Weeks 1-4 will make or break Cowboys OC Kellen Moore’s future

Dallas Cowboys, Kellen Moore (Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)
Dallas Cowboys, Kellen Moore (Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports) /

When you talk about the direction the Dallas Cowboys offense is going to go, you usually hear about how quarterback Dak Prescott is the engine that runs the machine. Well, that is true, but the oil that keeps the engine running correctly is offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, who’s in a make-or-break season.

Moore will have to hit the ground running in 2022 or risk possibly losing his job. We already know that head coach Mike McCarthy saw issues with the offensive play calling and lack of real adjustments to defenses that were able to slow or stop Moore’s offensive game plan.

The first four weeks of the season are going to be crucial for Moore who will need a strong game plan against one of the best defenses in the league in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and last year’s AFC conference champions in the Cincinnati Bengals. If that wasn’t enough pressure with the possibility of being down two games right off the bat, the Cowboys and Moore then jump into two NFC East games back to back. When you also take a look at the schedules of the other NFC East teams, in the first two weeks, the Cowboys and Moore weren’t done any favors.

Cowboys OC Kellen Moore has a lot to prove in the first four weeks of the season

Let’s not forget that Moore will likely have to do all of this without one of his top receivers. The rest of the NFC East doesn’t have that issue. The Washington Commanders will be facing the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Detroit Lions in Weeks 1 and 2. The Philadelphia Eagles will face the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns. The Giants face the Tenessee Titans and Carolina Panthers. Outside of the Giants, who aren’t seen as a real contender at the moment, the Eagles and Commanders have the opportunity to go up two games on the Cowboys if Moore isn’t able to get this offense going quickly. Without Gallup and two of his former starting offensive linemen, this offseason made things a bit more difficult for Moore, who was already on the hot seat last year as the offense struggled in the second half of the season.

Moore is going to need to come up with much more creative ways to get the offenses’ running game established which should include more outside runs and not jet sweeps. This way, he is able to protect his quarterback because he can’t just depend on Prescott to will this team to victories each game. After last season’s drop in production, it was obvious that teams figured out how to defend the Cowboys’ passing offense due to their lack of a running game down the stretch. Moore should also figure out how to get the ball into running back Tony Pollard’s hands. Each time Pollard got an opportunity, he was able to make plays but down the stretch. Moore just didn’t seem to use Pollard, who was clearly the more productive running back on the roster.

Moore’s future with the Cowboys will be under scrutiny all season, but if he’s unable to show improvement early on, then there’s a good possibility that Mike McCarthy could take over playcalling. The head coach has already injected himself into the offensive gameplans and could decide that he can better handle play-calling and recommend that Moore be let go. With his job also in question, McCarthy isn’t going to wait long or give Moore a long leash, which definitely adds more pressure on Moore. The Cowboys may have the easiest schedule per CBS Sports, but the first portion of the schedule is quite challenging. Getting off to the right start is crucial for Moore.

Next. Most Difficult Stretch of Games on Cowboys' Schedule. dark