3 biggest disappointments from the Dallas Cowboys’ 2021 season

Kellen Moore, Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Kellen Moore, Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Kellen Moore, Dallas Cowboys
Kellen Moore, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

1. Kellen Moore’s Playcalling

Since taking over as the offensive coordinator for the Cowboys, Kellen Moore has been praised for his creativity as a play-caller. He lived up to this as well, securing the No. 1 offense in terms of yardage and No. 2 in points scored in 2021.

Now heading into the 2022 season, Moore continues to get praise — coming in as the No. 2 play-caller in the league according to PFF.


On the surface, things seemed to be great for Moore and the Dallas offense. That is, until you peel the layers back.

Moore had success overall but much of that came in chunks — against lesser opponents. The Cowboys dropped 41 on the Eagles early in the season before they hit their stride, 36 on the Panthers, 44 on the Giants, 43 on the Falcons, and finally 51 in the finale against the reserves in Philly.

When facing better teams, however, they didn’t fare as well. The Cowboys scored a measly nine points against the Chiefs, 20 against the Chargers, 22 against Arizona, and 17 against the San Francisco 49ers in the postseason loss. We also saw in that game that Moore struggled to move the ball much at all, although much of this was due to the aforementioned penalties the offensive line was hit with.

On top of that, Moore continued to feature Ezekiel Elliott as the workhorse despite the fact that Tony Pollard was the far superior player in 2021. Elliott averaged 4.2 yards per attempt with a long of 47 on the season. As for Pollard, he was running for 5.5 yards per carry and had a long of 58.

Despite this, Zeke was giving 107 more attempts than Pollard and had nearly 20 more passing targets as well despite Pollard also excelling in that area.

If Dallas is going to be better in 2022, they will need Moore to be at his best, especially with Cooper and Cedrick Wilson playing elsewhere.

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