Kellen Moore, the new offensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Chargers, will face his former team, the Dallas Cowboys, on Monday Night Football. Moore spent eight years in Dallas as a quarterback, an assistant coach and the offensive coordinator before parting ways with the Cowboys in the offseason. He joined the Chargers in January and has been instrumental in developing rookie quarterback Justin Herbert, who has thrown for 1,195 yards and 11 touchdowns in four games.
Moore said he has no extra motivation to beat the Cowboys, who he still has a lot of respect and appreciation for. He said he enjoyed his time in Dallas and learned a lot from working with head coach Mike McCarthy and quarterback Dak Prescott. He also said he has a good relationship with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who admitted he was dreading facing Moore on Monday.
A different philosophy
Moore and McCarthy had some philosophical differences when it came to running the offense in Dallas. McCarthy said Moore wanted to “light up the scoreboard” while he wanted to “run the damn ball”. The Cowboys ranked first in yards (2019, 2021) and points (2021) in Moore’s four seasons as coordinator, but they also struggled with turnovers and consistency. They were sixth in rushing attempts in 2020 and ranked 11th in total offense and fourth in points.
This season, the Cowboys are 17th in offense and eighth in points, while the Chargers are fifth in total offense and seventh in points. Moore has implemented a balanced and explosive offense that features Herbert’s arm, Austin Ekeler’s versatility and Keenan Allen’s route running. He has also shown creativity and aggressiveness in his play calling, such as going for it on fourth down or calling trick plays.
A big challenge
Moore will face a big challenge on Monday night against a Cowboys defense that is led by defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who was hired by McCarthy to replace Mike Nolan. Quinn has improved the Cowboys’ defense from last year, when they ranked 28th in yards allowed and 23rd in points allowed. This year, they are 12th in yards allowed and 10th in points allowed. They also have 10 takeaways, which is tied for the most in the league.
Moore said he is familiar with Quinn’s scheme from his time in Atlanta, where he was the head coach from 2015 to 2020. He said he expects a tough battle against a talented and disciplined defense that features players like DeMarcus Lawrence, Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs. He said he will have to prepare well and adjust accordingly during the game.
A fun reunion
Moore said he is looking forward to seeing some of his former teammates and coaches on Monday night. He said he still keeps in touch with some of them and wishes them well. He said he is especially close with Prescott, who he mentored as a backup quarterback and coached as an offensive coordinator. He said he is proud of Prescott’s recovery from a season-ending ankle injury last year and his performance this year.
Moore said he is not focused on any personal revenge or satisfaction against the Cowboys. He said he is focused on helping the Chargers win their third straight game and improve their record to 3-2. He said he is grateful for his opportunity with the Chargers and excited about their potential.