Cowboys coaching rumors: Dallas going to backup QB well for new OC, hiring Kellen Moore, Jon Kitna

Many years ago, Jerry Jones got fed up with his head coach Wade Phillips and decided to make his first-ever in-season coaching change, turning to Jason Garrett, his former backup quarterback turned offensive coordinator. The Cowboys are making a similar move as they head towards 2019, apparently hiring Kellen Moore and Jon Kitna to fill out their coaching staff. 

The Cowboys finally let go of Scott Linehan, after it was rumored for months that he might be sent packing this offseason.

Moore is reportedly in line for a promotion to offensive coordinator, according to a report from Ian Rapoport of NFL Media. Moore is a former Boise State standout who went undrafted in 2012 but latched on as the Lions backup for several years. He would eventually end up with the Cowboys in a backup role for three years; it looked like he might be THE GUY when Tony Romo went down with a preseason back injury but then this guy named Dak Prescott emerged. 

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This past season, Moore made the move to coaching and served as the Cowboys quarterbacks coach in 2018 on Garrett's staff. The phrases "fast-rising" and "impressive" were used to describe Moore, a notably cerebral quarterback at both the college and NFL level. 

Moving him to OC would make sense, because he wouldn't need to immediately call plays. The expectation is Garrett will be doing that in 2019. 

But there are more potential backup quarterbacks on the move towards Dallas. According to Rapoport, the Cowboys plan on hiring former Cowboys backup -- and former Lions starter! -- Jon Kitna has quarterbacks coach, replacing Moore in that position. 

Kitna, like Moore, went undrafted out of college, although Kitna left school much earlier (1996). Kitna would play for the Seahawks for several years and then head to Barcelona for a season before eventually returning to start for the Bengals. He had a remarkable run before Cincy snagged Carson Palmer (and even produced with Palmer sitting on the bench as a rookie). Then he had a pretty nice run with the Lions -- he led the league in completed passes in 2006 at the age of 34 and started 36 games over three seasons there -- and then landed with the Cowboys where he finished his career as Tony Romo's backup. 

His first season with Dallas was the year Phillips was fired and then Kitna spent his final seasons playing under Garrett.

More recently, Kitna was a coach at the high school level before becoming the offensive coordinator for the San Diego Fleet of the recently formed Alliance of American Football. 

Backup quarterback has been a position that's created a lot of success at the coaching level. The Cowboys are hoping to create a pipeline in Dallas that leads to an impressive season from Prescott and the Cowboys offense. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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