Kellen Moore Sets Franchise Record in 2nd NFL Start.

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Kellen Moore completed 33 of 48 passes (68.8%) for 435 yards and 3 TDs making him only the 4th QB in Cowboys’ history to throw for over 400 yards in a game. He is the only one to ever do it in his 2nd NFL start.

kellen moore vs redskins

Kellen Moore made history Sunday against the rival Redskins at AT&T stadium in Arlington Texas. There are those who want to continue to take shots at him, but despite the interceptions, he finished his 2nd NFL start with a passer rating of 101.6 and it was the first Cowboys’ game with over 400 passing yards since Tony Romo had his fifth on October 6th, 2013. He did it without Dez Bryant on the field.

Big Harb and I started the “He Said-She Said”series last year with the intent to show the readers two points of view. It has evolved in to a friendly competition to prove the other one wrong.This time the debate revolves around whether or not Kellen Moore will be the backup to Tony Romo in 2016. He seems to think “Moore is garbage.” (That’s a quote)

kellen moore has first 400 yard game in 2nd NFL startPrior to Tony Romo taking over as the starter and having his first 400 yard game on October 10th, 2010, the only other Cowboys’ players to throw for over 400 yards in a regular season game were Don Meredith on November 13th, 1966 and Troy Aikman on November 26th, 1998. You can say what you want about Kellen Moore, but 400 hundred yard games have only happened 317 times since Sid Luckman became the first to pull it off on November 14th, 1943.

If you figure in the elite quarterbacks who accomplished this feat multiple times, Kellen Moore is among a handful of quarterbacks to ever accomplish it. It is a very rare thing for me to agree with what Jerry Jones has to say, but this time I do. It is what I have been saying all along.

“I think he’s got the potential to be a winning No. 2. I think he can ultimately win games in the NFL, Jones said Sunday following the Cowboys’ loss to the Redskins.

What I like is his ability to put a bad play behind and then I like his instincts, Jones said. Coach Linehan is right, he has something that’s very special, and so we want, we have him and we want to go forward and try to develop his contribution to us winning.”

brice butlerWhen I consider the fact that Moore only had two weeks of full reps with the first team and was playing with backups like Devin street, Brice Butler, James Hanna and Geoff Swaim, who have minimal NFL experience and 3rd string Guard Makenzie Bernardeu , it makes the outing even more impressive.

People fail to realize that every starting quarterback in the NFL has gone to training camp at least one time with their respective teams, got all of the first team reps and had ample time to develop some timing with their receivers. When evaluating a QB you don’t only look at who they were playing against, but who they were playing with. Harb will try and make a case that the Redskins had some backups playing. However, they played their starters in the secondary.  I hate to be the one to break it to him, but every team in the NFL is playing with some backups in January. The injury bug doesn’t discriminate. Moore was also playing with a bunch of Backups as I mentioned above.

I am going to challenge Harb right now to find one NFL quarterback who ever had a 400 yard passing game in not only his second NFL start, but without training camp and only two weeks of full reps with the first team. Next I am going to challenge him to find one NFL quarterback who accomplished a 400 yard game without his star receiver on the field.

I stated back in 2012 that Kellen Moore was the best QB in that draft. Harb tells me I missed on him. Let’s take a look at how well the top 1st round quarterbacks in that draft performed recently despite having four training camps with their teams and multiple starts under their belt.

Andrew Luck: in 2015 he has completed 162 of 293 passes (55.3%) for 1,881 yards, 15 TDs and 12 interceptions for a passer rating of 74.9. Over the course of his last 23 starts he has thrown 28 interceptions and fumbled the ball 16 times while taking 42 sacks. His back up, 40 year old Matt Hasselbeck, has shown him up this season. Keep in mind, he was the first overall pick in the draft.

RGIII: has warmed the bench for the entire 2015 season and only started 7 games in 2014. He completed 147 of 214 passes (68.7%) for 1,694 yards, 4 Tds and 6 INTs for a passer rating of 86.9: took 33 sacks (In only 7 games!) and fumbled the ball 9 times. Keep in mind, he was the 2nd overall pick in the draft.

