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Why Won’t The Cowboys Challenge Kellen Moore’s Job?

Kevin Brady

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Kellen Moore

Let’s rewind back 365 days.

This time last year, Tony Romo was the starting quarterback, Kellen Moore was his backup, and Dak Prescott was simply a fourth rounder fighting for the third string job. Each and every fan had legitimate questions about the Cowboys QB2 job, especially considering Tony Romo’s injury history.

After injuries to both Romo and Moore, it was up to Prescott to save the day. Luckily, he did just that.

A year later here we sit. Dak Prescott is now the unquestioned starter, and those questions about the backup quarterback spot have seemingly faded.

The problem still persists, however.

Kellen Moore has assumed the backup quarterback role for 2017, running unopposed throughout this entire offseason. Despite some better options being out on the free agent market, and Moore’s own inconsistent play in 2015, I don’t understand why we shouldn’t be concerned about the Cowboys backup quarterback.

Oh, and Kellen Moore is objectively bad. Or at least he was during his short stint in 2015.

Kevin Brady on Twitter

We don’t talk about how this guy is somehow the unquestioned QB2 enough https://t.co/8YrUQ56ofu

I get that Moore is a film junkie, and was a valuable asset as the inactive quarterback last season, breaking down film of opponents’ defenses weeks in advance. And, I get that there is intrinsic value in this skill, and something the Cowboys coaches look for in their quarterback depth.

But the fact still remains that if relied upon to play meaningful game time, I don’t believe Kellen Moore has proven he can produce. Yes, there is a ton of offensive talent around him, and you’d expect any capable quarterback to survive under these Cowboys circumstances.

But are we sure that Kellen Moore is totally capable?

I don’t mean to sound as if I’m just hating on the player, as I do think he deserves a shot to be the QB2 in Dallas. But that should be a shot to compete. Preferably to compete with an established veteran who has proven they can win games at this level when called upon.

Instead, Moore is the assumed backup, with no competition in sight. So I ask, why shouldn’t the Cowboys bring in some competition for Kellen Moore’s job?

Why is it that other players must compete each year to have the kind of job security it seems the Cowboys have bestowed upon Moore?

If the competition was presented, and Kellen Moore beat them out, then I am totally okay with that. But to this point, no one has even been asked to challenge for Moore’s position. And if it weren’t for his injury, Moore would have been the week one starter in 2016.

Yes, over now Rookie of the Year Dak Prescott.

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Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and am currently a college student. Lets get going.

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22 Comments
  • https://InsideTheStar.com/ Bryson Treece

    For me, it goes back to the basic truth that if a backup QB is never going to be as good as the starter. I think Kellen Moore gets a little too busy when he’s on the field, trying to make things happen and ultimately causing more chaos than anything.

    Would I like to see a different guy there? Absolutely. Moore doesn’t fit the mold of the Cowboys QB, not now nor at anytime in the team’s history. But who is out there? The Cowboys front office clearly prefers knowledge to skill in their backup QBs. They bring in new QBs each year, usually UDFAs, as camp bodies and for preseason, and then for the practice squad.

    The Cowboys are playing the long game with Moore at QB2. They feel that when the abilities of the backup QB matter, the best approach is to simply manage the game. As far as the QB position goes, they view the backup as a tool to snap and deliver the football, not the weapon they view the starter as.

    If there were better prospects out there, I’d be all for a little competition, but name one guy with even as much skill and fit in this scheme as Moore who also has the knowledge.

    Just my 2 cents.

    • George_Johnson

      I agree with you but I would also say K Moore has always played way better than anyone thinks he can play including the coaches. We will see what he can do in the preseason.

    • roidaho

      “Moore doesn’t fit the mold of the Cowboys QB, not now nor at anytime in the team’s history.”
      LOL, what exactly is the mold?? The cook is Linehan, plain and simple. And he holds KM with high esteem because he CAN run THIS system. That is the definition of fitting the mold. The coaches have said it. The players have said it. Why do the fans think they know more than those collecting checks from JJ?

      • https://InsideTheStar.com/ Bryson Treece

        Because the coaches and players have only said that he fits the role they’ve given him. Meanwhile, he struggles in games. Proof is in the pudding and the coaches and players being asked by media what they think of another player is not truth, it’s being polite and not starting fires. But since you mentioned it, they only ever discuss his role, not his ability beyond that role (which is backup).

      • John Williams

        The mold is a good quarterback.

  • Brian Martin

    The best way for Kellen Moore to contribute to the team is as a clipboard holding QB. If not for Scott Linehan’s questionable devotion to him, I doubt he would have a job in the NFL as even a QB 3. I’m just hoping that Tony Romo is somehow on speed dial. That’s the only reason why I can think of that they’re not challenging KM with another QB to back up Prescott.

