It's always interesting to see the reactions whenever a coveted player or coach doesn't get hired. Take Kellen Moore for example. The Cleveland Browns interviewed the former Los Angeles Chargers and Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator for their OC vacancy but Moore wound up selecting the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday night.
Cleveland fans had been hopeful they would land Moore, who has put together some impressive seasons as a play-caller. With him out of the picture, those same fans have begun to show their disappointment. However, when you check out what Dallas fans are saying, it might make you feel a little better that he chose to go elsewhere.
Browns social media reactions full of disappointment
The Cleveland faithful seemed to be overwhelmingly thrilled about the prospect of landing Moore, and it made sense. He's one of the biggest names out there but beyond being recognizable as a promising young coach, he's also put up some impressive campaigns.
Moore led the Dallas Cowboys to the top offense in terms of yardage twice in his four-year tender. The only exceptions were in 2020 when Dak Prescott played just five games and then in 2022 when Prescott missed six games. With Andy Dalton and Cooper Rush taking over during those contests, the offense did slow down considerably (which is understandable).
It also makes sense that fans would look at those numbers and think the Browns missed out with Moore heading elsewhere. And there have been several discussions on social media focused on those numbers.
What they don't focus on is the issues he had with the Los Angeles Chargers. Moore was fine with leaving Dallas so he could carve his own path away from Mike McCarthy. He was expected to take Justin Herbert to the next level and while he had a good season throwing the ball, the L.A. offense was 18th in yards and 24th in points — both the worst finishes of Moore's career.
This can be explained in part by the offense falling apart in the final four games when Herbert was injured (although Kevin Stefanski made it work with a quarterback who was old and without a team). Still, it tells part of the story as does the reaction of Dallas fans who will now face Moore twice per season in the NFC East.
Cowboys social media mocks Eagles for landing their former coach
No fan base has had as much experience with Moore as the Cowboys have. After playing for Jim Schwartz in Detroit, he headed to Dallas as a backup quarterback in 2015 and served in that role for three years. As soon as he retired, Moore was hired as the quarterbacks coach under Jason Garrett.
One year later, he was promoted to offensive coordinator and did well enough to stick around when Mike McCarthy was hired. However, fans were beyond frustrated with this decision and accused owner Jerry Jones of forcing the OC on McCarthy — much as he did with Garrett when he hired Wade Phillips many years ago.
Fans felt Moore left a lot on the table, especially when it came to player usage. Far too often, Moore would use top players such as Amari Cooper as a decoy while he forced the ball to other players. That's why some Cowboys fans were letting the Browns know that Cooper might become a ghost under his former play-caller.
There were some Eagles fans out there as well who were less than thrilled. And when they expressed their confusion, followers in Big D had no issue joining in and laughing.
What all of this comes down to is the frustration Cowboys fans had with Moore being incredibly predictable. He loved to throw on first-and-10 but far too often would run a draw play or run between the tackles on second-and-10. That inevitably set up third-and-long which led to the dreaded curl route.
This predictability got under their skin in a hurry. Moore seemed to love having his guys — every single one of them — run to the sticks and turn around. You can guess how often this worked. And when it did, it was a testament to the players who made a catch despite tight coverage.
Perhaps the most telling is the way CeeDee Lamb exploded once Moore was out. The fourth-year wideout added 28 receptions to his total in 2023, giving him an NFL-leading 135 catches on the season. He also set the franchise record with 1,749 yards and had 12 touchdowns — making him the first Cowboy to record double-digit touchdowns since Dez Bryant back in 2014.
Time will tell if Philadelphia made the right move but it seems as though Dallas fans believe Cleveland dodged a bullet this weekend.