Kellen Moore is not leaving the Dallas Cowboys. At least not yet.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Monday the prodigious offensive coordinator is “no longer a candidate” to succeed Gary Patterson as the new head coach of TCU.
“Instead, Moore is expected to pursue NFL opportunities after the season,” the report states.
It was previously speculated that Moore’s representatives had “reached out” to the Horned Frogs’ hiring committee and that the 33-year-old “could be intrigued from a financial standpoint,” as Patterson was among college football’s highest-paid coaches at $6 million annually.
But Moore put the kibosh on those rumors, claiming during his press availability on Monday that he’s given zero thought to NCAA head-coaching vacancies.
“Not one bit,” he said, 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.”
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Moore Won’t Hurt for NFL Suitors
One of the sport’s brightest minds, Moore drew HC appeal earlier this past January, interviewing with his alma mater Boise State and the NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles. He eventually opted to stay put for the 2021 campaign; the Cowboys, in turn, signed him to a contract extension.
Should he decide to explore greener pastures, Moore will be a highly-sought-after commodity on the NFL market, arguably the biggest fish in a pond that may include Kansas City Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy, Buffalo Bills OC Brian Daboll, Baltimore Ravens OC Greg Roman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers OC Byron Leftwich and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, and perhaps even Cowboys DC Dan Quinn.
The Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, Chicago Bears, New York Giants, Minnesota Vikings, and Miami Dolphins are among teams that could explore said market over the coming months for its next leader of men.
“Moore is the wunderkind calling the plays for Dak Prescott and Dallas’ explosive, balanced and versatile attack,” The Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer wrote in October, linking Moore to Vegas. “He can bring a lot more upside as well to the Raiders’ offensive weaponry, whether or not it’s still Carr in the driver’s seat next season. Like Bieniemy, Moore is a native West Coaster who should find it appealing to make the early jump to the glamorous desert.”
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Moore Diagnoses Dak’s Day vs. Broncos
The TCU report, coincidentally or not, surfaced hours after Moore’s unit was stymied by the Denver Broncos amid a stunning 30-16 loss at AT&T Stadium, which snapped a six-game winning streak.
Aside from numerous drops and missed blocking assignments, the most glaring failure Sunday was that of franchise quarterback Dak Prescott, who completed less than 50% of his passes and was held off the scoreboard until the fourth quarter … with Denver leading 30-0.
Many took note of Prescott’s inaccuracy as he failed to connect on several deep balls in his return to action following a one-week absence. When prompted, however, Moore downplayed any presumed rust inhibiting Dak and, rather than point the finger, turned the blame around on himself.
“I don’t want to pinpoint it all on that,” he said Monday, via beat reporter Brianna Dix. “Did he miss some throws? Yeah. Did I call some plays that I wish I didn’t call? Yeah. I think all of us got a piece of what we all get to take. Hopefully a huge growth opportunity.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL