Dallas Cowboys

New Cowboys O.C. Kellen Moore will call plays as Jerry Jones mandates fresh, new ideas

Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said the plan is for newly named offensive coordinator Kellen Moore to call plays in 2019.

“We anticipate that he will call plays,” Garrett said from Super Bowl LIII when asked specifically about Moore, who has been promoted from quarterback coach to replace the fired Scott Linehan. “We want to look at different ways of doing things.”

The latter has been mandated by owner Jerry Jones, who said he has told all the coaches he wants fresh ideas and if it’s not being implemented to call him.

Jones, nor Garrett, are worried about Moore being in just his second year as a coach. He coached quarterbacks in 2018 after a six-year career in the NFL as a backup quarterback.

His youth and creativity are what they covet for a Cowboys offense that has grown stagnant, predictable and struggled to score in 2018.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for our team and our players,” Jones said. “He has a great staff on the offensive side with him and they all have some great ideas. We have Jason sitting there as a safety net. I think it’s an ideal time to stretch out.

“I said to everybody, ‘I want those new ideas. I want them thought through far. And if they are not being implemented call me.’ But let’s get in there and do the kinds of things to get the most out of a very talented roster. Kellen has the skill, and the right attitude, and style to make this work.”

Garrett said Moore’s best asset as a player was his smarts. And that is one of the reasons they made him quarterback coach last year and why he is excited about his future as an offensive coordinator, despite his youth.

“He is young,” Garrett said. “We recognize he doesn’t have a lot of experience as a coach. But we are going to surround him with some good veteran coaches and help him grow in this role. And we think he is going to respond well.”

Garrett said it’s going to be a collective effort but they want to look at different ways to do things and that’s “one of the reasons we have confidence in giving Kellen this opportunity.”

It’s a gamble that must pay off for Garrett, who did not get a contract extension and is heading into the final year of his deal coaching for his job in 2019.

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is a big fan of the move. He pushed for Moore to become quarterback coach last year after his new mentor spent 2016 and 2017 largely as his backup.

“He brings his mind. The way he sees. The ways he thinks the game. The way he processes it and tells other people,” Prescott said when asked what Moore brings to the table. “ I think that is big. To be able to see it but also coach it and get others to see it the same way you do is special. I’m completely excited about what he is going to do. It’s his offense. Go at it as you want. Be as creative as you want. And I know he is going to.”

Asked if Moore was going to have full control, Prescott said, “I would hope so.”

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Clarence E. Hill Jr. has covered the Dallas Cowboys as a beat writer/columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram since 1997. That includes just two playoff wins, six coaches and countless controversies from the demise of the dynasty teams of the 1990s through the rollercoaster years of the Tony Romo era until Jason Garrett’s process Cowboys.