The Dallas Cowboys saw their season end on a questionable play call in their Wild Card loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, and many have wondered who actually made the decision. We now have an answer.
The Cowboys got the ball trailing 23-17 with 32 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. They needed to go 80 yards for the winning touchdown, and they reached the San Francisco 41-yard line with three straight completions. They then called a quarterback draw for Dak Prescott despite having no timeouts left. Prescott rushed for 17 yards, but the officials were unable to spot the ball in time for a spike (video here). Time expired before the Cowboys could run another play.
According to Michael Silver of NFL.com, Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore is the one who called the draw. Head coach Mike McCarthy agreed.
Silver said Prescott should have changed the play, which is unfair. The one thing Dak can possibly be criticized for is not getting down sooner on the run. However, you can’t blame him for running the play that was called in a situation where there was very little time remaining in the game.
McCarthy defended the play call after the game. He said the Cowboys had practiced it and expected more time to be put back on the clock after a review. There was no review, as the officials on the field determined that time had clearly expired. A referee had some trouble spotting the ball (video here), but that is part of the game and one of the risks the Cowboys took by running a draw.
Both McCarthy and Moore messed up. Prescott can try to blame the officials, but the reality is the Cowboys’ biggest wounds were self-inflicted.
Photo: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
The Jacksonville Jaguars have officially begun searching for a head coach to replace Urban Meyer, and their list of potential candidates is taking shape.
The Jaguars have asked for permission to interview Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, according to reports. They have also requested permission to interview Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.
Leftwich and Bowles have been with the Bucs since Bruce Arians took the head coaching job in 2019. Both assistant coaches helped Tampa Bay win a Super Bowl last season.
Leftwich also played for the Jaguars. They drafted him with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2003 draft. The 41-year-old played for the team from 2003-2006. He was asked about being a head coaching candidate for Jacksonville earlier this month and was in no mood to answer the question.
Moore has been linked to multiple head coaching jobs over the past two seasons. The Cowboys almost lost him to a college job last offseason.
Both Bowles and Quinn have previous NFL head coaching experience. Bowles was the head coach of the New York Jets from 2015-2018. Quinn coached the Atlanta Falcons from 2015-2020. He led the team to the Super Bowl in 2016.
Photo: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Garrett had a nice message for Kellen Moore and some of his other former players despite losing badly to them on Sunday.
The Dallas Cowboys throttled the injury-riddled New York Giants in Week 5, winning 44-20. The game featured two offensive coordinators who used to work together in Garrett and Kellen Moore.
Garrett was the Cowboys’ head coach from 2010-2019. Moore played quarterback for Garrett in Dallas from 2015-2017. Moore then became Dallas’ quarterbacks coach in 2018 and was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2019. Garrett is now the Giants’ offensive coordinator, while Moore remained as Dallas’ offensive coordinator under Mike McCarthy.
After the game, Garrett had some nice messages for his former players/staffers. As shown in a “Sounds from the Sideline” video on the Dallas Cowboys’ website, Garrett congratulated Ezekiel Elliott on the big game. Then he gave Moore a big smile and hug. He told Moore “way to dominate. Hell of a job. Miss you. I miss you, you’re doing a great job.”
That’s pretty nice and magnanimous of Garrett, especially considering he was let go by the Cowboys and just lot to them badly. Maybe this sort of warmth and positive attitude from Garrett helps to explain why it was so hard for Jerry Jones to let him go.
It’s fair to say that most teams don’t want to see their in-demand assistant coaches leave for head coaching jobs. That said, they know it reflects well on the organization when assistants do leave, and teams want to see the personal success too.
Still, Dallas Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones was particularly effusive in his praise for offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. Jones openly admitted that Moore is inevitably going to leave Dallas, and that the Cowboys are simply taking advantage of his knowledge and skill while he’s with them.
“First of all, hats off to him,” Jones told the 105.3 The Fan pregame show Monday, via Jon Machota of The Athletic. “He deserves to be interviewed. He’s not a well-kept secret anymore. He has a great football mind. His dad was a football coach. He was a great player at Boise State. He played in the NFL. His (coaching) future is all in front of him.
“We just want to take advantage of him while he’s here and get all the good we can because his day will come one day.”
Given how well Dallas’ offense is playing, that day could come soon. After a shaky year in 2020 following the Dak Prescott injury, the Cowboys are humming along in 2021, ranking fifth in the league in total yards through three weeks.
The Cowboys apparently almost lost Moore in January to the college ranks. He figures to attract more head coaching interest from the NFL next offseason.
Randy Moss has some advice for Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.
Moss is one of the analysts who appear on ESPN’s “Monday Night Countdown” program. The crew was discussing the Cowboys-Chargers game from Week 2, which led to Moss’ advice.
The Hall of Fame wide receiver said he felt the Cowboys would use too many multi-receiver formations in the past. He feels they’re best off using 12 personnel, which is a combination of one back and two tight ends.
“12 personnel, that’s the meat and potatoes. We call that ‘Tiger’ personnel too,” Moss said.
