Kellen Moore completed 68% of his passes despite only having 3 practices with the starters and he shared those reps with Cassel.
As I expected, Moore experienced some growing pains, but showed promise as he set a season record of 10 completions to wide receivers in Saturdays loss to the Jets.
Moore did something Cassel has been unable to do and showcased good vision and a quick release against an all out blitz by connecting with Dez Bryant for his first NFL TD. In fact, this was not only the most completions (4) Dez Bryant had since Cowboys’ franchise QB Tony Romo played a full game against Miami, but the first time he scored a TD since then.
There were questions about Moore’s size and arm strength, but there was plenty of zip on his passes.He showed great vision and utilized all 5 eligibles rather than checking down a lot. He showcased the ability to throw darts in to tight windows, sell the play action and sold the pass on the quick pitch.
It was obvious he knows the offense better than the veteran Matt Cassel and Scott Linehan was able to get more creative in his play calling. Cowboys owner, president and general manager, Jerry Jones, sometimes needs to see a player himself to get an understanding of what he has. Prior to this week, he had never seen Moore with the ones.
Jerry Jones said:
“He’s got a lot of poise, he really knows the offense: it’s not to say that Cassel didn’t, but uh, he’s been in it more than Cassel has, so uh, he did, he does have a better understanding of it. It was obvious that he’s got instincts. Very Good instincts.”
“I was reminded on that first possession. It was that first possession when he had the interception? That was Romo’s, that’s what happened to Romo the first time he got in there. Tough spot, but for a guy who got his first NFL snap tonight, there’s some positives there, no question.”
“Linehan has been on the table for him (Moore). Wanted him in camp, wanted him on the team. Just felt that he could really execute the offense and uh, I was overall, even though he had a couple interceptions, I was overall really very pleased, and I’m hoping for the storybook ending.”
“Kellen got a few reps with us this week and I think he did a good job. He came in there and took command, trying to compete and make some plays. I think he did a good job on some drives and gave us an opportunity to get the field goal there at the end. Collectively we need to do better, I think he did a good job adjusting and I think our offense did a good job adjusting to him coming in.”
What was the difference to the offense with Kellen out there?
“I think he did a good job getting some completions out there. He kept some drives going. There was good tempo, umm, it’s not really my job to evaluate that position, but umm, I thought he did a good job of umm, communicating well, and, and making plays, and extending, we had some opportunities uh, as I said on that final drive. So, uh, I know people will focus on the interceptions and turnovers, but uh, I thought he did a really good job coming in.”
Interceptions aside, Kellen did move the ball pretty well. Arm strength maybe not necessarily his strength, but what is it that allows him to be successful out there?
“Well he’s got really good instincts, he understands the timing, great communication, umm, the ball comes out and he knows where he wants to get it, and he takes that approach so, uh, for a lot of us, that was really the first time getting the live bullets there. “
“But umm, I did, I think he did a good job seeing the coverage there, he knew where he wanted to go, and found ways to put drives together. And that’s not easy to do against a good defense and,, and he did it.”
Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin said:
“Why didn’t they bring this guy in sooner?”
Phil Simms said:
“I don’t even care about the turnovers. He came in and showed great poise, accuracy and command of the offense.”
Former Cowboys coach, Dave Campo said:
“Well,, I was impressed with him. I think he gets rid of the ball quick. I think he sees what’s out there. He’s not a guy who will take a lot of sacks. I don’t think you win 50 games in your college career and only lose 3 not knowing how to play.”
Super Bowl 30 MVP, Larry Brown said:
“I agree coach. As a backup quarterback you don’t take very many snaps. I think he showed great poise, he took command. I mean your only doing scout work, which is pretty much for the other team.”
“So for the kid to come in and have not played a down during the regular season, with the poise that he had, and I liked when he came in he was smart. Let me get Witten involved, let me get Dez Bryant involved right away. And that’s what he did.”
