Kellen Moore was my pet cat in the 2012 NFL draft and I was furious when Jerry Jones didn’t draft him. I still contend that he was not only the smartest, but the most efficient QB in that Draft.
I have written several articles about Kellen Moore since 2012. One of myÂ first ones was written when I was a staff writer at The Landry Hat; 177 WEEKS AGO. I decided to repost that article. I have been screaming for the Cowboys to sign him. I want to take a moment and shout out a big Thank You to Jerry Jones. I am sure that Tyrone Crawford is doing the same. He was his QB at Boise State.
Who Should the Future be Behind Tony Romo?
Itâ€™s the off season, so as usual, all of the crazy draft, free agency, and trade scenarios are floating around. I have to say, some of them are quite comical to say the least. Especially the previous talk of trading up to get an unproven quarterback like RGIII.
Every year the media has their top 5 QBâ€™s they not only sell to the fans, but it seems the NFL GMâ€™s buy in to the same propaganda. All that being said, I decided to not only show the fans how ridiculously flawed the medias track record is, but shed some light on the best possible scenario to solidify the Cowboys future behind Tony Romo.
As you all know, all we hear about, is Romo canâ€™t lead his team, Romo canâ€™t win in the clutch, Romo canâ€™t take the Cowboys to the Super Bowl. Did you ever wonder why an undrafted QB out of Eastern Illinois gets so much criticism? Did these self proclaimed experts forget he was undrafted? That most of them said he would be a 3rd string QB at best? Many said he would never translate to the NFL period! I am going to show you why.
Lets start with 2003, the year the Cowboys acquired Tony as an undrafted free agent. In the 2003 NFL Draft 4 Quarterbacks went in the 1st round. Carson Palmer, 1st overall, in 106 career starts he completed 2,223 of 3,545 passes 62.7%, for 25,447 yards, 167 TDâ€™s and 116 INTâ€™s for a career passer rating of 86.3. He has never won a Super Bowl. 7th overall was Brian Leftwich, between 3 different NFL teams,he only got 49 starts, completed 905 of 1,552 passes 58.3%. for 10,260 yards, 58 TDâ€™s and 41 INTâ€™s, for a career passer rating of 79.7. Never won the big one. 19th overall was Kyle Boler who is too irrelevant to talk about. 22nd overall was Rex Grossman, we all know how that worked out. The point is, based on what happened in the 2003 NFL draft, the so called experts were 0-4 on the 1st round QBâ€™s if you compare them to what Romo has done!
For sake of time and space, I will only show the QBâ€™s taken in the top 5 of the draft among active players.
2005 1st overall, Alex Smith. In only 66 starts over 7 NFL seasons, he completed 1,137 of 1,959 passes 58%, for 12,543 yards, 68 TDâ€™s and 58 INTâ€™s, for a career passer rating of 76.4, no rings.
2006, 3rd over all Vince Young. In 50 starts he completed 755 of 1,354 passes 57.9%, 46 TDâ€™s and 51 INTâ€™s, for a career passer rating of 74.4. No rings.
2007, 1st overall, JaMarcus Russell. In a short 3 year career he only started 25 games. He completed 354 of 680 passes 52.1%, for 4,083 yards, 18 TDâ€™s and 23 INTâ€™s, for a career passer rating of 65.2, no rings.
2008, 3rd overall Matt Ryan. In 62 starts he completed 1,232 of 2,022 passes 60.9%, for 14,238 yards, 95 TDâ€™s and 46 INTâ€™s, for a career passer rating of 88.4, no rings.
2009, 1st overall Matthew Stafford. In 29 starts he completed 679 of 1,136 passes 59.8%, for 7,840 yards,60 TDâ€™s and 37 INTâ€™s, for a career passer rating of 84.7, no rings.
2003 undrafted Tony Romo. In 77 starts he completed 1,672 of 2,592 passes 64.5%, for 20,834 yards, 149 TDâ€™s and only 72 INTâ€™s, for a career passer rating of 96.9, which is currently 2nd all time, no rings.
Ok let me see if I got this straight. Out of all these quarterbacks that were taken top 5 in the NFL draft,, (many of them 1st over all) â€œonly 1 of them has won a Super Bowl?â€ Hmmm, gosh if thatâ€™s the case, why is everyone criticizing the only â€œundraftedâ€ guy on the list? Granted, the last few guys havenâ€™t had much time to win a Super Bowl, but this does prove that drafting a top 5 QB will not instantly guarantee you a Super Bowl as many fans tend to think. This brings me to the point of this article.
