A particularly concerning nugget emerged following the Dallas Cowboys‘ Week 4 loss to the Saints, when NFL Network’s Steve Wyche reported — after speaking with multiple players — that New Orleans studied tape of Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore from his playing days at Boise State.
This on its face wasn’t concerning. The part that was had to do with Moore supposedly using similar hand signals as he did from 2008-2011 as the Broncos’ quarterback, and that these cues aided the Saints in shutting down Dallas’ high-flying offense, which was held to a lone touchdown in the 12-10 defeat.
The story burned hot in the wake of the team’s first blemish, with some wondering whether the bloom had come off the 31-year-old’s rose. Fuel was dumped on the fire last Sunday as the Cowboys’ offense again appeared shaky in a 34-24 loss to Green Bay.
Which brings us to now, and Moore to the podium to break his silence on SignalGate.
“We’re trying to figure out which ones they found…. We don’t do a single thing the same way,” he told reporters Thursday, per Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News.
Moore added, dropping the mic on the media: “It made a good story. Clickbait, right? You guys know a little bit about that.”
Through five games, the 3-2 Cowboys rank among the top-10 in each major offensive category: first in total yards (452.8 per game), fourth in passing (312 YPG), sixth in rushing (140.8 YPG) and ninth in scoring (26.2 points per game).
Reeling from its sudden losing skid, Dallas will look to get right in East Rutherford on Sunday against a winless Jets squad that owns the league’s 25th-ranked scoring defense (25.2 PPG) and 21st-ranked pass defense (260.2 YPG).
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Dak Staying the Course Despite INTs
One of the reasons for Big D’s recent slide is quarterback Dak Prescott, who’s thrown four interceptions over his last two games, including three against the Packers. Even dating back to the Cowboys’ Week 3 conquest of Miami, Prescott has started slowly (and occasionally poorly) before turning it on in the second half.
Prescott, though, noted that a few of his turnovers weren’t necessarily bad throws or worse decisions, essentially deflecting blame for dropped balls and tipped passes.
“Some of them have just been unfortunate. I’ve never had a stretch like this. I think I told Cooper, ‘Damn, these things are coming in bunches.’..You’ve just got to let them go,” he said Thursday, via Gehlken.
Regardless, Prescott, who’s completed 28 “Dime” throws since 2016 — “throws traveling 30 or more yards in the air into windows of one yard or less,” according to ESPN’s Bill Barnwell — knows where his bread is buttered, and how the Cowboys’ offense is wired.
Ezekiel Elliott’s legs churn the yards, move the sticks. But it’s Dak’s arm that generally leads to chunk plays and touchdowns. Humble as the two-time Pro Bowler is, this isn’t lost on him.
“I’m not going to change the way I’m playing this game,” Prescott said, per The Athletic. “I’m confident in where I’m at. I like where I’m at. I’m not going to change that up. I’ve got a lot of confidence in what I can do, a lot of confidence in these guys making plays.”
… But Not on Signal Narrative
Suffice it to say, Prescott flatly denied the Cowboys are using the same gestures as Boise State: “Right? Keep writing about that please. Tell them we’re using Mississippi State signals please,” he told the media Thursday, via Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL