The Cowboys silver lining to the Kellen Moore injury

Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /

The injury to backup quarterback Kellen Moore could actually help the Dallas Cowboys more than hurt them.

After a painful 2015 NFL season for the Dallas Cowboys, a season in which the Cowboys could only muster up one win in 12 games that Tony Romo did not start, the front office promised that they would not go into 2016 without addressing the backup quarterback position.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and vice president of operations Stephen Jones were both on the record for saying that they would make sure that there was a respectable reserve quarterback on the roster in case Romo goes down in the upcoming season.

Yet after all of that talk, the Cowboys only acquisition of a quarterback was in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, selecting Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott.

While Prescott very well could blossom into the quarterback of the future for the Cowboys, he is far from a refined and finished product at the NFL level.

Despite the selection of Prescott, Jerry Jones and head coach Jason Garrett stated at the beginning of training camp in Oxnard, California, that Kellen Moore(the same Kellen Moore who started the final two games of the 2015 season and didn’t win either of them) would be Romo’s backup.

Jerry and Jason both praised Kellen Moore’s hard work in the offseason to improve and develop into a solid reserve quarterback.

Again, they said how impressed they were, yet when it came time to put that hard work on display at camp, Kellen Moore had severely underwhelmed in drills and team practices through the first several days.

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Whether the Cowboys brass wanted to admit it or not, Kellen Moore is not a quality backup. He is not capable of winning a handful of games if Tony Romo winds up having to miss time.

Kellen is smart, accurate, and seemed to have a decent grasp of the offense. For all of those positive traits, he is also lacking a lot of traits. He isn’t very tall and doesn’t have athleticism to make up for his lack of size. His arm strength is rather weak. He can’t stretch the field.

When Kellen went down on Tuesday evening, breaking his right fibula, there was a sense of urgency for fans and members of the media to find out who the Cowboys would find to replace Moore as the Cowboys backup quarterback.

Despite attempts to sign a quarterback off the streets (a Napoleon Dynamite look-alike that has proven incapable of being a long term starter in the NFL) and contacting a few teams about potential trades for veteran back-ups, the Dallas Cowboys front office seem to be taking their time in finding “the right guy”.

Still being early in training camp and not having played a single preseason game, you never know- “the right guy” could already be on the roster.

Could Dak Prescott be the answer? Well, it would certainly make it easy if it pans out that way. He certainly has the poise and confidence. We won’t truly know what he has until we see him live action in preseason games.

Dak taking the presented opportunity and making the most of it by exceeding all expectations is the optimal solution to the backup quarterback puzzle. The Cowboys are long overdue for hitting big on a quarterback that they select in the NFL Draft. Dak can solve a short term and long term problem if that is the case.

There is another quarterback on the roster that had an impressive offseason and showed great improvement in mini camp and OTA practices. That would be Jameill Showers, a second year quarterback that has NFL caliber arm strength and has had some time to learn the system. If he wants to claim the number two quarterback spot for his own, he needs to look sharp in practices and even sharper in his opportunities in preseason games.

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If neither Prescott nor Showers seize the backup spot for themselves, there will be a proven veteran added to the mix in the next two weeks.

One thing is for sure. The Cowboys front office has had their hand forced in finally coming through with their promise of improving the backup quarterback position. Whether that happens from a young talent emerging within the roster or if it comes by means of bringing in someone new has yet to be determined.