name been buzzing around the inner circles of Cowboys networks. With the news of Jon Kitna likely taking over the job of quarterback coach, that would obviously leave Moore without an actual position on the staff. The Cowboys must have something in store for him whether it’s a full promotion to offensive coordinator or not. In fact, he may be auditioning for the job as we speak, using this week’s Pro Bowl game as a litmus test.
The idea of having Moore as the team’s new play-caller has come with mixed reactions. Some are wondering why he’s even on this staff in the first place as they either focus on his lack of success as an NFL quarterback, or his closeness with Linehan. Others aren’t thrilled about idea simply because of his lack of experience. They want a proven offensive genius to take control of the Cowboys offense and get them rolling again. Unfortunately, those types of coaches already have good jobs. While there are some who aren’t thrilled about the idea of having Moore take on a larger role in the offense, other people are intrigued about the idea. He’s really smart as coaches and players continue to rave about how much he understands the offense, with the latest endorsement coming from Cowboys All-Pro center, Travis Frederick.
“Immediately when you talk to him you understand how smart he is and how well he understands the game. As a backup quarterback, in all honesty, he was acting as a quarterback’s coach the entire time. So when he made that transition there, that was a no-brainer. He’s super smart and understands all that very well.”
“If you sat down and talked to him, you would think that he’s a genius.”
It doesn’t seem like that long about when Jason Garrett joined the coaching ranks and his first boss, Nick Saban, initially had no interest in hiring him. But it only took one conversation with him for Saban to realize just how smart he was. Garrett was hired as the Miami Dolphins quarterback coach and landed his first offensive coordinator gig with the Cowboys in 2007. Dallas finished 13-3 that season, setting all kinds of franchise records on offense and at the time, scored the second-most points in team history.
Moore’s intelligence has never been in question. But what does that mean when it comes to calling plays? Does he posses the creativity to keep defenses on their heels? Frederick believes so.
“You look back at his history to project where he’s going forward and how much success he’s had in the college game, running a system that is a little bit different than what we do now, but having the time to learn and adapt in this system. You could see all the way throughout, as a player, and then moving into that coaching role, he got a little more say in that coaching role and all of a sudden you started to see a few things. A few innovations, a couple of plays. Actually, he had a play named after him, it was his play and it scored several touchdowns. These are things that you know he had an impact on, even at a quarterback’s coach level. So, looking forward if that is the case that he becomes the offensive coordinator, you know that those ideas are going to be given more traction.”
Frederick wouldn’t divulge any details about the play, but apparently this Kellen Moore-designed play has lead to several touchdowns over the course of the last couple years. That’s encouraging. If Moore does posses the ability to inject some effective plays into the Cowboys offensive system, then by all means - give that guy more power. The title of offensive coordinator will certainly give Moore the authority to implement his ideas into the offense.
It shouldn’t be much longer before the Cowboys make an official announcement. All things point to it being an internal hire with Moore and tight ends coach Doug Nussmeier the front runners for the job. However it’s Moore, not Nussmeier, who is installing the offense for the NFC Pro Bowl team. It’s still early, but the future is so bright for Moore, he’s gotta wear shades.