As you can clearly see, Kellen Moore has as many TDs in his first 3 NFL games, as RGIII had over the course of his last seven starts. All I kept hearing was that Kellen Moore didn’t have any experience and Matt Cassel gave them the best chance to win. Despite having Dez Bryant at his disposal and not only having the bye week to prepare, but 9 weeks of reps with the starters he completed 119 of 204 passes (58.3%) for 1,276 yards, (141.8 yards per game) 5 TDs and 7 INTs for a passer rating of 70.6. This is with 11 years of NFL experience mind you. He had 6 games without a TD and was 2-23 on 3rd down when he got benched.

kellen moore vs redskinsKellen Moore has shown improvement each week, (unlike Cassel and Weeden), was able to get the ball down the field to the WRs, converted on 3rd down much more often, and found the endzone only one less time in less than 3 full games than Matt Cassel did in nine. It is my argument that if Kellen Moore had taken over when Brandon Weeden was benched and got all of those weeks of reps with the starters, the Cowboys would have won some of those games.

There are no guarantees that you are going to get a franchise quarterback just because you draft him high. This is the weakest QB class I have seen in years. Any decent quarterback in free agency is going to be expensive. With Tony Romo and Tyron Smith both having contracts in excess of $100 million and Dez Bryant having a $70 million contract, there is not a whole lot of salary cap space to work with. Especially when there are several key players coming up for renewal.

Tony Romo has several years left on his new deal and will return 100% healthy in 2016. He isn’t going anywhere. Kellen Moore is signed through 2016 and will only go about $710,000 against the cap in 2016. With minimal reps he has already shown he can play better than the two veterans the Cowboys had this season. I am convinced that with a full training camp and OTAs with this team, he will prove to not only be a solid backup to Tony Romo, but a contender to be his heir.

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There is not a QB in the 2016 draft that is better than Kellen Moore. The Cowboys have glaring needs at CB, DT, S, RB and need depth at WR . Now is not the time to use a high draft pick on a QB who will be warming the bench until Tony Romo is gone. The salary cap wont allow the signing of a quality free agent QB. At the end of the day: She Said Kellen Moore will be the #2 QB in 2016 whether they draft one or not. If the front office is smart, they will wait until after training camp to see what they have before looking to sign a FA. Like Al said in his previous post: “Relax, Romo wasn’t built in a day”. After all, Kellen Moore is only the fourth QB in Cowboys’ history to throw for over 400 yards and he did it in his 2nd NFL start with no Dez Bryant. That Cowboys fans, is something to build on.

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  • Johnathanknt

    For the record, I like Big Harb and think very highly of.  However, i have to disagree on this one regarding Kellen.  Yes, he looked bad in the first quarter, but after that, before the half ended, he completed 14-15 for 200 yrds and 2tds.  The thing that stood out the most for me was Kellen’s interceptions!  I am just not used to seeing Kellen throws this much in a year much less 3 games!  I think giving him a chance to go through a complete TC before labeling him trash Big Harb.  I truly think the kid has that moxy about him and it’s obvious because of the points Cas mentioned.  Oh, and by the way, being 6′, 200lbs, this kid was NEVER hurt!  He’s as durable as they come.  I think a few years grooming behind Romo, Kellen could be very valuable for us.  Peace!

  • Johnathanknt You never saw Kellen throw picks because he had tons of reps with his receivers to get the timing down. For a QB to complete almost 70% of 48 passes in his 2nd start with only a couple of weeks to prepare is unheard of n the NFL.

  • Tommy

    What NFL record did he set?

  • @Tommy It was a Cowboys record. The only QB in franchise history to throw for over 400 yards in his second start and only the fourth ever to do it..

  • @Tommy  He is probably the only player in NFL history to do it with only two weeks to prepare with the starters

  • @Tommy
     Okay Mickey Spagnola told me it was the 2nd most passing yards in first start at home in NFL history!