I could go back 20 years and these numbers wouldnâ€™t change. In fact, I can go back to the 1st NFL season ever and there is only 1 quarterback in NFL history that has a better career passer rating than Tony Romo. Gosh,, you will say he never won the big one, Well,,,, neither have any of these media hyped top 5 quarterbacks now have they? You will say he is not a leader,,, what have any of these guys done to prove they have done a better job? They didnâ€™t win the big one either! You will say he is a choke artist, hmmm name one of these guys with a higher completion percentage or a lower interception percentage. Obviously all of the above mentioned QBâ€™s who were in the playoffs (based on the general media/fan consensus) choked because they didnâ€™t make it to the Super Bowl. Right?
The bottom line is,,, the media attacks Tony Romo because he has shown up their sure fire 1st overall pick quarterbacks, when they all said he wouldnâ€™t make it. How would it look if they took shots at their own poster boys? Exactly. So,,, the medias so called experts need a scape goat to keep the focus off of their short comings in player analysis. My point is, looking at all these top ranked quarterbacks, and how they have translated in the NFL, are fans really stupid enough to give up tony and the future of this teams draft picks, on a gamble that these guys in the upcoming draft will do any better than the last 10 years of top quarterbacks? Gosh, I would hope not.
This brings me to phase 2 of this article. Who Is The Cowboys Future Behind Tony Romo At Quarterback? Jerry Jones has a habit of waiting until the last minute to address depth at a position. (Anthony Spencer) and usually ends up over paying an existing player or doing so in free agency. The team needs to start planning for the future now. Romo is 32 years old and has taken quite a beating over the last few years due to the black hole known as the offensive line. A QB needs a couple of years to develop in to an NFL style of offense. Tom Brady developed behind Drew Bledsoe, Aaron Rogers behind Brett Favre etc,
Unlike most,,, I donâ€™t follow the media hype. I judge players by what I see on the field. If â€œeveryoneâ€ listened to what these self proclaimed experts have to say,, guys like Drew Pearson, Cliff Harris, Nate Newton, Miles Austin, Tony Romo,(to name a few Cowboys), Kurt Warner, Warren Moon, Tom Brady, Joe Montana etc, never would have accomplished what they have. This brings me to my solution to the future at the quarterback position in Dallas. Granted, having the veteran Kyle Orton as a back up while we develop this guy makes sense.
Kellen Moore, QB Boise State. 6-0 197
Every year at draft time I try and find the Diamonds In The Rough. (The Guys No One Is Talking About.) When I look at a quarterback there are several traits I focus on. The first being intelligence. (football IQ). Lets face it, the captain of the ship has to understand the offense as well as the offensive coordinator. Once he reaches the line of scrimmage, he becomes the coach. He needs to be able to read the defense and change the play when necessary. Once the play is underway, he needs to be able to make good reads so he can recognize in a matter of seconds where â€œnotâ€ to throw the football.
The next important trait is â€œawarenessâ€. A good quarterback needs to be able scan the defense and determine who the pass rushers will be, and where the best matchups will be before the play begins. Once the play is underway, he needs to be able to perform two tasks at once. A. Knowing where his receivers are and who is open. B. Where the oncoming pass rushers are. If he is not aware of both things at once, one of 3 things will happen, an interception, a sack, or a stripped ball.
The next two traits go hand in hand, anticipation/accuracy. Being that the pass has to be thrown in advance an NFL QB needs to not only be able to anticipate where his receiver will be when the ball reaches him, but where the defender will be as well. He then needs the accuracy to get the ball to to the right spot at the right time. In many cases, the the coverage is that tight that the QB must be accurate enough to put the ball where only his receiver can get it.Â All that being said, accuracy is at the top of my list of mandatory skills for my QB.
The next top priority is poise. It is very important how a QB plays under pressure. Weather it be against teams with a good pass rush or late in games in a clutch situation. Kellen Moore has proven he has ice for blood in many key situations. A lot of people have tried to knock him by saying he is in an easy conference and doesnâ€™t play anyone, well,,,,,,, I disagree. I watched him handily beat Georgia, Oregon, TCU, and Virginia Tech just to name a few.
Speaking of VT, did you happen to see the Boise States season opener against them in 2010? In a remarkable 2nd half comeback (after trailing 17-0 in the first quarter) VT came back to take the lead 30-26 with 1:47 left on the clock (Moore had no timeouts left). I clearly remember the announcer saying,
â€ If I was to choose any QB to put the ball in his hands right now, it would be Kellen Moore.â€
He, as well as any of us who have followed his career, knew he was flawless in pressure situations. Moore took over and as efficiently as Tom Brady, ran the no huddle offense, and took his team down the field with precision to win the game 33-30. He finished the game with 215 yds, 3 TDâ€™s and no interceptions in a shocking upset over VT in their own back yard. This was in front of over 80,000 devastated and awe struck fans in the Red Skins stadium.
