Kellen Moore always leaned toward coaching. As a kid growing up in Prosser, Washington, Moore's parents were involved in the coaching and teaching professions.
Like parents, like offspring it seems.
After learning it from his parents, Moore had an easy path to get involved in molding the next generation.
"Certainly being around it as a little kid, my dad was a high school coach forever," Moore said. "Shoot, first grade I was the tee boy and worked my way up to ball boy. I was on the sideline every Friday night, being around those guys as much as I could. Those were my influences growing up."
At 6-0, 200 pounds, Moore had to think about life after football, even as he was compiling a 50-3 record as a starting quarterback for the Boise State Broncos.
"I think probably college is when you start molding those things, when you have to start making decisions of education, college degrees, programs, life after football," Moore said.
"I think I was fortunate at Boise to be around some of the best coaches in the entire country. I think once I got there and was around those people, I think that's where it kind of confirmed to me that I want to do this coaching thing."
Moore was fortunate enough to have an NFL career. In 2012, he made the Detroit Lions as an undrafted free agent, playing under coach Jim Schwartz and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. In 2014, as Linehan joined the Dallas Cowboys staff under Jason Garrett, Moore stayed behind in the Motor City and played a season for coach Jim Caldwell, who he considers an influence on his career.
"I was fortunate to be around great examples and then it continued certainly through the NFL in Detroit and Dallas, so all those different influences have molded me," said Moore.
The 32-year-old is in Dallas on the last year of his contract as offensive coordinator, an evolution of his beginning in 2015 as backup quarterback to quarterbacks coach in 2018 to coordinator and play-caller in 2019.
Moore thrived in his role as offensive coordinator in Garrett's final season so much so that new coach Mike McCarthy insisted the team retain Moore in his current capacity.
Though Dallas needs a little help, they are a win away from claiming the NFC East. Despite a 6-9 record that saw the loss of Pro Bowl quarterback Dak Prescott along the way, and over a dozen different offensive line combinations due to a bevy of injuries, the Dallas offense has generated 376 points, sixth-best in the NFL, and has tallied 5,642 total yards, the 12th-best in the league. The Cowboys offense hasn't bottomed out simply because of the critical absences.
Because of this triumph amid adversity, the offers to be a head coach have found Moore. One of the teams interested in Moore is his alma mater.
"Obviously, Boise is a unique one for me, special to me," said Moore. "I love that place. Obviously, just going through the process right now. I’m just focused on this game. We’ll kind of let all this stuff play out and see where it takes us."
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones knows how "unique" Moore is for the Boise State program.
"He's certainly unique for the job that's there at Boise State because of his great career there," Jones told "Shan & RJ" on 105.3 "The Fan" [KRLD-FM] Tuesday. "But Kellen is very unique. He's unique to us because he knows the players so well; played with them. He's unique because of his relationship with Dak, and frankly he's unique because of his relationship with Andy Dalton. He fits real good for us right now."
Moore is focused on where he fits in the last days of 2020 as the Cowboys endeavor to win the NFC East for the sixth time since 2000.
Though Moore will be a free agent on the coaching market when the Cowboys' season ends, whether on Jan. 3 or even in February, his focus is on helping the Cowboys beat the New York Giants, and hoping for the Philadelphia Eagles to defeat Washington on Sunday Night Football.
If both games go Dallas' way, Moore will be offensive coordinator for his first playoff game, which would generate even more interest.
"I think I just got to go through the process and see where it's at," Moore said. "Obviously really focused on that we have this awesome chance to win the NFC East, as crazy as this season has been, so let's go for this thing and let's see what happens."
Do you think Kellen Moore will be back in Boise or with the Cowboys next season? Share your thoughts with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.