  • JannaVenardPyle

    Funny that as soon as Weeden left Dallas and went to Houston all of a sudden he was able to play well and his team is going to the playoffs.  Where is Dallas?  Oh Yeah, with Cassel, Weeden and Moore ALL lost 3 games each and Dallas is watching the playoffs on TV.

  • JannaVenardPyle Don’t get the anointing oil out yet: He played the Titans. Every squirrel finds a nut once in a while. NTM Houston has a better defense. We are using 3rd string CBs and backup WRs

  • JannaVenardPyle All I care about is what he did for the Cowboys which was nothing.

  • LeifTokerud

    When your second start in thee NFL results in only 435 yards, you’ve left yourself open to loads of criticism. SERIOUSLY? Other than Beast-mode, I am not where to go with the talented Kellen Moore?

  • LeifTokerud Only 435 yards? that is the 2nd most in NFL history by a QB in his first start at home. SMDH

  • LeifTokerud

    I was being facetious. Excuse my wording. That may have thrown you.

  • JohnMichaelRineer

    I’ve always liked and respected Kellen Moore as a QB. In college he was a winner that took Boise State to a level nobody thought was possible. However, you thought he was the best QB of the 2012 draft class at the time. You cite Luck and RG3 but what about Russell Wilson and Kurt Cousins? Russell led the league in QB rating while Cousins led in completion percentage. I hope Moore gets a chance and is successful but he still needs to prove it over a full season. Remember Matt Flynn? He put up crazy numbers in a few games but couldn’t hold a starting job once he got a chance.

  • LeifTokerud

    I was being facetious. Excuse my wording. That may have thrown you.

  • BigDIndiana

    nice article. I think he just nixed any idea of an early qb pick in the draft

  • JohnMichaelRineer Russel Wilson has rode on the back of Lynch and his defense. His PR is padded by a lot of short, high percentage throws. He doesn’t pass a lot and his overall stats are pedestrian. Cousins on the other hand, is a good old fashioned success story. He has surprised.

  • JohnMichaelRineer

    Wow! That statement gives you ZERO credibility. In his last 7 games without the Beast he has 24 tds and 1 pick while averaging almost 9 yards per pass attempt. This is also without Jimmy Graham. He’s the first player ever to pass for over 4,000 yards, throw more than 30 tds and rush for 500 yards in a season. All this with an O-line that’s average at best and a bunch of no name receivers that went undrafted. Keep doubting him if it makes you feel better. I’ll take his pedestrian stats all day. After all his offense finished tied for 4th in total points with Pittsburgh. Is their offense and QB pedestrian?

  • Johnathanknt

    albeam17 Johnathanknt My point exactly Al.  I don’t understand why people discredit Kellen BEFORE he takes the field, and the same people would also said it’s because Washington was playing prevent for 45 minutes!  Do they think it’s that easy to throw for 435 yards in the NFL?  But i am laughing on the inside because i know now that these people are going to continue to carry this hate for a long long time.  Kellen is going to be the heir apparent for Romo whether they think so or not.  The only player i remembered having this many haters is Tony.  Kellen is in the same boat.

  • Johnathanknt

    JannaVenardPyle I saw enough of Weeden to come to a conclusion that he SUCKS!! Sorry, anybody else can be on that band wagon all he or she wants, I can’t intelligently analyse Weeden in any other way.  He sucks.

  • Johnathanknt

    JannaVenardPyle I saw enough of Weeden to come to a conclusion that he SUCKS!! Sorry, anybody else can be on that band wagon all he or she wants, I can’t intelligently analyse Weeden in any other way.  He sucks.

  • JohnMichaelRineer Apparently he has done well recently. I was referring to his career as a whole. I hadn’t looked up his stats recently. That is pretty impressive.

  • JohnMichaelRineer Apparently he has done well recently. I was referring to his career as a whole. I hadn’t looked up his stats recently. That is pretty impressive.

