Former Cowboys Coordinator Kellen Moore Reveals Reason for Departure

Kellen Moore

Getty Images Quarterback Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys talks with offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and head coach Mike McCarthy.

Kellen Moore enjoyed his time with the Dallas Cowboys but the former offensive coordinator was also very clear that he felt like it was time for a change, leading to his recent departure.

Moore didn’t spend much time on the market, quickly agreeing to a deal to become the Los Angeles Chargers’ new offensive coordinator, where he’ll now get to work with Justin Herbert as his quarterback.

Moore had nothing bad to say about his time with the Cowboys but said he was ready for some new scenery, leading to the mutual decision to part ways.

“I love Dallas. I’ve been fortunate to have been in one spot for eight years, three years as a player and five years as a coach,” Moore said on Wednesday during an introductory press conference with the Chargers. “I love everything about that place. It’s certainly a very special place to me. As we went through the process, just felt like sometimes change can be really good for all of us, and I felt like I was kind of in that space. It works for both sides. I think that it’s an awesome opportunity for Dallas and an awesome opportunity for me. I’m certainly really, really excited for how this thing all played out.”

Stephen Jones: McCarthy & Moore ‘Didn’t Totally Agree’

The Cowboys ranked in the top four in points per game (27.7) yards per game (391) and third-down conversion percentage (44%) under Moore, who held the mantle of offensive coordinator since 2019. However, he did face some criticism for some of the playcalling in crunch-time situations, with the Cowboys’ untimely playoff exits serving as the catalyst for that.

Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones also hinted at some tension between Moore and head coach Mike McCarthy down the stretch, which ultimately led to the decision.

“I think he wanted Kellen to (succeed), but he didn’t totally agree 100% with all of the philosophies and the small things that goes into it. And it ultimately came down to, hey, if we’re going to take the next step, he wants to see if he can make the changes that he thinks can make the difference that he didn’t necessarily think that Kellen might have believed in,” Stephen Jones said on Wednesday from the Senior Bowl. “That’s common. We had that with Jason [Garrett] and Scott Linehan and on down the line.”

Mike McCarthy Will Call Plays for Cowboys Next Season

With Moore out of the picture, head coach Mike McCarthy will call the plays, which owner Jerry Jones confirmed while speaking to reporters at the Senior Bowl on Wednesday.

“This is the logical step to build on it and use what we’ve established, if you will, the foundation of the things we’ve got,” Jones said. “This is the time for us to build on it. That’s what this is, a building step.”

Jones said that McCarthy will run a version of the West Coast offense he used during his successful decade-plus with the Green Bay Packers.

“I’m comfortable at this time because of how it’s evolved. I’m more comfortable than I would have been had he started calling the plays right when he came in as head coach,” Jones said. “I’ve always viewed him (as more than) a walk-around head coach. I’ve viewed him as a coach who could coach the offensive side of the ball.”

While McCarthy will call the plays, the team is still in search of a new offensive coordinator. They interviewed Los Angeles Rams assistant head coach Thomas Brown and Carolina Panthers running backs coach Jeff Nixon for the job.

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