Eagles Take Big Step Toward Potentially Hiring Kellen Moore as HC: Report

Cowboys OC Kellen Moore

Getty Cowboys OC Kellen Moore

What comes of it remains unclear, but the Philadelphia Eagles are moving forward with Kellen Moore’s head-coaching candidacy, and the Dallas Cowboys aren’t objecting.

Per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the recently-extended Cowboys offensive coordinator interviewed for the Eagles’ vacancy on Tuesday, one of 10 known contenders vying to become Doug Pederson’s successor.

Philadelphia spoke with Indianapolis Colts OC Nick Sirianni prior to Moore and will interview New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen on Wednesday, according to beat writer Jeff McLane.

It was first reported on Jan. 14 that the Eagles had requested to interview Moore, whom the Dallas Morning News’ David Moore (no relation) confirmed is “drawing a lot of interest this offseason” after coming thisclose to landing the Boise State HC job.

Moore, 32, signed a three-year contract extension with the Cowboys earlier this month, presumably upon the front-office learning of his Boise State interest. He admitted after the fact his desire to eventually graduate from play-caller to shot-caller — either at the NCAA or NFL level.

“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.”

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Moore’s Two-Season Resume

A star quarterback at BSU, Moore went undrafted in 2012 and lasted three seasons with the Detroit Lions before bolting to the Cowboys, with whom he’d spend the 2015-17 campaigns as a backup. In 2018, he announced his retirement and subsequent foray into coaching; his first gig was a big one: Cowboys QBs coach.

In 2019, Moore was promoted to OC under then-HC Jason Garrett. He was an instant hit with franchise QB Dak Prescott, devising an offense that ranked in the top-five in most statistical categories. One of the league’s most inventive minds, Moore was retained this past offseason by McCarthy, who ceded play-calling duties upon his hiring.

The Cowboys’ offense this past year was off to a historic start, averaging nearly 40 points per game until Prescott suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 5. Still, Moore has displayed an ability to coax production out of backup QB Andy Dalton, who finished 22-of-30 for 377 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in the team’s Week 16 blowout of Philadelphia — 513 total yards, 37 points.

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Eagles Reportedly Attempting to Poach Fassel

Moore’s interview aligns with previous Tuesday news that the Eagles are eyeing Cowboys special teams boss John Fassel for the same position. The son of former New York Giants head coach Jim Fassel, John defected to Dallas this past offseason from the Los Angeles Rams, where he worked in a similar capacity from 2012-19. Fassel replaced former Cowboys STC Keith O’Quinn, a lightning rod of criticism.

Under his watch, the Cowboys thrived on the third side of the ball in 2020. Former Pro Bowl kicker Greg Zuerlein drilled 34 of 41 FG attempts (82.9%) with a long of 59 yards. He was perfect on tries from 20-29 yards and 30-39 yards, and missed just one attempt from 40-49. He went 33 of 36 on extra points. Perhaps most famously, the Fassel-Zuerlein duo also debuted the “Watermelon” kick, which enabled Dallas to pull off a 40-39 comeback victory over Atlanta in Week 2.

Collectively, the team’s ST unit ranked seventh in Football Outsiders DVOA and 11th in Rick Gosselin’s annual review. They also placed sixth in estimated special teams points per game.

Whether Fassel will be granted permission to speak with Eagles officials regarding the coaching role is uncertain, as of this writing.

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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL