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Kellen Moore & the Art of Installing an Offense 


FRISCO, Texas– Kellen Moore has been running offenses for most of his life, but this month marks the first time he's had to install one.

It's an annual tradition in football. When the calendar flips over to spring, teams take the field for the first time in four months and go through their install – which is to say, they lay the groundwork for the plays they want to run in the fall.

What that means for Moore, who is in the early stages of his first year as an offensive coordinator, is an interesting look at the type of offense he wants to run.

"It's different pieces each and every day, whether it's formations or whether it's personnel, play type, field zone," Moore said on Wednesday. "All these things, they kind of get flavored up each day. So whether it's an emphasis in a certain formation, and then maybe down the line introduce a personnel group that you don't do as much."

Through two weeks of OTAs, Moore's commitment to variety does seem noticeable. The Cowboys have taken the field in a multitude of different personnel groupings and formations.

This past Wednesday saw the Cowboys begin to install their red zone offense, which, to hear it from Dak Prescott, was one of the final aspects of the offense that hadn't been covered – even at this early stage of the offseason.

"Credit to the coaches, they threw more at us this year," Prescott said. "A lot of times you install and you just install a few plays here and there. We talked about installing the red zone, but for the most part we've already installed and now we're coming back to it."

That raises an interesting question for a first-year coordinator. As fun as it might be to get back onto a field, the Cowboys still have precious few opportunities to work on these things during the spring. Even including a three-day minicamp, they'll practice roughly 10 times before they break the training camp.

Which begs the question: how do you balance perfecting things versus simply getting acquainted with them?

"That's some of the interesting battles of OTAs, because sometimes you want to clean something up but you're moving on to the next thing," Moore said. "That's part of this. We'll go through it in this phase, and then we'll go to training camp. We'll hit a very similar progression of it, so we'll be able to hit it again and hopefully clean it up again and then we'll hopefully be ready come September."

Moore said his plan is to have the core components of the offense installed during the spring. Four weeks' worth of training camp practices will give the Cowboys a chance to add some extra flavor, not to mention fine tune things.

For now, the installation goes on.