This is why it amazes me that he went completely unnoticed by the media at the NFL combine. All of the reporters flocked around Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. When a few reporters did find time to talk to him, not surprisingly, the first question thrown at Moore: So what did you measure in at?
â€œI got to 6-feet, so you can let everyone know about that,â€ Moore said proudly. â€œSix-feet and a bunch of zeroes after that.â€
He went on to explain that he stopped growing around the ninth grade, but that didnâ€™t stop him from leading the Broncos to a bunch of huge wins to include 3 bowl games. Size has been the big issue, drawing skepticism from the media and some NFL scouts. Moore said confidently,
â€œIâ€™m comfortable with it,â€ â€œIâ€™m fine. It is what it is. Youâ€™re gonna get that opportunity and once you get it, itâ€™s up to you.â€
I totally agree, because when Romo, Warner, Brady and the other players I mentioned got that opportunity, they showed everyone what they were really made of. The other knock on Moore is arm strength. I included a video of Moore because film doesnâ€™t lie. Of course, his numbers donâ€™t either. I am willing to bet he is by far the best QB in the draft, In fact all of the QBâ€™s I wrote about earlier, especially the ones that completely busted, had the so called size and arm strength. After watching this video you will see for yourself that there is nothing wrong with this guys arm. As far as size goes, he is only 1/2â€³ shorter than Drew Brees. But even Brees didnâ€™t have a 50-3 record in college.
Moore led the Broncos to an undefeated 14-0 record in 2009 as a sophomore, finishing 277-of-431 (64.3 percent) for 3,536 yards, 39 touchdowns and three interceptions (NCAA single-season record for lowest percent of passes intercepted, 0.7 percent), earning WAC offensive player of the year and First Team All-WAC honors.
He might have had his best season in 2010 as a junior, going 273-of-383 (71.3 percent) for a career-high 3,845 yards, 35 touchdowns and six interceptions, finishing fourth in the Heisman voting (first Bronco ever invited to the ceremony) and earning First Team All-American and All-WAC honors.
Moore returned in 2011 as a senior, finishing 326-of-439 (74.3 percent) for 3,800 yards, nine interceptions and a career-best 43 touchdowns, earning Mountain West offensive player of the year and First Team All-MWC honors. They can say what they want about his size or whatever,,, at the end of the day, itâ€™s the Wâ€™s that everyone remembers. He has definitely logged plenty of them.(winningest QB in NCAA History) I will take an accurate guy every time over a Jemarcus Russel who can heave the ball in to the cheap seats, but canâ€™t hit the broad side of a barn. BTW, these same experts said none of the guys I mentioned earlier would make it either.
This is where I get confused. Andrew Luck is projected as the 1st overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft. Just for fun, letâ€™s do a comparison of Andrew Luck vs Kellen Moore, who is projected in the 5th to 6th round. Most fans and media personnel alike love to say, stats donâ€™t matter, itâ€™s winning championships.I am here to tell you that both are very important. However, keep that argument in mind, no matter how you prefer to look at it, because at the end of the day, it is impossible to dispute these findings.
â€œLets take a look at Moore firstâ€
|G||Â Att||Â Comp||Â Pct.||Â Yards||Â Yards/Att||Â TD||Â Int||Â Rating||Â Att/G||Â Yards/G|
|50||Â 1659||Â 1157||Â 69.8||Â 14683||Â 8.85||Â 132||Â 28||Â 169.14||Â 29.5||Â 293.66|
â€œNow Lets take a look at Luckâ€
|G||Â Att||Â Comp||Â Pct.||Â Yards||Â Yards/Att||Â TD||Â Int||Â Rating||Â Att/G||Â Yards/G|
|38||Â 1064||Â 713||Â 66.1||Â 9424||Â 8.88||Â 82||Â 22||Â 161.06||Â 28.0||Â 248.0|
Taking all of this in to consideration I have to ask. Why is a guy with less experience, (3 yr starter to 4 yr starter) lower career passer rating, (169.14-161.27) lower completion percentage, (69.78-66.1) higher INT percentage (132 TDâ€™s- 28 picks, to 82 TDâ€™s-22 picks) less wins, (50-31) and only 1 championship win as the starter in 2 appearances, compared to 3 wins in 4 appearances, projected 1st over all and the guy who is clearly the better quarterback in all categories projected 5th to 6th round? The only thing I can see is the knock on his size. or maybe the media just doesnâ€™t like him much. This guy has all the traits I am looking for so Iâ€™ll tell ya what,
â€œThey can have their 1st overall pick, Iâ€™ll take my next Tom Brady in a later round.â€