  • JohnMichaelRineer  last year he was

    285

    of 452

    (63.1%) for 

    3,475
    yards 
    (7.7 YPR) with only

    20 TDs and 

    7 picks. He was getting decent YAC numbers too. One thing he
    has done throughout, is not turn the ball over a lot. He relied on his
    legs a lot. The teams that beat Sea took his legs and Lynch away and
    forced him to try and win with his arm from the pocket. That was exactly
    how Dal beat them at home.

  • JohnMichaelRineer I cited Luck and RGIII because the Cowboys have the 4th overall pick. The point was you are not guaranteed success drafting a QB high. There isn’t a QB in this class worth a top 5 pick.

  • JohnMichaelRineer

    Fair enough, I hope he has a great career. A lot of Seattle fans wanted him too. I grew up in Idaho as Bstate fan. I also lived near WSU during the Ryan Leaf years so I understand there are no guarantees. I do think Luck has a chance to turn it around once hes 100%.

  • JohnMichaelRineer

    Fair enough, I hope he has a great career. A lot of Seattle fans wanted him too. I grew up in Idaho as Bstate fan. I also lived near WSU during the Ryan Leaf years so I understand there are no guarantees. I do think Luck has a chance to turn it around once hes 100%.

  • JohnMichaelRineer

    Thanks for acknowledging his improvement. He has raised his game to an elite level from the pocket which has been the knock on him. The coaches did not ask him to carry the team with his arm because of Beast. However, when you watch him every week you could see that he was capable. He threw all day at NC State and Wisconsin. If you look at his overall numbers he compares favorably or on par to the likes of Brady, Romo, Brees and Rodgers. He started as a rookie unlike all of the above except Brees I think. Anyway, we’ve been hearing the same knock on Russ since he was a rookie. It was warranted to a degree. I’m just glad he’s finally getting to show what he could do. Once Beast and Graham went down they had no choice but to unleash him. It’s worked out well so far.

  • albeam17 JohnMichaelRineer THQT REMINDS ME OF wILSONS PICK IN THE BIG ONE. nO ONE COULD FIGURE OUT WHY THEY DIDN’T GIVE IT lYNCH. lol sorry caps

  • albeam17 JohnMichaelRineer THQT REMINDS ME OF wILSONS PICK IN THE BIG ONE. nO ONE COULD FIGURE OUT WHY THEY DIDN’T GIVE IT lYNCH. lol sorry caps

  • BigDIndiana Thank You and I agree

  • JohnMichaelRineer

    Gee whiz….. That’s the first time I’ve heard of this play. Was this the same pass that the two receivers did NOT do their job on the rub allowing the db to step in front and make a great play? I seem to remember Romo fumbling away a playoff game in Seattle. Russ has 5 post season wins in 3 years. How long did it take Romo to get 1? Lol sorry maybe next year!

  • JohnMichaelRineer I am guessing your a Sea fan. Romo has had his offense top 5 in scoring almost every year, but lost games because of a crappy defense. He had 5 TDs and over 500 yards and still lost to den because they didn’t have to punt once. Putting up 42 points and losing is not on the QB lol. As far as the Sea botched snap game: Romo had never been the holder before and the ball was wet. Romo has been a starter since 2006 and never had a season with a passer rating below 90. Wilson has a long way to go to be in the conversation with Romo. Romo never had an OL or a eunning game most of his career and has thrown hundreds more passes than Wilson. Wison isn’t anywhere close on TDs per season avg either.

  • JohnMichaelRineer I am guessing your a Sea fan. Romo has had his offense top 5 in scoring almost every year, but lost games because of a crappy defense. He had 5 TDs and over 500 yards and still lost to den because they didn’t have to punt once. Putting up 42 points and losing is not on the QB lol. As far as the Sea botched snap game: Romo had never been the holder before and the ball was wet. Romo has been a starter since 2006 and never had a season with a passer rating below 90. Wilson has a long way to go to be in the conversation with Romo. Romo never had an OL or a eunning game most of his career and has thrown hundreds more passes than Wilson. Wison isn’t anywhere close on TDs per season avg either.

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