Kellen Moore remaining with Cowboys

Cowboys Nation wanted someone to be held responsible for a first-round exit in the NFL playoffs. At first, fans wanted head coach Mike McCarthy to lose his job, but that wasn’t going to happen after just two seasons into a five-year deal.

Next, it was time for offensive coordinator Kellen Moore to be gone.

That’s not going to happen, either.

Moore, after interviewing for four different head coach openings this offseason, didn’t get the Miami Dolphins gig that officially went to San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel on Sunday.

Moore, a finalist for the Dolphins job, instead will remain with the Cowboys for another year.

There are positives of Moore returning, starting with the Cowboys gaining some continuity with their offensive staff. At this stage, it seems every offensive coach is returning outside of receivers coach Adam Henry, whose contract expired at season’s end.

Moore, in his third season as the offensive play-caller, had an offense ranked No. 1 in total offensive yards (6,919) and scoring average (31.2). Despite the struggles of the run game, Moore’s unit finished tied for seventh in the NFL at 4.5 yards per carry. The passing attack tied for fifth at 7.7 yards per game.

The offense also sent wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (an alternate), left tackle Tyron Smith and right guard Zack Martin to the Pro Bowl. Smith and Martin skipped the Pro Bowl for health reasons. Quarterback Dak Prescott also was selected as an alternate but decided to rest his mind and body after such a taxing season.

Despite the positives, there were several negatives for Moore.

Prescott slumped during the middle of the season, whether that was because of his return from a calf injury, the inconsistency of the offensive line or Moore’s play-calling.

Then Moore himself was too cute at times with the play-calling, not relying more on the basics of running the ball on early downs.

In the NFC wild-card loss to San Francisco, Lamb had one catch for 21 yards and was targeted five times. Backup running back Tony Pollard had six total touches.

Considering what those two meant to the offense, getting them the ball should have occurred more often.

Dallas’ offense had short drives against the 49ers with five possessions into the early stages of the third quarter. Dallas punted on four of those drives. The 49ers had five possession in the first half as they worked the clock with, yeah, the running game. San Francisco scored on four those five possessions.

Moore’s finish to the 2021 season left many questions for him going into this offseason. If he got a head coaching job it would have been a surprise to some. But then again, considering this current coaching hiring cycle, who knows what’s considered surprising anymore.

So Moore returns to a Cowboys team with bigger aspirations in 2022, much to the disappointment of a fanbase left wanting more.

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