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Cowboys news: Kellen Moore is a hot commodity - in the wrong place

Plus the other news of the day.

Washington Redskins v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

Reports: Eagles Eyeing Kellen Moore For HC - Nick Eatman, DallasCowboys.com
Are you starting to get the feeling that Kellen Moore will not be with the Dallas Cowboys much longer? One thing is certain, this is not where we want to see him get his shot.

First it was his alma mater, Boise State, looking to hire him as a head coach. Now, it appears the Philadelphia Eagles are interested in interviewing Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore for their head coaching vacancy.

Kellen Moore news: Eagles request interview with Cowboys offensive coordinator - Brandon Lee Gowton, Bleeding Green Nation
Our sister site covering the Philadelphia Eagles of course had some thoughts about the reports of their interest in hiring Kellen Moore. And a close reading of their reporting supports the existence of the rent-free living arrangement the Cowboys have in their head.

There’s certainly an allure to stealing Moore away from an NFC East rival. It’d be great to see Moore help revitalize the Eagles’ offense while Dallas struggles without him. Then again, the Eagles relying on former Cowboys to help them out typically hasn’t gone well in the past.

What Might A Dan Quinn Draft Look Like? - David Helman, DallasCowboys.com
There is a consensus that the Cowboys need to go heavy on defense in this year's offseason moves. This looks at just how that may shape up, including in the area with the most concerns, the secondary.

He got the head coaching job in Atlanta off the incredible success of those Seattle defenses, which were famous for featuring tall, long corners, an instinctive free safety in Earl Thomas who could handle single-high assignments and a punishing strong safety in Kam Chancellor who excelled against the run and wasn't a liability in coverage.

Even during his time in Atlanta, Quinn seemed to be looking to replicate some of that success. The Falcons spent several big draft picks on cornerbacks such as Jalen Collins, Isaiah Oliver and A.J. Terrell – all of whom measure up at 6'0 or taller, and all of whom have 31-to-33-inch arms.

He also clearly values the safety position a bit more than the Cowboys have historically, as he spent the No. 17 overall pick on Keanu Neal back in 2016. If we're forcing ourselves into player comparisons, Neal fit more closely into Chancellor's role than Thomas' – but he was quite good at it. He made the NFL's all-rookie team in 2016 and the Pro Bowl in 2017 before injuries derailed his 2018 and 2019 season. Healthy and available for 15 games this season, Neal finished with 100 tackles, a sack and two takeaways.

Neal is an impending free agent, coincidentally enough. And obviously, Thomas himself was unemployed throughout the 2020 season – a fact that is sure to be mentioned now that his former defensive coordinator works in Dallas.

NFL Draft Tracker: Would Dallas Cowboys Take 'Superstar' TE Pitts at 10? - Matthew Postins, FanNation
It's mock draft szn. One national writer has the Cowboys taking Florida TE Kyle Pitts at 10. Which illustrates how national writers often are often very, very bad at this whole thing.

Some issues here, though.

One, with all due respect to the veteran writer, we're not sure he's especially connected with the NFL Draft, with Cowboys insights or with Cowboys needs. (Indeed, he suggests that Blake Jarwin's injury might be motivation here, but we have no indication that Jarwin will be anything less than 100 percent in 2021.)

Further, we'd suggest this: While Pitts seems a likely star at the next level - one scout tells our Mike Fisher that he's "like Kelce and Kittle except that he really could line up at receiver and beat corners'' - it is entirely possible that Dallas looks at this draft, sees the relatively shy number of guys with first-round grades, and trades down from 10.

Dallas Cowboys: 4 veterans to kick to the curb - Reid Hanson, Fansided
The offseason isn't just about binging in new players. It also is when some hard decisions have to be made about which veterans to retain. This is just one opinion, but it is something that will have to be considered by the team.

Joe Looney is a tough guy to dislike. The spherically shaped interior offensive lineman has been a fan favorite throughout his Cowboys tenure. The jovial interior presence has lightened training camps and practices and his ability to play both guard and center has made him a valuable piece to the Dallas game day rosters.

Looney has played the majority of Dallas’ center snaps this year and has graded out as 32nd of 36 in PFF’s grades. At age 31 Joe Looney doesn’t offer much upside and is in “he is what he is” territory. He’s sure to latch on with some franchise this offseason, but that shouldn’t be Dallas.

10 reasons the Dallas Cowboys underperformed in 2020 – Jon Machota, The Athletic
There are so many reasons, but this may be the most disturbing.

4. Effort issues. Implementing a new defense during a pandemic was clearly a mistake. The players never fully bought in, ultimately leading to effort issues, particularly late in losses to Washington twice and at Baltimore. Things got so bad that, following the 34-17 loss to the Ravens in Week 13, McCarthy addressed the team about them.

“When your head coach gets up and addresses the team like that, it really presents an opportunity for each individual, including myself, just all of us to just look in the mirror,” Jaylon Smith said at the time. “Look in the mirror, understand what you’re putting out on tape and hold ourselves accountable.

“The standard has to be effort to the ball, sprinting, making sure that you’re protecting your brother. Mike McCarthy as the head man, we got to listen to what he’s saying. We got to process it, we got to understand exactly what he’s talking about. And then from there, we got to go forward.

“It’s non-negotiable. … It’s a big reason why we are where we are.”

Dallas Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith set for wrist surgery, sources say - ESPN staff
There are rumbles that he might be a cap casualty, and now he is recovering from a late-season injury that went under the radar.

Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith will undergo left wrist surgery Thursday, multiple sources told ESPN's Todd Archer.

Smith did not miss a game in 2020, leading the Cowboys with 154 tackles. He was on the injury report in Week 16 with a wrist injury but was a full practice participant.

Smith should be ready for the beginning of the offseason program, the sources told Archer.

Smith isn’t the only veteran getting some medical correction.

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