Dallas Cowboys: Kellen Moore signing ensures Dak Prescott return?

Kellen Moore, Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Kellen Moore, Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

Will the Dallas Cowboys re-signing this coach ensure a quarterback return?

The Dallas Cowboys enter into Week 17 of the 2020 NFL regular season with a chance to win their division and a playoff berth. But America’s Team made news before the biggest game of their season so far by taking a step to secure their offense for the foreseeable future.

On Saturday night, the Cowboys announced they have agreed to an extension with current offensive coordinator Kellen Moore on a new three-year deal, securing his services through 2023. Moore was recently rumored to be a top candidate to become the next head coach for Boise State University, his alma mater.

But the signing of the 32-year old Moore may do more than just ensure that the offensive coordinator position in Dallas is filled. It’s also likely viewed as a necessary step in order to sign quarterback Dak Prescott to a long-term deal this upcoming offseason.

Prescott, who is set to become the top unrestricted free agent in the NFL come March, played this past season on the team’s exclusive franchise tag, earning a whopping $31.4 million in 2020. Unfortunately, the two-time Pro Bowl passer played just five games under center for Dallas this past year after suffering a season-ending ankle injury in Week Five.

While the Cowboys do have the option to use the franchise tag once again to ensure Prescott remains in Dallas in 2021 (at a cost of $37.7 million), the brass in Dallas would surely prefer to get a long-term contract extension done in order to spread his potential record-breaking salary over the life of the deal.

Securing Moore’s future in Dallas would seemingly further entice Prescott to remain with the Cowboys, perhaps helping in the negotiation process between the player and the team which should resume soon.

Moore and Prescott first connected during Dak’s rookie season back in 2016. Kellen was the Cowboys’ backup quarterback to starter Tony Romo at the time. And Prescott was the team’s fourth-round selection out of Mississippi State. Injuries to both Romo and Moore forced Dak into the primary role Week One of the regular season … and he’s been the starter ever since.

With Prescott assuming the mantle under center for the Cowboys, Moore transitioned to quarterbacks coach in 2018 and was promoted to the offensive coordinator role the following year. That season, the offense in Dallas was ranked first in the NFL in total yardage, averaging 431.5 yards per game.

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In 2019, Dak Prescott posted the best statistical season of his five-year career with Kellen Moore as his offensive coordinator. He threw for 4,902 yards, 30 touchdowns, and only 11 interceptions. Prior to his exit in Week Five this season, Prescott was on pace to exceed those numbers.