It’s an interesting dynamic for Kellen Moore. Just a few years ago he was a teammate with many of the players on the Cowboys roster. He, along with his teammates, were the ones listening to the coaches, attending meetings and taking notes, studying playbooks and trying to stay up with all the things players must do. Last year, that abruptly changed when he retired from being a player and moved into the position of quarterback coach. Suddenly, he was the one on the front of the room running the show for Dak Prescott and the backup quarterbacks.
This year, that has gone one step further. Moore now is in control of the entire offense. Players he had played with recently now look to him as a coach. Or do they? According to Dak Prescott, they most definitely do as Moore has had no issue in taking command.
Prescott said Moore is already proving critics wrong by commanding the room and demanding respect so far during the off-season program.
“He’s shown so much command,” Prescott said. “And maybe a guy like that maybe that’s what people question is his command. He played backup quarterback most of his career. Does he have that? Can he take over the room? And he most definitely can. He gets in front of the whole offense. He gets in front of the team, whatever it may be. He demands respect. He demands respect by his knowledge. He demands respect by what he asks of us.”
Anybody who has ever been in a situation where you are suddenly promoted to be the boss of people who were formerly your co-workers knows how delicate that situation can be. It needs to be handled with care, but Moore seems to get it so far. One side of the equation is demanding the respect you need to be the boss, but the other side is listening to the workers that were once your peer group. Moore is doing that too says Prescott.
“I think I already read a quote by what Zeke said about him. He said he wants to know what we think. He wants to know what we want to do, and he wants to incorporate it into his plan. When you have a guy like that asking a player first how can I help, how can I make this situation better, this game better, you’re going to have a lot of success. And I’m so excited for this year and what we all can do.”
In the offseason, optimism always abounds. So far, the team has had nothing but rave reviews for the work Moore is doing. Of course, that’s almost all you will ever hear in this situation. Everyone wants to believe in the new coach and think that he can elevate a particular area of the team, or the whole team in the case of a new head coach. This is standard for the offseason in the NFL.
Moore needs to set the groundwork now for what he wants to accomplish this year, because there is not a lot of room for error. The expectations are high for the Cowboys, and Jason Garrett is working on the last year of his contract. Dallas is all-in for this season, and if it doesn’t go right, Jerry Jones might just decide it is time to blow up the coaching staff and go in a new direction. Everyone is expecting Moore to put his stamp on the offense, to make changes that hurt the team under Scott Linehan.
He’s got the buy-in from the players now, he’ll need to keep it when the rubber hits the road and they start playing the games.