    • George_Johnson

      Brian, I think you are wrong. I also believe S Linehan thinks you are wrong. We will know more after preseason.

      • Brian Martin

        George, I have a hard time believing that if Kellen Moore was cut today that he would be able to find another QB job in the NFL. He hasn’t really shown anything in the NFL that would convince me that he can be successful. And I don’t care what he has done in preseason in the past either. Anybody can look good in preseason when they’re going up against players that are fighting to make a roster spot.

        I’m hoping that I’m wrong, but I don’t think I am. Linehan for some reason or another is infatuated with him. But, KM has never really proven that he is anything more than a clipboard holder or QB 3, despite Linehan keeping him around in both Detroit and Dallas.

        • George_Johnson

          Brian: K Moore has only played in two and one half season games. I explained above what S Linehan said about his overall play. I also explained how he was thrown into playing with inadequate preparation and the fact he had never played against a 1st team defense. We will get a good dose of K Moore in preseason and then we should know some more about his ability to be the 2nd team QB. I expect him to do well against 1st and 2nd team defenses as he should be very ready. I believe if it weren’t for S Linehan, K Moore would probably have never been given much of a chance in the NFL to prove himself.

          • Brian Martin

            George, your last sentence is exactly what I’m getting at. Linehan seems to be the only coach in the NFL that has any faith in KM. What does he see that the rest of the coaches around the NFL doesn’t? Like you said though, we will see once preseason gets underway. But, I still believe they should’ve upgraded the backup QB position.

          • George_Johnson

            Brian: I think the other coaches see a QB that is too small and does not have a strong arm and cannot run. They would pass on K Moore and look for a more prototypical sized QB. However, S Linehan looks past K Moore’s physical limitations and sees a master at pocket passing who he thinks has skills/abilities that will allow him to compensate or overcome his physical limitations to be able to play in the NFL at least at 2nd team.

  • George_Johnson

    Wow, where do I start. I am a long time K Moore follower and have read just about everything said about him. Without getting into the details of K Moore’s strengths and weaknesses, I will just say the bottom line is you don’t believe or trust Scott Linehan concerning K Moore. S Linehan who should be one of the top QB experts in the world has said K Moore can play in the NFL. He has said his arm is strong enough. That he compensates for his physical limitations with his pocket passing skills/abilities. He has also said he knows his limitations. Most of the doubt about K Moore is not his actual play but that he doesn’t look like a prototypical NFL QB and does not have a real strong arm. S Linehan has been with K Moore now for several years so why can’t the sports writers and fans take the word of an expert until proven otherwise?

    Most of the criticism of K Moore is throw at his performance in 2015. In 2015 K Moore was thrown into playing first team QB. He had limited reps to get ready, was new to the Dallas team/offense/playbook, had NEVER played against first team defenses in his NFL career and had missed TC/preseason. K Moore actually played well in many ways but made too many mistakes. His results and statistics don’t tell the whole story. There are other factors going on such as how good the defense played against K Moore, how well the receivers ran their routes, how well the line protected, etc. Here is what S Linehan said after the two games K Moore started:

    “Kellen did a great job,” Linehan said. “We had four quarterbacks play almost 20% of the playtime this year, which is maybe a first. But he really did. His first start was in Buffalo. They got a great defense. We were actually in great position to win the game, and some things didn’t go our way in the fourth quarter. But he played really, really well.

    “We had a rough start to our final game, had some turnovers early. The last three quarters that Kellen played, I was really proud. I think he ended up with maybe one of the six best passing days in Cowboys history, or something like that, in a regular-season game, as far as yards and production. For your second start, that’s a good start.

    “I think we’re excited about his future and moving forward and, now that he’s able to get a good off-season and training camp with us, hopefully, it will give him a little more of a head start. He was having to come in and adjust to a lot of things. He did a great job of that.”

    As far as competition for the 2nd team QB. This would take from getting K Moore ready to play and would take from his reps/playing time in preseason. Most teams would prefer to have a incumbent 2nd team QB rather than having a competition. If K Moore can’t handle it in preseason games, they will surely start looking for another veteran QB to bring in. They think they have their 2nd team QB and I do to, so they are not concerned about it now. K Moore should be ready and eager to prove himself. I expect him to play well in preseason and maintain his hold on the 2nd team QB position. If he has to come into season games for D Prescott, I also expect him to do well especially playing in the potent offense that Dallas has. He is a game manager and can run a very good short to intermediate passing game that would complement Dallas’s other offensive strengths.

  • Matthew Harrell

    The reason is this: Jerry’s Bat Phone only dials 9 and it calls Tony Romo.

