Could the Carolina Panthers swoop for Kellen Moore after Cowboys exit?

(Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports) Kellen Moore
(Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports) Kellen Moore /

Could the Carolina Panthers swoop to acquire Kellen Moore as their offensive coordinator after he was fired by the Dallas Cowboys?

It’s funny how life works out sometimes. Kellen Moore went from being a surprise candidate for the Carolina Panthers’ head coaching job to looking for alternative employment in just a matter of days.

Moore and the Dallas Cowboys agreed to mutually part ways after another season that promised much but ended with a playoff exit before the NFC Championship game. Something that could lead team owner David Tepper to put another call in the offensive coordinator’s direction in the not-too-distant future.

A statement from Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy thanked Moore for all his efforts during an encouraging four-year stint in the role overall. This also included nurturing Dak Prescott and devising a scheme that brought the best out of primary playmakers such as CeeDee Lamb, Tony Pollard, and Ezekiel Elliott.

"“After continuing through our end of season review process and having additional discussion, Kellen (Moore) and the (Dallas) Cowboys reached a mutual decision to part ways. The production of our offense and his mentorship of Dak (Prescott) were at the center of Kellen’s impact, and we are grateful for his tenure and leadership. We wish Kellen and his wife, Julie, and their family the absolute best as they set out on the next chapter of their lives.”"

Carolina Panthers must act fast if they want Kellen Moore

If the Panthers identify Moore as someone of interest, they’ll have to act fast. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Los Angeles Chargers also covet the play-caller, which is an attractive destination thanks to their offensive firepower led by quarterback Justin Herbert.

Much will obviously depend on what head coach Frank Reich wants. If the new man at the helm opts to call plays in his first season, then Carolina will likely go in a different direction.

However, if Moore impressed Tepper and others as suggested during his two interviews, a situation could emerge where the Panthers look to make their own bid to bring him on board.

Reich stated during his first interview that he’d got the green light to form the best coaching staff possible. Given Tepper’s vast wealth, money is unlikely to be a stumbling block, but the prospect of working with Herbert in Los Angeles might be too tempting to ignore.

Moore won’t want to join Carolina if he isn’t getting play-calling responsibilities. The uncertainty at quarterback is something else that might put off the one-time Boise State standout when push comes to shove.

A coordinator job with the Panthers when he was so close to winning the head coaching race might be seen as a sideways step for Moore. So even though the connection is there, the Chargers’ interest coupled with Reich’s own offensive background might make this a non-starter.

Nothing can be ruled out when it comes to Tepper’s influence in the decision-making process. But overruling Reich in pursuit of Moore wouldn’t be the best start to their football relationship.

Only time will tell. But it shouldn’t be too much longer before Reich’s grand coaching staff plan comes to fruition.

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