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Dolphins Coaching Search: The Case for Kellen Moore

Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore is among the seven candidates who have been identified for the Miami Dolphins head-coaching opening

A little more than a week after firing head coach Brian Flores, the Miami Dolphins are very active these days interviewing candidates to become his replacement.

The Dolphins reportedly interviewed 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel via Zoom on Wednesday after talking to Bills assistants Brian Daboll and Leslie Frazier in person Sunday.

The team also reportedly is scheduled to interview Dallas' two coordinators, Dan Quinn and Kellen Moore, on Thursday and also has requested interviews with Vance Joseph and Thomas Brown.

As the process continues, we'll spotlight the candidates and make the case why each would represent a good hire for the Dolphins — along with a reason or two why he wouldn't.

We continue with Kellen Moore.


-- Moore is what you call a young star in the coaching profession. Despite being only 32, Moore just finished his third season as Cowboys offensive coordinator. And the Cowboys finished first in 2021 in total offense and points scored, so Moore clearly has an idea of what he's doing.

-- Moore is perfectly suited to help develop a young quarterback and make the most of his ability, having played the position — and very well — at Boise State.

For the Dolphins, it also could be seen as a bonus that Moore is a lefty, just like Tua Tagovailoa because Moore has been where Tua is.

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-- As a 32-year-old coach, it's highly unlikely that Moore would come in and want to do anything less than be fully cooperative and collaborative with everyone else in the Dolphins organization, which was a big them of Stephen Ross' press conference when he discussed the firing of Brian Flores.


-- The first and most obvious reason for hesitation would be Moore's age.

Yes, Mike Tomlin and Sean McVay have succeeded after being hired at around the same age (Tomlin at 35 and McVay at 31), but it's also a tricky deal because there's something to be said for being able to command a room.

-- While Moore has had a lot of success in Dallas (the Cowboys also were No. 1 in total offense in 2019), it's not like he hasn't had a ton of great players to help his cause. This season, for example, his offense included Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and, oh, one of the best offensive lines in the NFL.

-- If a big reason to consider Moore has been his success as a play-caller, then it's only fair to wonder about the decision to call a quarterback draw with 14 seconds left and no timeouts from the opponent's 41-yard line and needing a touchdown to win.

Yes, head coach Mike McCarthy had to sign off on the play, but it still was a highly questionable call given the obstacles involved in being able to get a good enough gain to justify the risk of having time run out with the ensuing spike, which is just what happened to Dallas.


Some quick thoughts from Mike Fisher, longtime NFL writer and publisher of SI Fan Nation sister site Cowboy Maven:

"The upside to Kellen Moore is he will come in and and befriend your quarterback ,whoever your quarterback in Miami might be. He is a clever and creative play-caller and thinker. The people that know him who have been in meetings with him inside the star who have also been in meetings with Jason Garrett, who are fans of the former head coach Jason Garrett, say that Kellen Moore is the smartest coach in the room, and always has been. So he's very much a natural for this. Kellen Moore someday is a head coach in the NFL. And while predicting success is impossible ... but in terms of offensive football genius Kellen Moore could do that."

"We have a recency bias. And so we look at the Cowboys loss that ends their season to San Francisco. 'Oh, Kellen Moore sucks. Dak Prescott sucks. Mike McCarthy.' Look, they did go 12-5, had the No. 1 offensive football statistically with a couple of burps along the way. But this was a 30-point scoring offense that a couple times was unable to do that and of course it's San Francisco and in a costly way. If Kellen moore is the head coach of the Miami Dolphins, I think you can expect it to be very soon a 30-point-a-game offense."