The Philadelphia Eagles are leaving no stone unturned in their quest to fix Carson Wentz and rebuild their offense, including trying to poach top talent from a division rival. On Thursday, the franchise requested permission to interview Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.
According to ESPN’s Todd Archer, the Eagles are “casting a wide net” for Doug Pederson’s successor. The Cowboys could deny the request — remember, Andy Reid wouldn’t allow Mike Kafka to interview with the Eagles in 2019 — since Moore signed a “lucrative” three-year contract extension with Dallas two weeks ago.
The 32-year-old offensive guru has long been the apple of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ eye and considered the heir apparent to take over as head coach. His high-octane offense ranked first in the NFL for the 2019 season after averaging 431.5 total yards per game, with 296.9 through the air (second-best) and 134.6 on the ground (fifth-best). He gets a pass in 2020 after losing star quarterback Dak Prescott due to injury, although Dallas still put up 371.8 total yards per game (14th-best) while trotting out the less-than-stellar triumvirate of Ben DiNucci, Andy Dalton, Garrett Gilbert at quarterback. The Eagles ranked 24th in the league (334.6).
Jerry Jones on new Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore: pic.twitter.com/SDIndTHeGv
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) February 19, 2019
“I think Kellen could make be a good head coach. I think he will be a hell of a head coach,” Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott said, via ESPN. “He’s so smart. He has a little bit of a different technique, but it still gets the job done and you know I think he’d do a great job being a head coach.”
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Eagles Coaching Search Rages On
In addition to Moore, the Eagles have now been linked to 11 different head-coaching candidates: Brian Daboll, Ryan Day, Lincoln Riley, Arthur Smith, Robert Saleh, Duce Staley, Joe Brady, Jerod Mayo, Todd Bowles, Mike Kafka. They have officially interviewed two guys (Saleh, Staley), with scheduled interviews upcoming for Smith and Brady. Meanwhile, Day and Riley have both reportedly turned down the NFL overtures to remain on campus.
Titans OC Arthur Smith is reportedly scheduled to now fly to Florida to meet with the Philadelphia Eagles, just as Robert Saleh did after his Jets interview.
Tomorrow, Smith with then fly to Detroit for his second interview with the Lions.
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) January 14, 2021
Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie discussed his process for the coaching search earlier this week as he preached patience. He put the timeline at “soon” or “early February.”
“There’s a lot of good candidates out there. We’ll think both inside the box, outside the box,” Lurie said. “I just want to say, there will be no rush here. This notion of an NFL team making a very important decision for itself and its fan base and rushing to a decision is unlike any in business, and I just don’t think that’s warranted.”
Losing Top Assistant Along the Way
The Eagles are losing assistant coaches at an alarming rate, but that seems to be by design. First, they lost defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz to retirement and then (reportedly) decided not to renew the expiring contracts of offensive assistants Rich Scangarello and Mary Mornhinweg. Linebackers coach Ken Flajole is reportedly walking off into the sunset, along with offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland.
These moves aren’t shocking considering they were all either hired or retained by Pederson. Still, it signals a changing of the guard in Philly and lends credence to the “different vision” Lurie talked about which was centered around the owner wanting to shake up the coaching staff.
Sounds like direction of franchise at an inflection point was the crux of this. Eagles had significant staff openings at OC/DC, roster will undergo major changes. What’s the vision for what’s ahead?
As Lurie wrote, Pederson will be in Eagles HOF. This wasn’t about body of work.
— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) January 11, 2021
“I think it’s fair to say that I saw this as a retooling of the team in a way in which I thought we needed to make a lot of mid-term, long-term decisions,” Lurie said, “and that also had to do with coaches, how would we best set ourselves up for success two, three years down the road. I’d rather not publicly talk about any specific coaches or anything like that except to say that we probably saw things a little differently.”
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