Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore is among several candidates reportedly vying for the TCU head-coaching vacancy.
According to Chris Hummer of 247Sports, Moore’s representatives “have reached out” to the university’s hiring committee about potentially replacing now-former HC Gary Patterson, who resigned his position late last month, ending a two-decade-long tenure in Fort Worth.
Moore’s interest in succeeding Paterson was echoed Wednesday by Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
“There is interest in quite a few candidates. Long way to go,” a source told Davison, who added that Moore “could be intrigued from a financial standpoint.”
Patterson was among college football’s highest-paid coaches with a $6 million annual salary.
Other candidates under consideration for the job, per the reports, include Jackson State HC Deion Sanders, SMU HC Sonny Dykes, and Clemson OC Tony Elliott.
“(TCU Athletic Director Jeremiah) Donati said he would like to have the process complete and a new coach in place by early December with the early signing period starting Dec. 15,” wrote Davison.
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Cowboys Would ‘Embrace’ Moore’s Career Choice
One of the NFL’s brightest minds, the brains behind the sport’s top offense, Moore drew head-coaching appeal earlier this past January, interviewing with his alma mater Boise State and the NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles. The 33-year-old wunderkind opted to stay put in Big D for the 2021 campaign, inking a lucrative contract extension.
But while many view Moore as an HC-in-waiting, groomed to eventually relieve Mike McCarthy, the Cowboys would “embrace” an outside opportunity he “really want(s) as a head coach,” team vice president Stephen Jones recently claimed.
“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,” 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. As I said, hopefully, you got some great coaches on this staff that are ready to be coordinators or have been coordinators.”
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Moore Lauds ‘Coach’ Dak
The Cowboys’ play-caller drew up a masterful game plan in Week 8 despite playing without franchise quarterback Dak Prescott. Backup QB Cooper Rush exceeded 300 passing yards and threw two touchdowns, including the game-winning score, in a 20-16 primetime road win at Minnesota.
Moore, however, received coaching assistance from Prescott, who traded his helmet for a headset on the sidelines against the Vikings, aiding Rush — a former undrafted free agent — amid his first-career start.
“He got to be a coach. Got to throw the headset on. He was awesome. He’s obviously still the leader on the sideline,” Moore said of Prescott on Monday, November 1, via The Athletic. “I enjoyed it because he’s able to view things from a different lens and have those conversations with me.”
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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL