That’s because Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore has been named by the Sporting News among potential candidates to replace embattled Bears head coach Matt Nagy, whose pink slip is expected after the season (if not sooner).
“There have been some comparisons made between [Justin] Fields and Dak Prescott, so why not turn to the play-caller who has helped make Prescott an elite passer with the dual threat of running in his back pocket?” columnist Vinnie Iyer wrote on Thursday, November 25. “Moore might still be too young, but it also might be time for a true hotshot to get his shot in Chicago. Moore is mature and has learned well under Super Bowl-winner Mike McCarthy.”
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Moore Not Thinking About HC Opportunities … Yet
As the brains behind the NFL’s top-ranked offense (in total yards), Moore is one of, if not the most coveted assistant the sport has to offer. The 33-year-old is routinely connected to head-coaching vacancies and associated rumors despite consistently rebuffing all interest.
Earlier this month, Texas Christian University flirted with Moore about its HC opening only for the wunderkind play-caller to politely decline the opportunity, claiming he’s given zero thought to would-be promotions.
“Not one bit,” Moore said on November 8, per the Dallas Morning News, adding, “I don’t worry about any of that stuff. That’s [agent] Dave Dunn’s job. He does a great job with it.”
For what it’s worth, however, Moore has indicated he’d eventually — eventually — like to walk the HC path, whether in Dallas or with another organization. And the Cowboys’ brass, they claim, won’t stand in his way.
“Well, you always want to keep guys that are helping you have success, but at the same time we know that’s part of this business,” team vice president Stephen Jones said during an October 21 interview on 96.7 The Ticket, via Blogging The Boys. “Coach [Bill] Parcells was here. We had Mike Zimmer and Sean Payton and certainly those guys got their opportunities to go on and be successful coaches, but the good news with that is it usually means you’re having success on the field. So, certainly, it happened back when we had our Super Bowl run when we had guys like Butch Davis, Dave [Wannstedt] getting opportunities. Norv Turner getting opportunities. That comes with success.
“So, a part of you hopes you have that challenge, but at the same time, you hate to lose guys who are doing a great job for you, but hopefully we’re doing our job. We got guys on our staff who can step up if they happen to get the opportunity they really want as a head coach, then you certainly embrace that for them.”
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Dan Quinn to USC?
Moore isn’t the only assistant drawing outside coaching appeal. Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News reported Monday, November 22 that Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has emerged as a “potential” candidate to succeed former University of Southern California HC Clay Helton, who was relieved of his duties in September.
Wilner pushed the rumor via a “trusted” source by citing Quinn’s ties to ex-Trojans HC Pete Carroll and his tenure as the Atlanta Falcons’ head man, a title he held from 2015-2020.
“Worth monitoring as [the] search heats up,” Wilner tweeted.
Largely overachieving, Quinn’s unit ranks eighth in scoring and 10th against the run entering Week 12. The 51-year-old, hired in January, has done a particularly impressive job developing Defensive Rookie of the Year frontrunner Micah Parsons, who leads the club in solo tackles (48), tackles for loss (13), and sacks (8).
“He lets me use my speed and play reckless,” Parsons said of Quinn in October, via the official team website. “He allows me to play to my strengths.”