To little surprise, Kellen Moore did not become the new Philadelphia Eagles head coach. That honor instead was bestowed upon former Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni, who accepted the job on Thursday.
Moore, the Dallas Cowboys‘ offensive play-caller, interviewed for the Eagles’ vacancy on Tuesday and was among a handful of candidates vying to succeed Doug Pederson, who parted ways with the organization following a bitterly disappointing four-win 2020 campaign. Other candidates included Philadelphia assistant head coach Duce Staley, Patriots OC Josh McDaniels, and Saints defensive boss Dennis Allen.
Sirianni’s hiring likely ensures that Moore, who signed a three-year extension earlier this month, remains with the Cowboys for the 2021 season, according to media reports.
“Looks like Dallas will be keeping its offensive play-caller,” tweeted The Athletic’s Jon Machota.
“Cowboys are poised to retain OC Kellen Moore in 2021. Stability preserved after some Eagles interest,” echoed Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News.
It’s only “likely” because one NFL HC position is still available: the Houston Texans’. But Moore has not been connected to Houston, whose ownership faces the unenviable task of placating disgruntled franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson. There are rumors the Texans could land Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy, the top candidate left on the picked-over coaching market.
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A Matter of Time
That Moore received a new deal from Dallas presumably was the latter’s response to the former garnering significant head-coaching interest from his alma mater, Boise State.
The Broncos interviewed Moore and the sides appeared destined for a reunion before he pulled his hat out of the ring. But the brush with BSU crystallized what was already speculated about the 32-year-old wunderkind, that he prefers to graduate from play-caller to shot-caller.
“Yeah, I want to be a head coach,” Moore said on Jan. 2. “But I think like anything, really I’m focused on this job right now. Again, we’ll go through this process and we’ll see where it’s at.”
The NFL has become, quite strikingly and quickly, a young man’s business. Look no further than the vitality of this year’s rookie HC class: Robert Saleh (41 years old), Sirianni (39), Brandon Staley (38), Arthur Smith (38). The days of successfully recycling a retread are long gone.
Moore has shown an ability to coax top-five production from the Cowboys’ high-octane offense. Under his guidance, QB Dak Prescott came within one yard of the single-season franchise passing record in 2019 and was on pace to shatter the league’s single-season passing mark this season, prior to suffering a gruesome ankle injury.
If a healthy Prescott returns to form in 2021, the confluence could catapult Moore straight into a HC gig. Even with his new contract freshly sealed, it seems like a matter of when — not if — he earns the big chair.
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