Dallas-Fort Worth became all aflutter after Tony Romo said he expects one of his former backups to become a head coach next season.
“Kellen Moore is going to be a head coach next year,” Romo said during the Cowboys-Chargers broadcast on CBS. “Someone is going to pick him up. I think it’s about his time.”
It’s more likely the Cowboys pay their offensive coordinator handsomely to stay as the head coach in waiting.
In 2007, the Cowboys hired Jason Garrett as offensive coordinator before they hired Wade Phillips as head coach. A year later, Garrett received offers to become the head coach of the Ravens and Falcons and turned down both. He became the Cowboys’ head coach in the middle of the 2010 season.
The Cowboys kept Moore as offensive coordinator in 2020 after hiring Mike McCarthy, who gave up play-calling duties for the first time in his head coaching career last season.
The Cowboys finished with the most yards in the NFL in 2019 in Moore’s first season calling plays, and Dak Prescott was leading the league in passing yards last season when an ankle injury ended the quarterback’s season in Week 5. So Moore has established a track record that already has drawn attention.
Moore was a candidate for head coaching jobs with the Eagles and Boise State in the offseason. The Eagles hired Nick Sirianni, and after the Cowboys’ 41-21 blowout of the Eagles on Monday, Moore was asked if wanted to show Philadelphia what it was missing.
“No, I’m good,” Moore responded, via Jon Machota of TheAthletic.com. “I love it here.”
Moore, 33, fits the trend of NFL teams seeking young offensive minds to take the reins. Sean McVay (35), Kevin Stefanski (39), Matt LaFleur (41) and Kyle Shanahan (41) have opened the door for Moore.
The Cowboys rank fifth in total offense and sixth in scoring this season.
“Once we get into the season, I don’t care about it,” Moore said. “In the offseason, when those opportunities present themselves, if they do, awesome. I’d love that opportunity one day, but we’ll see where that takes us.”
McCarthy, who has some questionable clock management decisions and an 8-11 record in his time in Dallas, should take note: Phillips kept his job by winning in the regular season, with the Cowboys going 13-3, 9-7 and 11-5 in his first three seasons. (They were 1-2 in the postseason.) A 1-7 start in 2010 made it easy for Jerry Jones to move on to Garrett.