  • Travis Diggs

    Two words, Scott Linehan. If Kellen moore was released today, he couldn’t even make the Browns roster. Moore will have a job as long as Linehan is here. I would love to see his value on the open market if he was released. As for him beating out Dak last year if he was healthy. The writers on the website should be drug tested, Does anybody really see him beating out anybody on Cleveland’s roster. Lets be real here

    • George_Johnson

      Travis Diggs: I believe K Moore would have been starting last year if he had not got hurt. After all he was the designated 2nd team QB going into preseason. I think he would have done well enough to retain this position especially with the support and confidence of S Linehan. He would have started when T Romo went down and also would have had a lot of success during the season, sort of like D Prescott. K Moore is a good fit for the Dallas offense and its strengths. K Moore has some of the same strengths as D Prescott; accurate, composed, smart decisions, finding the open receiver, and good game manager. The short to intermediate passing game would have been strong. I doubt D Prescott would ever have gotten off the bench. I am gald D Prescott did play or we may not have known who the next franchise QB is going to be at this point.

    • roidaho

      They wont give him a chance to beat him simply because he doesn’t fit “the proto qb”. So to say he cant truly doesn’t mean shit. That’s what its been all along. He has gotten better since day 1 and can likely do fine given some time to improve. All you dolts think every QB should be ready to go day 1. Look at the Goff kid. It takes time and REPS, which he hasn’t gotten. The truth is, you don’t have any idea of how good he is, he hasn’t had the chance, so quit acting so damn smug. The fact that YOU are sitting here contradicting professional coaches and players is truly making you look just as stupid as the others. They know the game, you watch it sparky.

      • John Williams

        He would have been given a chance to start had he not gotten hurt, but two weeks into the season when he wasn’t performing, the team would have gone to Dak.

  • Michael Denney

    Obviously you folks have never watched any Boise State Games with KM at quarterback!!

    • John Williams

      College isn’t the NFL.

      Ask Tim Tebow. Ask Danny Wuerfell. Ask Ryan Leaf. Ask any number of Texas Tech quarterbacks who never made it in the NFL. Ask Chris Leak. Ask Geno Smith. Ask EJ Manuel. Ask Christian Ponder. Ask Jake Locker.

      There literally a boatload of quarterbacks who were great in college who didn’t work out as pros. Literally a boatload.

  • HonestyandRealityGuy

    The author does not appear to know football. At times, Moore’s play has been fantastic (ask the players). His pedigree of winning is undisputed, even being the winningest QB in college football history. Although he played for a small school, he was undefeated against the bigs from Oregon to Georgia (PAC 12 to SEC). Admittedly, he is the son of a coach and knows how to watch/translate film and defenses. I believe he is a great back up and maybe able to start on several NFL teams.

  • jehozebub

    I like how you quote your Tweet with the one solitary “like”
    Not a single person who has followed Kellen Moore’s career and also studies football shares your concerns! Including every other reporter in Dallas!

    • John Williams

      LOL. Did I just get called out in the comment section in an Article I didn’t write? Excellent. I must be doing something right.

      There aren’t many. Romo and Warner played at small schools were no names. They didn’t have any spotlight coming out of college.

      Kellen Moore had a ton of publicity coming out of college because of the success he had in college. But just because he was successful in college doesn’t mean he will be a successful pro.

      There is a reason that very few quarterbacks who are drafted outside of the first round pan out. They don’t have the tools to play the position at the NFL Level.

      While arm strength isn’t everything, it matters. It’s important to throw the ball to the right places, but with the aggressiveness, quickness, and awareness of NFL Linebackers and defensive backs, you have to be able to get the ball to your spot quickly.

      Moore was the definition of a system quarterback at Boise. A great system, mind you, that was able to beat Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, but he was a product of the system that relied on short timing routes that was able to mask his arm strength deficiencies.

      If you can’t push the ball down the football field to stretch the defense, hit five and ten yard out routes with consistency, NFL Defenses will be able to sit underneath and to the inside anticipating every slant, drag, curl, and in route that you run. Not a recipe for success.

Star Blog

Dallas Cowboys’ 2017 Rookies Need to Avoid Sophomore Slumps

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Ranking The Dallas Cowboys Rookies Through Week 8
Dustin Bradford / Getty Images

Right now, it’s pretty tough to predict how the 2018 Dallas Cowboys’ season will turn out. Even with Jason Garrett, Scott Linehan and Rod Marinelli all returning for next season, there’s a lot of change going on in Dallas. The Cowboys will have to deal with a lot of new position coaches as they try to get back to the top after a 9-7 season in 2017.

Obviously, there are a lot of things that’ll impact the outcome of this season.

One of those questions hasn’t been discussed much. That question is: how will the 2017 rookie class fare in their sophomore seasons? 

In 2016 and 2017, rookies were very important for this franchise.

