FRISCO, Texas — Kellen Moore is no longer the offensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys, ending a four-year run that saw the offense ranked inside the top 10 three times.
In a statement Sunday night, Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy said the Cowboys and Moore reached a “mutual decision to part” after an end-of-season review process and additional discussion.
Upon accepting a head coaching job with Dallas in 2020, McCarthy felt it was important to keep Moore in place as an advantage to Duck PrescottSince Moore had just completed his first season as the team’s offensive coordinator, a season in which the Cowboys boasted the highest-ranking offense in terms of yards per game; Prescott also threw for 4,902 yards in 2019.
Sources told ESPN that McCarthy would likely take over playing responsibilities, but no decisions were made.
With Prescott returning from a dislocated and fractured right ankle in 2020, the Cowboys were ranked first in offense in yards and points per game in 2021. In 2022, the Cowboys ranked fourth in points per game and eleventh in yards despite missing Prescott five games with a broken thumb.
“I want to thank Killeen for his deep commitment, hard work, and dedication that have been an essential part of his time with the Cowboys,” McCarthy’s statement read. “Producing our insult and directing Duck were at the heart of Killeen’s influence, and we are grateful for his tenure and leadership.”
Jason Garrett was the last Cowboys coach to call plays in 2012. After that season, owner and general manager Jerry Jones wanted Garrett to give up those duties and focus on the entire team. Bill Callahan called the plays in 2013, followed by Scott Linehan from 2014 to 2018, before Moore took over.
Last week, Moore, who has one year left on his contract, interviewed for the vacant Carolina Panthers head coach job that eventually went to Frank Reich. The Los Angeles Chargers recently asked for permission to speak to Moore about opening an offensive coordinator, a source said.
Last year, Moore was a finalist for the Miami Dolphins job that went to Mike McDaniel. In 2020, Moore withdrew from running for the job at Boise University, his alma mater.
Nor will Cowboys coach Doug Nusmayer, whose contract has expired, return.
“Doug is the consummate professional and he brings a level of football insight, enthusiasm and focus to work every day that has helped everyone he has worked with during his time here with the Cowboys perform at a higher level,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy served as the Packers’ caller for most of his 13-year tenure in Green Bay. He gave up those duties for a period in 2015, but has resumed play-by-play and has vowed to do so for the rest of his time as Lakers coach, making his decision to keep Moore a play-by-play player in 2020 a surprising one.
In Green Bay, McCarthy coached Brett Favre and W.J Aaron Rodgers, for whom interceptions were rarely a problem. After intercepting 29 passes in 2005, Favre cut his interceptions to 18 and 15 in 2006 and 2007, respectively. Rodgers became the starter in 2008 and never had more than 13 home runs in a season, eclipsing double figures only twice (2008, 2010).
Prescott tied the NFL’s lead in interceptions in 2022 with 15, despite missing all five games. However, just one season prior, he set a team record with 37 touchdown passes and only 10 interceptions.
Brian Schottenheimer, who served as a consultant in Dallas in 2022, could be a coordinating candidate.
After the Cowboys lost in the divisional round to the San Francisco 49ers, McCarthy informed six coaches that they would not return: assistant head coach Rob Davis, defensive senior assistant George Edwards, linebackers coach Skip Beatty, offensive line coach Joe Philbin, quality control coach Kyle Valero and assistant line coach Defense Leon Lett.
The Cowboys managed to keep defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who removed his name from head coaching consideration elsewhere.