- Moore showed good poise in the pocket, command of the offense, did an excellent job of recognizing the blitz, made quick reads, and threw darts in to tight windows. Has a short compact throwing motion that allows for such a quick release. Obviously had a complete understanding of the offense. Showed excellent anticipation. Excellent footwork and did a nice job selling the play action. Showed excellent pocket awareness and knew when to throw the ball away. Wont take many sacks. Made good calls at the line. Communicated well with the players.
- Paid attention when the DB dropped out of cover 2 and immediately went to his next read finding Witten. Was able to see when Beasley cleared the linebackers and threw a bullet in between three defenders where only Bease could catch it. Went through his progressions fast enough to successfully target and hook up with all 5 eligibles. Showed mental toughness and answered his first pick with a well orchestrated TD drive. Showed elite read react skills and burnt them on the all out blitz finding Dez for his first NFL TD.
Overall, Moore had 3 days of shared reps with the starters and completed 68% of his passes despite 4 drops. Posted a season record of 10 completions to WRs and used all 5 eligibles. He converted on 3rd n 13. Threw darts in tight windows and scored a TD on an all out blitz during his second NFL drive.
I don’t know what people expect from a player who got thrown in to the fire against arguably the best defense the Cowboys faced all year. Cassel had the whole bye week to prepare and has had 7 weeks of first team reps, yet couldn’t complete passes to WRs, score TDs or convert on 3rd down despite his 11 years of experience. Moore looked pretty good getting thrown in to the fire against a ferocious Jets front 7. That is something to build on. I wish our safeties could make reads like that and fly the whole way across the field to pick off a well thrown TD pass to Dez.
At the end of the day, from an analysis standpoint, if Moore had gotten the first team reps for the last eight weeks, I honestly believe the Cowboys would be sitting atop the NFC East. If he could find a way to get Dez involved while facing arguably the best CB in the NFL, Darell Revis, the first time he saw the field, he could win some games. In 8 games Cassel played in, he only once sported a completion percentage of 68: his average for the season is 58.3. So much for all of the experience we kept hearing about. Matt Cassel completed an average of 45.8% of his passes over the last three games and boasts a passer rating of 44.8. With 11 years of experience his average passer rating is 70.6 for the season.
Moore had 3 practices of shared reps with the starters. Cassel had the bye week and 7 more weeks. Moore did a lot of things Cassel hasn’t been able to do despite getting thrown in the fire against a top defense. He completed 10 passes to WRs (season high) not a bunch of check-downs, converted on third down, Set Dez up with his first TD in 4 games on an all out blitz, had completions to all five eligibles, and despite four drops and a tipped ball by a DL in his face and a couple throw away’s, he completed 68% of his passes.
Nick Eatman busted on Moore’s passer rating. Cassel had 8 weeks of reps and has 11 years of experience, and had a 41.5 last week and 13 this week. He was 2-23 on third down and couldn’t find the endzone. In Moore’s mere 2 quarters of football he converted three 3rd downs despite drops in the red zone resulting in a FG rather than 1st and goal and scored a TD on his second drive of his career.. I think Moore did pretty damn good having almost no reps with the starters, There is something to build on with him. I don’t ever remember seeing a QB ball out his first time off the bench having no reps with the starters nor having attended training camp & OTA’s with that team.
Dez Bryant: 4 completions for 50 yards and a TD.
Cole Beasley: Â 3 receptions for 37 yards and 3 drop
Terrance Williams:Â 2 receptions for 13 yards.
Jason Witten: 5 receptions for 48 yards.
Brice Butler: 1 reception for 16 yards.
Darren Mcfadden: 2 receptions for 13 yards.
Saturday vs the Jets. Kellen Moore completed 17 of 25 passes for a completion percentage of of 68.0 the very first time he took an NFL snap. Our in-house scout, Al Beam, is going to do a follow up article on the success of top QBs the first time they took the field despite having had attended training camp or OTA’s and taking all of the first team reps. Kellen Moore showed us all one thing: a whole lot of promise. . His first NFL Highlight Reel had 13,876,651 views in the first 24 hours. I don’t know how you feel, but it’s obvious he is already a fan favorite.