Here is what Kellen Moore’s new team is saying about the hire, just one day after the Cowboys moved on.
When Moore became available, the Chargers moved quickly and interviewed Moore on Sunday evening, agreeing to terms shortly thereafter to become to the team’s offensive coordinator.
The 34-year-old Moore brings plenty of leadership, experience and success to the Bolts.
In Moore’s four seasons in Dallas, the Cowboys twice had the top-ranked offense in yards per game (2019 and 2021) and led the league in points scored in 2021 with 31.2 per game.
Moore will have plenty of playmakers at his disposal, beginning with quarterback Justin Herbert. Austin Ekeler and Joshua Kelley are set to return in the backfield while Mike Williams, Keenan Allen, Joshua Palmer and Gerald Everett are all under contract for the upcoming season.
Up front, the Bolts feature two of the best players at their respective positions — center Corey Linsley and left tackle Rashawn Slater — while rookies Zion Johnson and Jamaree Salyer both showed promise in 2022.
Kellen Moore vs. Dan Quinn? Cowboys Scheduled to Coach Battle in 2023: NFL Tracker - Staff, CowboysSI.com
This is already a game to circle on the Cowboys schedule next season.
JAN 30 KELLEN VS. DQ? No, the Dallas Cowboys didn’t have a “Kellen Moore vs. Dan Quinn’’ issue on the staff in 2022.
But the two will clash in 2023.
As Moore moves on to become the Chargers’ new offensive coordinator, and as Quinn opts to stay at The Star in charge of defense, the 2023 NFL schedule calls for Dallas to play at Los Angeles to take on the Chargers at SoFi.
Hugs and handshakes all around before and after the game ... but a brainiac battle during it, to be sure.
The Cowboys are trying to build off of reaching the Divisional Round this season, but may not have the cap space to be more aggressive in free agency.
During the offseason, the Rule of 51 is in place. Teams can have up to 90 players on their roster through the first part of training camp, so only the top 51 contracts count towards the cap. This is in addition to any “dead money” that remains from players no longer on the roster but who still had unallocated cap space remaining from their prior contracts. Teams are allowed to roll over unused cap space from one year to the next, adding to each team’s total. When all of that is configured, Dallas is one of 14 teams currently over the threshold, according to Over The Cap.
Once the regular season starts, all 53 players on the active roster and injured reserve, plus the dead money, all count towards the cap. For this reason, teams like to have at least $5 million in cap space to make midseason acquisitions. Here’s a look at the cap space for all 32 teams, in order, as of January 30.
What could Ezekiel Elliott’s role look like in Mike McCarthy’s offense, if the Cowboys running back is still with the team?
RB Ezekiel Elliott
This is the big one and arguably the toughest decision the Cowboys will face all offseason. Running back Ezekiel Elliott has been an offensive mainstay since he was drafted fourth overall in 2014. He’s also under contract through the 2026 season.
However, Elliott is not the same explosive runner he was early in his career. He averaged just 3.8 yards per carry in 2022, while Pollard—a Pro Bowler—averaged 5.2 yards per rush. Pollard figures to be a free-agent priority, even though he suffered an ankle injury and a fractured fibula in Dallas’ playoff loss.
Pollard’s injury required surgery, but he should be healthy by training camp, according to ESPN’s Todd Archer.
Pollard has a projected market value of $9 million annually, while Elliott is set to carry a cap hit of $16.7 million. Elliott has $11.9 million in dead money remaining on his deal, but releasing him with a post-June 1 designation would save $10.9 million in 2023 cap space.
That’s enough to re-sign Pollard and have a little extra cap space to spare. Cutting Elliott might be a sentimentally difficult move to make, but it’s one that Dallas has to at least consider.
Brian Schottenheimer didn’t have a very public role with the Cowboys this year, but is an experienced coach that could have much more responsibility under McCarthy now.
2. Brian Schottenheimer (coaching consultant)
Not many Cowboys fans would endorse Schottenheimer taking over the offensive coordinator reins, but odds are he’s in the mix. He just concluded his first season as a Dallas coaching consultant, which essentially entailed helping Moore and Dan Quinn get ready for upcoming opponents.
Schottenheimer, 49, has vast experience under his belt. In 2021, he served as Jacksonville’s passing game coordinator. He was the Seahawks offensive coordinator the three years prior from 2018-20. The Jaguars’ passing attack was admittedly brutal under Schottenheimer, but that can be attributed to the fact that then-head coach Urban Meyer was a disaster, and Trevor Lawrence was a rookie.
Schottenheimer also had previous ties to Mike McCarthy, as McCarthy’s first NFL coaching gig was as an offensive quality control coach under Brian’s dad, Marty Schottenheimer. As much as Cowboys fans might not want Schottenheimer presiding over the offense, the dots are pretty easy to connect here.
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