Boise State Football

QB: Kellen Moore shows ‘so much command’ as Cowboys’ new offensive coordinator

The Dallas Cowboys have of course not yet played a game, let alone had their first full practice of the offseason, but they already are getting an idea of what Kellen Moore is all about.

Dallas’ first-year offensive coordinator, who spent the 2018 season as quarterbacks coach following three seasons on the team’s roster, recently spoke with the media about what he has in store for an offense that was 22nd in total yards and scoring last season.

Moore, naturally, was a little coy, but his ideas frankly sound a little familiar to Boise State fans with his thoughts on creativity and dressing up simple plays with multiple formations.

“I think the beauty of our current roster is we have a lot of versatility,” Moore said, according to the Dallas Morning News. “We have guys that can kind of line up in a lot of different places. Hopefully we can be multiple and present things in different ways, and at the end of the day, still have our foundation and our philosophy. You can run similar plays, just out of a lot of different looks.”

In April, the Cowboys selected running back Tony Pollard out of Memphis in the fourth round. Pollard fits the versatile mold, having averaged 7.1 yards per carry last season to go with a kickoff return touchdown and 39 catches for 458 yards. Pollard said Moore is “crazy incredible” at utilizing players’ strengths in a scheme, according to USA Today’s Jori Epstein.

“I think he does a great job making sure everything fits and really organizing our staff so that everybody understands what their role is, delegating things,” first-year quarterbacks coach Jon Kitna, a 14-year NFL veteran, told the DMN. “And then how we want things to be coached, along with that he’s got a beautiful mind.”

Dallas will hold its first organized team activities (OTAs) Tuesday through Thursday, May 28-30 and June 3-6. Moore, the former Boise State quarterback who had a 50-3 record from 2008 to 2011, will certainly be in the spotlight as the playcaller on the offense of the NFL’s most visible team.

He already has won over some critics, including former Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin, a Hall of Famer. Irvin said a discussion with Pro Bowl running back Ezekiel Elliott made a huge difference.

“I scratched my head when it went down,” Irvin said on The Rich Eisen Show on May 6. “After speaking this weekend with Ezekiel Elliott, I kind of did a … 180 on it. … Zeke said, ‘Michael, this kid is smart.’ He said he’s smart and I think the most important thing … he said he’ll listen to us. What we see on the field, he’ll listen and incorporate it in the game plan.”

In plenty of situations, Moore is quiet and restrained, which had some Cowboys fans wondering if he could demand respect from an entire offense. Nevermind how much of that he garnered at Boise State or from his NFL teammates, but hiring a young, relatively inexperienced offensive coordinator was sure to draw some criticism.

Fourth-year starting quarterback Dak Prescott, who started immediately as a rookie in 2016 due in part to a season-ending injury suffered by Moore, was coached directly by Moore last season. He said Moore already is taking control as coordinator.

“He’s shown so much command,” Prescott told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “And maybe a guy like that maybe that’s what people question is his command. He played backup quarterback most of his career. Does he have that? Can he take over the room? And he most definitely can. He gets in front of the whole offense. He gets in front of the team, whatever it may be. He demands respect. He demands respect by his knowledge. He demands respect by what he asks of us.”

MAEVA FINDS LANDING SPOT: Former Boise State linebacker Tyson Maeva, who was dismissed from the team prior to the start of the spring semester, announced via Twitter he will transfer to Florida International.

FIU’s defensive coordinator is former Boise State defensive lineman Jeff Copp, who played with Boise State coach Bryan Harsin in the late 1990s. Maeva, who started 25 games in his Boise State career, was second on the team with 61 tackles last season. He has a redshirt year available, which he likely will use since he is transferring to another FBS program, and play as a senior in 2020.

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Dave Southorn is a 2004 graduate from the University of Colorado. He has covered Boise State athletics since 2005, and worked at the Idaho Statesman since 2013. He’s won multiple Idaho Press Club awards and once won a contest designing a play for the Seattle Seahawks.If you like seeing stories like this, please consider supporting our work with a digital subscription to the Idaho Statesman.