Based on comments coming from the Dallas Cowboys, the team appears to be all-in when it comes to back-up quarterback Kellen Moore.
At one point this offseason, the Dallas Cowboys had only two quarterbacks on their roster. Those players being the reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, Dak Prescott, and six-year veteran Kellen Moore. This was mainly due to the release of veteran quarterback Tony Romo, who opted to retire in order to pursue a career in television in early April.
The Cowboys decided not to sign a veteran quarterback in free agency prior to the 2017 NFL Draft. And during the draft itself, Dallas opted not use one of their nine selections on the position as well. Instead, the Cowboys brought in a couple undrafted free agent quarterbacks to fill out the roster going into OTA’s and minicamps.
Earlier this month, the Cowboys claimed quarterback Zac Dysert off waivers from the Arizona Cardinals. Three days later, Dallas worked out former New York Giants’ back-up Ryan Nassib, whom later signed with the New Orleans Saints.
All of these moves were presumably made to find some sort of competition at the primary back-up role under center behind starting quarterback Prescott. But the Cowboys lack of movement at the position could also suggest they are very comfortable with Moore in that role.
And according to recent statements by Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, the latter may be the reality.
"“[Moore’s] like a machine,” Linehan told the Dallas Morning News. “He anticipates and sees guys open. He’s extremely accurate. A lot of guys get it done different ways, but guys don’t last long if they can’t hit moving targets on the run. That’s what he does best. …It might be a little bit different than Dak would do it, but he knows what he can do and he doesn’t let what he can’t do get in his way.”"
It’s no secret that Linehan is a big fan of Moore after previously working with him as a member of the Detroit Lions and helping to bring the former Boise State legend to Dallas back in 2015.
Prior to signing with the Cowboys, Moore had never actually taken a snap under center during a regular season NFL game. Due to injuries suffered by then-starter Romo, the now 27-year old quarterback played in Dallas’ final three games of the 2016 regular season. He started in two of those contests.
Through those games, the 6-0, 200 pound quarterback recorded 779 passing yards, four touchdowns and six interceptions with a completion percentage of 58.7. He was also sacked five times in that same span.
But Moore did finish strong, posting an amazing 435 passing yards, three scores with two picks in a Week 17 loss to the Washington Redskins. He completed 33 of his 48 passes in that contest, and had a passer rating of 100.6. The veteran back-up spent all of last season on Injured Reserve after suffering a broken ankle during training camp.
Although Kellen Moore will have to prove himself once again through training camp and the preseason, it appears the Dallas Cowboys’ plan all along was to make him the primary back-up to Dak Prescott for the upcoming season.