Kellen Moore’s intelligence and feel for the game were obvious when he starred for the Boise State football team, putting up a 50-3 record as the starting quarterback from 2008 to 2011. Now, the NFL is about to take notice.
Following one season as the Dallas Cowboys’ quarterbacks coach, Moore was promoted to be Dallas’ new offensive coordinator Thursday.
Moore, who played for the Cowboys from 2015 to 2017 before retiring to join the coaching staff, takes over for Scott Linehan, who was let go two weeks ago. As the NFL seeks the newest, young, offensive-minded coach, the 29-year-old Moore fits the bill.
Quarterback Dak Prescott appeared Thursday on Dallas radio station 105.3 FM The Fan and said of Moore, “He’s honestly one of these young genius phenoms in the game.”
“He’s special,” Prescott said. “He knows a lot about the game, just the way he sees the game, the way he’s ahead of the game. He can bring a lot to us, a lot of creativity.”
Prescott was named to the Pro Bowl after having a bounce-back season in 2018, throwing five fewer interceptions than the previous year, while also passing for 35 more yards per game despite being sacked 56 times.
Appearing on the same station Wednesday, owner Jerry Jones was asked about Moore and implied he would be in charge of calling plays, saying “he’s going to be a key guy in what play is run on that football field – and by key, probably have the ultimate responsibility.”
Moore was the NFC’s offensive coordinator in the Pro Bowl in Orlando on Jan. 27, and the offense didn’t score until the fourth quarter, drawing some social media criticism. But, well, it’s the Pro Bowl. Asked during practices about his potential changing role, he was pretty mum.
“Yeah, we’ll see how it plays out,” Moore told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Yeah, obviously I love it down here. It’s a good group. Were heading in the right direction. We have to keep building on it.”
Jon Kitna, who played 15 NFL seasons, was hired to take over as the Cowboys’ quarterbacks coach in Moore’s former position. The Cowboys beat the Seattle Seahawks in the wild card round Jan. 5 but lost 30-22 to the eventual NFC champion Los Angeles Rams on Jan. 12 in the divisional round.
The son of a successful high school coach in Washington, Moore is No. 2 in FBS history in touchdown passes (142) and No. 6 in yardage (14,667). His younger brother, Kirby, also a former Boise State player, is the wide receivers coach at Fresno State. Kellen Moore reflected on his quick rise when speaking to the Idaho Statesman in September after a win over the Giants.
“It’s unique. I understand most people don’t start out like this. ... But I’m very appreciative of being on this side of things, having this chance,” Moore said.
Moore is just one of many Boise State connections on the Cowboys — the team had five ex-Broncos on the roster to end the season in defensive linemen DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford, linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, safety Darian Thompson and wide receiver Cedrick Wilson.
Former Boise State teammate and five-year NFL vet Richie Brockel:
Former BSU teammate and six year-NFL vet Shea McClellin: