MOBILE, Ala. –The Cowboys aren't ready to make formal announcements about any of their coaching hires, but it's clear they expect Kellen Moore to be part of their staff moving forward.
"I don't want to get ahead of an overall announcement, but I'm glad that we're going to have Kellen with us in the future," said team owner/general manager Jerry Jones on Tuesday. "We'll get down to the specific announcements on that, but we have completed an agreement with Kellen."
That confirmation comes after a couple weeks of speculation, as it's widely expected the Cowboys will make their former quarterback their current quarterbacks coach. Moore signed on as a free agent in 2015, eventually starting two games at the tail end of that season.
Moore only took the field a handful of times in a Cowboys uniform, but he has been a fixture around the organization the last few years. His broken leg was one of several factors that opened the door for Dak Prescott to become the franchise's starting quarterback – but that didn't stop Moore from taking on a mentor-type position during Prescott's rookie season.
That has clearly made an impression around the organization, given the decision to bring Moore on in a coaching role. By the time their coaching staff is in place for 2018, the Cowboys will have made eight total changes. But it's worth noting that the coaches in direct contact with their young quarterback will stay consistent, as Moore, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and head coach Jason Garrett are all back for the coming year.
"Obviously, what we felt like with Dak after the first two years is he's come a long way," said team executive vice president Stephen Jones. "We felt like keeping consistency in the voices that are in his ear are important – whether it's Scott, whether it's Coach Garrett, whether it's Kellen. We felt like that was really important."
It has now been three years since Linehan brought Moore into the fold, after he was released by the Detroit Lions. That said, his addition to the coaching staff means he'll be heading into his seventh year in the NFL after going undrafted out of Boise State.
"He didn't have all the skills and all the talent coming out, but he was able to make a place for himself in our league," Stephen Jones said. "He obviously has a tremendous football IQ and mind."
The hope now is that mind goes to work on helping Prescott. It feels harsh to say the young quarterback had a bad season in his second year at the helm – although it's certainly fair to say he took a dip from his 13-win, NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year rookie campaign.
Prescott threw for 3,324 yards and 22 touchdowns, and he rushed 357 yards and six touchdowns en route to a 9-7 record. But his completion percentage and his yards per attempt average fell significantly – not to mention the 13 interceptions.
Jerry Jones bristled at the oft-repeated idea of a "sophomore slump," referencing Prescott's dip in production from Year 1 to Year 2. But he did acknowledge that there's work to do in Year 3.
"There's no question that he didn't have the year that he had the year before," he said. "But I know this: he's a better quarterback now than he was when he started last year. That experience that he had, and some of the things that he did in some of the games were really impressive."
Now, it appears Moore will once again have a hand in helping Prescott – this time in a coaching role, rather than a teammate's. From the sound of it, the hope is that continuity will help Prescott as he gets into the meat of his career.
"We're sitting here with a guy that now has played almost 40 games, counting preseason and everything else and has got a lot of experience," Jerry Jones said. "So we're sitting here just really starting and can build. We intend to take many of the things he does and take the experience he's got, and we intend to shake it up on offense."