Cowboys fans might caution Browns on inconsistent Kellen Moore

Should the Cleveland Browns use Kellen Moore's time in Dallas as a cautionary tale?

Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns / Tom Pennington/GettyImages

Kellen Moore has coaching in his blood. The son of a football coach, Moore quickly went from backup quarterback with the Dallas Cowboys to their quarterbacks coach. One year after that, he was the offensive coordinator, a position he held for four years. Now after one season in the same role with the Los Angeles Chargers, Moore is set to interview for the Cleveland Browns vacancy.

Initial reaction to this news seems rather positive among the fan base. The general feeling is that Moore has led some of the best offenses in the NFL over the past several years. However, the fan base that knows him best likely wouldn't agree.

Moore spent eight years as a player and coach with the Cowboys and was always a favorite of team owner Jerry Jones. Moore even stayed on when Mike McCarthy took over as the head coach in 2020. That seemed to be a brilliant move as the offense was first in the NFL in yards and scoring in 2021 — after they went through 2020 without Dak Prescott for 11 games.

The problem is that Moore's offense struggled in the playoffs that year and fans were ready to see him go before the 2022 campaign. He returned and the team saw a major decline going from first in yards to 11th. Even worse, they dropped seven spots when it came to giveaways as well, with Prescott leading the NFL with 15 interceptions in just 12 games — and once again fell flat in the playoffs.

After the season, Moore and McCarthy decided to end their partnership and Moore took over the offense with the Chargers. Without Moore, Dallas was fifth in the NFL in yards and first in points. Prescott also had six fewer interceptions despite playing in all 17 games. More importantly, the offense stopped trying to use their best players as decoys — which Moore often did. Instead, they force-fed CeeDee Lamb who set franchise records with 135 receptions and 1,749 yards.

As for Moore, he took over an offense that was ninth in yards and 13th in scoring and finished lower in each area. His offense was 21st in scoring and 18th in yards. To be fair, they did lose Justin Herbert after 13 games but they weren't setting the world on fire with him either. He also couldn't put up too many points with the backups, which is something Kevin Stefanski and Alex Van Pelt were able to do this year with Joe Flacco.

Perhaps the issue goes deeper than Moore but the trends are alarming. Having said that, it's good the Browns are casting a wide net as they continue to look at just about every option to help replace Van Pelt.

More Browns coverage