Cowboys OC Kellen Moore removes himself from Boise State coaching search, agrees to contract extension with Dallas

Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore’s contract was set to expire after this season. 

With a head-coach opening at Moore’s alma mater, Boise State, his tenure with the Cowboys was at risk of expiring, as well.

Instead, the Cowboys and Moore reached a multiyear extension, the team announced Saturday night. The deal is a three-year contract extension through the 2023 season, a person with knowledge of the deal told USA TODAY Sports on Saturday night. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly disclose the length of the deal.  

“I am very excited to remain with the Dallas Cowboys as the offensive coordinator,” Moore said in a statement released by the team. “I will no longer be pursuing the head coaching job at Boise State. I love Boise State. I will always root for them, and I hope one day to be a part of the program again. 

“I am thankful to the Jones family and Mike McCarthy for providing me with the opportunity to coach these special players. I am excited for us to put it all together and finish the job.”

Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and the team have agreed to a contract extension. (Photo: Matthew Emmons, USA TODAY Sports)

Moore was reportedly a top choice for Boise State after head coach Bryan Harsin was hired by Auburn on Dec. 22. Moore considered the position, he told reporters Monday.

“Obviously Boise is a unique one for me, special to me, I love that place,” said Moore, who posted a 50-3 record (.943 winning percentage) as the starting quarterback at Boise State from 2008-2011. “Obviously just going through the process right now. I’m just focused on this game. We’ll kind of let all this stuff play out and see where it takes us.”

The confirmation that Moore will stay with the Cowboys came hours after Boise State announced the hiring of Jeramiah Dickey, previously Baylor's associate vice president of intercollegiate athletics, as the school's next athletic director.

The Cowboys hired McCarthy as head coach last year after parting ways with Jason Garrett. McCarthy largely cleaned house, keeping just three assistants on staff. Moore was the only coordinator to remain. McCarthy also permitted Moore to call the plays, despite previous assertions McCarthy would “never” give up play-calling responsibilities again.

Moore, 32, has ascended quickly in the club – from backup quarterback from 2015-17 to quarterbacks coach in 2018 to offensive coordinator in 2019. The Cowboys finished 8-8 in 2019 but boasted the league’s most productive offense by yardage, averaging 431.5 yards per game. Their 2020 attack has been more tumultuous, marred by turnovers and a lengthy list of injuries. Dak Prescott suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 5. The Cowboys started four different quarterbacks in a stretch of five games. Eight offensive linemen landed on injured reserve. 

With a stabilizing lineup in December, the Cowboys enter their regular-season finale on a three-game winning streak, scoring at least 30 points in each game during that stretch.

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If the Cowboys re-sign Prescott, Moore’s offensive cast could include Prescott; running backs Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard; and a loaded receiving corp of Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb. Pro Bowl offensive linemen Tyron Smith and Zack Martin are expected to return, as well.

“He’s so smart,” Elliott said of Moore. “That was his biggest strength when he was a football player here was how smart he is and his knowledge of the game. And then I’d say probably just his ability to be personable, his ability to motivate.”

McCarthy said Moore has “so much love and respect” at The Star.

“He’s very consistent, very thorough, always has a smile on his face,” McCarthy said. “We want him here.”

Saturday night, Moore confirmed he wanted the same.

“We are building something special here in Dallas,” Moore said.

Follow USA Today Sports’ Jori Epstein on Twitter: @JoriEpstein 

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