Kellen Moore Could Land HC Job, Take Cowboys Coaches: Report

Kellen Moore

Getty Kellen Moore

UPDATE: Per NFL Network insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero, the Dolphins are hiring San Francisco 49ers assistant Mike McDaniel as their next head coach. News of McDaniel’s hiring broke minutes after publication.

The original story can be found below.


It’s a two-horse race in the Miami Dolphins‘ head coaching derby, and Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore is neck-and-neck with San Francisco 49ers OC Mike McDaniel.

The decision on Brian Flores’ successor is boiling down to a photo finish, which Moore feels he has a “realistic chance” of winning, according to a new report by Pro Football Network.

“While McDaniel has for more than a week been seen as the frontrunner, Moore remains a plausible candidate,” PFN’s Adam Beasley wrote on Sunday, February 6. “So much so, in fact, that PFN Insider Aaron Wilson has heard from league sources that Moore has been gauging interest among fellow assistant coaches about potentially joining his staff, should he get the Dolphins job.

“That suggests that he emerged from Saturday’s interview with the team — his second since the Dolphins fired Brian Flores the day after the regular season ended — believing he had a realistic chance of getting hired.”

Moore, 33, conducted an hours-long meeting with Dolphins brass on Saturday, February 5 — his fourth such interview this offseason after also drawing HC interest from the Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos, and Jacksonville Jaguars.

It’s unclear which, if any, Cowboys assistants would follow Moore to Miami should he land the job.

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McDaniel Perhaps Still The Favorite

Perhaps Moore swayed owner Stephen Ross and company, but his odds appeared long of beating out McDaniel, whose February 4 interview reportedly lasted ten hours, during which he likely received a tour of the facilities and introduced himself to Dolphins execs on the football and business sides.

Coincidingly, the 49ers made somewhat of a surprising hire, bringing aboard former Los Angeles Chargers head coach and Detroit Lions OC Anthony Lynn as assistant HC alongside Kyle Shanahan. Many took this to mean Shanahan is bracing for McDaniel’s departure.

“The addition of Lynn brings at least one major change to Shanahan’s coaching staff after tight ends/assistant head coach Jon Embree departed earlier this week. And more staff alterations could be on the way,” ESPN’s Nick Wagoner reported on February 4.

“San Francisco offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel was in Miami on Friday for a second interview with the Dolphins for their head-coaching position. McDaniel, who has been one of the primary architects of the Niners’ rushing attack, is considered a top candidate for that job.”

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Moore, Quinn Potential McCarthy Replacements?

Continuing to create ambiguity around the future of much-criticized Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy, team owner Jerry Jones recently suggested that Moore and defensive boss Dan Quinn could stay put knowing McCarthy’s time in the big chair is finite.

“He stays here because there always has been, with every coach, every one of those three coaches, have said they’d love to be the head coach of the Cowboys. Every one. Every one,” Jones said Thursday, February 3 on 105.3 The Fan. “So my point is that has, in my mind, a lot of logic as to why they might not take a job now rather than one or wait and see how the cards go in the future.”

Jones cast an especially favorable light on Quinn, who last month came thisclose to scoring HC positions in both Chicago and Denver. If the Cowboys were to promote from within, the 51-year-old sounds like the favorite.

“He’s certainly qualified. He’s very qualified,” Jones said of Quinn on 105.3 The Fan. “Yes, I would consider. If I didn’t have a coach, I would have been interviewing him for coach.”

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