The Dallas Cowboys and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore have parted ways, but not in the fashion anyone predicted.
Moore was a top candidate for the Carolina Panthers head coaching vacancy. But last Thursday, Carolina announced former Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich would fill that role.
With the Panthers job out of the question, it was assumed Moore would return to Dallas in 2023 for a sixth-straight season on the coaching staff. Instead, the Cowboys and Moore mutually agreed to part ways, despite the 33-year-old having one more season left on his contract.
What does this mean for the Cowboys offense?
Moore has been on the Cowboys coaching staff since 2018. In his first year, he was the QBs coach. From 2019 and on, he was the offensive play caller.
When Dallas named Mike McCarthy head coach in 2020, he was praised for allowing Moore to stay on staff to continue working with the offense. McCarthy’s tenure with the Green Bay Packers ended because his play calling was lacking, so McCarthy seemingly learned from past mistakes.
Now with Moore out the door, the Dallas Morning News reported McCarthy will call plays for the Cowboys in 2023. While things ended badly in Green Bay, McCarthy was a solid play caller for the majority of his 13 seasons with the Packers.
What caused the Kellen Moore breakup?
McCarthy has been tight-lipped on exactly what went into the decision to let Moore go. But it’s not difficult to speculate.
Moore’s offenses have been dominant in the regular season. Here’s the Cowboys points per game average in the years Moore was running the show:
- 2019: 27 points per game (sixth-best in the NFL)
- 2020: 24 points per game (17th-best)
- 2021: 31 points per game (best in the NFL)
- 2022: 27 points per game (fourth-best)
The Cowboys low output in 2020 was due to Dak Prescott’s season-ending injury in Week 5.
But Moore failed to carry the regular season success into the playoffs. The 2021 season ended in the Wild Card Round vs. the San Francisco 49ers. The Cowboys scored 17 points in the loss.
This postseason started strong, with Dallas lighting up the scoreboard in a 31-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But in the Divisional Round, the Cowboys offense fell flat once again in a 19-12 loss to San Francisco.
Moore struggled getting the offense over the hump in the playoffs, and it’s likely what cost him his job in Dallas.