‘Practice coaching’ helps Cowboys get ready for Kellen Moore the play-caller

practice coaching
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Kellen Moore (17) gives a thumbs up before an NFL game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, Sunday, October 4, 2015. The Saints defeated the Cowboys in overtime, 26-20. (James D. Smith via AP)

Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett is a strong believer in “practice coaching,” even though older coaches throughout the game have placed little emphasis. And it is the practice coaching that will help the club evaluate how ready offensive coordinator Kellen Moore is to be the play-caller in September.

“I believe very strongly in practice coaching,” Garrett told the media Tuesday. “Sometimes older coaches say, ‘Well, it’s like practice coaching. We’re working those guys that aren’t going to make our team.’ I believe strongly in practice coaching. You’ve got to get better individually. You’ve got to get better as a staff and use every opportunity to do that.”

Moore ran some of the offensive meetings when he was a first-year quarterbacks coach in 2018 and has the ability to take command of a room, which is one of the ways that Garrett and company evaluate an assistant coach.

“For the younger coaches who haven’t been in front of the team very much, I think it’s important to evaluate that and make sure they’re able to command the room and hold the room and get the information across like we need them to,” Garrett said.

Now, Moore has greater responsibility as he is in charge of the scripting of the offensive side of the ball during organized team activities and veteran minicamp. And make no mistake that Garrett and the Cowboys’ brass is evaluating how Moore handles that duty.

“We try to evaluate ourselves and how present the information to our team,” said Garrett. “What do the meetings look like. What do the walkthroughs look like. How is practice. How’s the recap after practice. So you’re trying to get better in all those different areas.”

What the Cowboys seek to do with Moore is not leave him out on an island coordinating the offense. Rather, they want to make the legendary Boise State quarterback a part of a collaborative effort to lessen his burden.

Said Garrett: “It’s a collaborative process. There’s no one coach on our staff who’s doing everything. That’s just not how it works. I don’t think that’s how it works around the league.”

Minicamp will be Moore’s last chance to run the offensive side of the ball and work together with the offensive staff before the last of the offseason doldrums. In late July in Oxnard, Calif., it will be less about practice coaching and more about how the first-year offensive coordinator can install a dynamic offense.