After several weeks of speculation following their divisional round loss to the Los Angeles Rams, the Dallas Cowboys confirmed that the main changes to their coaching staff will involve second-year coach and former Cowboys backup quarterback Kellen Moore being elevated to offensive coordinator and former Cowboys backup quarterback Jon Kitna filling Moore's old role as quarterbacks coach. And after there was some speculation that the Cowboys might return play-calling duties to Jason Garrett, both Garrett and Jerry Jones confirmed that it is instead Moore who will call plays in 2019.
"We anticipate that he will call plays," Garrett said, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Jones, meanwhile, knows that Moore is a young coach who does not have a lot of experience. He feels good about having a lot of experienced staffers around him to help ease the transition to becoming a play-caller in just his second coaching season, but is most enthusiastic about the potential for creativity that he brings to the table.
"I think it's a great opportunity for our team and our players," Jones said. "He has a great staff on the offensive side with him and they all have some great ideas. We have Jason sitting there as a safety net. I think it's an ideal time to stretch out. I said to everybody, 'I want those new ideas. I want them thought through far. And if they are not being implemented call me.' But let's get in there and do the kinds of things to get the most out of a very talented roster. Kellen has the skill and the right attitude and style to make this work."
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Meanwhile, the Cowboys owner and coach confirmed that Garrett himself will not receive a contract extension heading into the final year of his current deal.
Jerry Jones on the NFL Honors red carpet over the weekend when asked about a Jason Garrett contract extension: "Well, no. He doesn't need one. He's got a contract. We really don't have to worry about that right now." Garrett is entering the final year of his current deal— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) February 4, 2019
Garrett has been the coach of the Cowboys since midway through the 2010 season. He's compiled a record of 77-59 during that time, while making the playoffs in three of eight full seasons and going 2-3 in postseason games. For his part, Garrett is not worried about his contract situation.
Jason Garrett when asked on the NFL Honors red carpet about a new contract: “Yeah, I’m not real worried about that. We had a real good year with a good, young football team. We’re just excited about continuing to build that team. That’s the work that we’re going to focus on.” https://t.co/48t1iTzFFl— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) February 4, 2019
Jason Garrett asked on @nflnetwork if he feels the pressure for next season: “No, we’re just excited to get back to work. You clean up what happened in 2018, we’ll start focusing on the draft and get ready to build this team, a team we can all be proud of.”— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) February 4, 2019
The Cowboys had the youngest offense and defense in the NFL during the 2018 season and have a bunch of cap space with which they can improve their roster this offseason. They have no first-round pick in 2019 thanks to the Amari Cooper trade, however, and extensions are looming for Cooper, DeMarcus Lawrence, Dak Prescott, Byron Jones, Ezekiel Elliott, and more. Once Prescott in particular gets a new deal, it is going to have to dramatically change the composition of the Dallas roster.
Additionally, the Cowboys benefited in 2018 from both a friendly schedule they will not have next year and from going 8-2 in one-possession games, typically a sign a team will regress in the future. If that happens, it could cost Garrett his job, and Moore or de facto defensive coordinator Kris Richard could be in line for a promotion.