Moss noted that the Cowboys used some versions of 12 personnel that included Ezekiel Elliott, Jeremy Sprinkle and Dalton Schultz. They also mixed it up with Tony Pollard, Schultz and Blake Jarwin.
“I think it’s up to the OC Kellen Moore to be able to put a two-headed monster in the backfield and let it be successful,” Moss suggested.
Then as they went to commercial Moss repeated his advice: “12 personnel, Kellen Moore.”
The Cowboys are 1-1 so far this season. They lost to Tampa Bay in Week 1 but beat the Chargers 20-17 in Week 2. Dallas is looking to get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2018, when they won the division but lost to the Rams.
Kellen Moore recently signed an extension with the Dallas Cowboys to remain their offensive coordinator, but he is suddenly a candidate for an NFL head coaching job.
The Philadelphia Eagles requested permission last week to interview Moore for their head coaching vacancy, and the Cowboys granted that permission. Moore was scheduled to interview for the job on Tuesday, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.
Moore had reportedly accepted the head coaching job at his alma mater Boise State before changing his mind and signing an extension with the Cowboys. He openly said he was interested in the job, but the belief is that he met with Jerry Jones and was convinced to remain in Dallas. Some have even wondered if Jones told Moore he will be the head-coach-in-waiting, which is what happened with Jason Garrett before he became the head coach of the Cowboys.
The Eagles got a bit of a late start with their head coaching search, as many were surprised they fired Doug Pederson. Moore was not considered a candidate for any other NFL head coach jobs prior to signing an extension with Dallas.
Moore is not the only well-respected offensive coordinator who is in the mix for the Eagles job.
Kellen Moore turned down the Boise State head coaching job to remain with the Dallas Cowboys as offensive coordinator, but could he suddenly have an opportunity to become a head coach in the NFL?
The Philadelphia Eagles have requested permission to interview Moore for their head coaching vacancy, ESPN’s Todd Archer reports.
Moore had reportedly accepted the Boise State job before changing his mind and signing an extension with the Cowboys. The former Boise State quarterback openly said he was interested in the job, but the belief is that he met with Jerry Jones and was convinced to remain in Dallas. Some have even wondered if Jones told Moore he will be the head-coach-in-waiting, which is what happened with Jason Garrett before he became the head coach of the Cowboys.
Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie may have been the only one who wanted Doug Pederson gone, which appears to have left the organization scrambling for a replacement.
Moore, 32, had not been part of the NFL head coaching conversation prior to the Eagles expressing interest. It still seems unlikely that he would take the job after signing an extension with Dallas, but he’d be crazy to not consider it.
Kellen Moore opted to sign a contract extension with the Dallas Cowboys rather than become the head coach at Boise State, and some new information about the situation makes it seem like Moore had a very sudden change of heart.
During the FOX broadcast of Sunday’s game between the Cowboys and New York Giants, Troy Aikman said he was told Moore accepted the Boise State job and then backed out.
“I don’t know exactly what was reported. I’ve been hearing that he was offered the job and had accepted the job, so I think there was a lot in the story there as far as what has kept him in Dallas,” Aikman said.
You can hear Aikman’s comments below:
Aikman obviously has a relationship with the Cowboys and the Jones family, so he must know something. While Aikman didn’t get into detail, it sounds like Moore may have accepted the Boise State job and then met with Jerry Jones and company, who talked the offensive coordinator out of it.
Judging by what Moore said about the Boise State job earlier this week, it certainly sounded like he was leaning toward taking it. He then suddenly signed an extension with the Cowboys. That has led many to believe Jones may have given Moore the unofficial coach-in-waiting title, which is what happened with Jason Garrett before he became the head coach in Dallas.
Moore is just 32, so he should have plenty of opportunities to become a head coach down the road. The Jones family is enthusiastically standing behind Mike McCarthy following his rough first season, but it’s possible they gave Moore a significant raise and told him he has a very bright future in Dallas.
Kellen Moore will remain with the Dallas Cowboys rather than return to his alma mater, according to a report.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen and Ed Werder reported on Saturday that Moore is expected to sign a contract extension with Dallas.
Moore recently confirmed interest in the Boise State job, which became vacant when Bryan Harsin left to take the Auburn job.
Moore was a four-year starter at Boise State and is the most successful quarterback in the program’s history. Though he is only 32, he has been with the Cowboys as a coach since retiring as a player after the 2017 season. This is Moore’s second season as Dallas’ offensive coordinator.
The interest between Boise State and Kellen Moore appears to be mutual.
Moore confirmed Monday that he is interested in the vacant head coaching position at Boise State, his alma mater, but the Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator refused to go any further than that, deflecting back to Sunday’s game against the New York Giants.
“Yeah, I want to be a head coach,” Moore said, via Jon Machota of The Athletic. “I’m really focused on this job right now. We’ll go through this process and we’ll see where it’s at.”
Moore is only 32, but is widely respected in coaching circles and has seen himself rise quickly through the profession. He’s also the most successful quarterback in Boise State history. That alone makes him an intriguing option, and it sounds like Boise State does want to talk to him when they can.