Two years ago, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott took the NFL by storm, ending the season with a 13-3 record and the #1 seed in the NFC. Anthony Brown looked to be the Cowboys’ future shutdown cornerback, and Maliek Collins looked very promising.

Last season, the Cowboys didn’t have rookie seasons as spectacular as Dak and Zeke had in 2016 (I don’t think we’ll see anything similar in the NFL for a long time), but the rookie class ended up being a very important one for sure.

After letting a lot of veteran players walk in free agency, the team went ahead and fixed the secondary by drafting Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis in consecutive rounds, and trading up to get Xavier Woods in the sixth.

Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense?

Dallas Cowboys CB Jourdan Lewis, CB Chidobe Awuzie, S Xavier Woods (AP Photo / Ron Jenkins)

Jourdan Lewis made his presence felt early in the season, while we had to wait a bit to see Chidobe Awuzie in action. Both of them had surprising rookie seasons and they truly look like the future in Dallas’ secondary.

Both have shown what they’re capable of; we’ve seen them make plays and turn their heads to the ball… really, something we hadn’t seen in a long time.

Ryan Switzer didn’t get a chance to play as a wide receiver that much, but he was very impressive as a returner. He still has a long way to go, but I’m betting on Switzer to remain among the NFL’s best returners for a long time. After seeing him replace Cole Beasley in the season finale, I’ll be shocked if Dallas doesn’t give him more playing time on offense next year. He deserves a more important role.

Taco Charlton still has a lot to improve on, but surprisingly, he did a nice job during the final games of the season. It’s always premature to call a player a “bust” after a single season, and Taco’s been called a bust since the moment he was drafted. Let’s give him a chance.

For 2017, we set the bar high for the Cowboys’ sophomores.

We thought Dak Prescott would be among the best QBs in the league, that Ezekiel Elliott would pass the 2,000-yard mark, that Anthony Brown would be an ideal CB1, and that Maliek Collins could even lead the team in sacks as a defensive tackle.

There are a lot of reasons this team struggled in 2017, and some of those reasons still preoccupy us when thinking about next season.

The Cowboys will definitely need their 2017 rookies to continue playing quality football. It will be key if they want to leave a painful 9-7 season behind and get back to winning this year.

Here’s to hoping the Cowboys’ 2018 sophomores avoid the “inevitable slumps.” In a season filled with uncertainty, they’ll sure be needed.

Tell me what you think about “Dallas Cowboys’ 2017 Rookies Need to Avoid Sophomore Slumps” in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!

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Cowboys en Español: ¿Estará Dez Bryant de Vuelta en el 2018?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys en Español: ¿Estará Dez Bryant de Vuelta en el 2018?

Dez Bryant es ese jugador que incontables veces me hizo gritar y saltar de alegría con sus excepcionales recepciones y su manera de pelear el balón en el aire. Tantos momentos tan memorables con Tony Romo e incluso algunos con Dak Prescott lo han vuelto uno de mis jugadores favoritos…

Pero ahora, después de una difícil temporada de los Dallas Cowboys, los sentimientos están encontrados.

En muchos momentos, no parece que estamos viendo al Dez Bryant de antes. Claro, podemos decidir recordar esa recepción de touchdown que rompió el récord de la franquicia contra los Redskins, o esa escapada de 50 yardas en New York en la semana 14.

Pero Dez no ha sido el mismo las últimas tres temporadas. Y este 2017, todos los momentos de frustración culminaron en el partido que eliminó a los Cowboys de la temporada.

Cuando los Cowboys se enfrentaron a los Seattle Seahawks, un fumble acompañado por un pase soltado de Dez que resultó en una intercepción, todos nos pusimos a pensar.

La cosa no es que Dez Bryant sea un mal receptor. El talento está ahí, y es fácil verlo en ciertas jugadas. A veces es visible cuando atropella a algún defensivo, a veces cuando busca el balón y consigue atraparlo de una manera impresionante.

Quizá el próximo año se sacuda la mala racha que ha tenido los últimos años y encuentre una manera de ser el jugador que alguna vez fue… el problema es la cantidad de dinero que se le paga.

Después de la temporada del 2014, cuando Bryant terminó el año con 16 touchdowns y más de 1,300 yardas, el receptor estrella firmó un contrato por $70M.

Los Dallas Cowboys tienen frente a ellos una pregunta muy importante que resolver este offseason.

 

¿Deberían Deshacerse de Dez Bryant?

A pesar de tener una mala racha, la razón por la cual Dallas le diría adiós a Dez es su contrato. Dez está listo para cobrar $16.5M en el 2018 y otros 16 millones y medio en el 2019. De ser cortado, los Cowboys se ahorrarían ocho millones y medio la próxima temporada.

Suficiente dinero para firmar a un jugador que realmente haga impacto esta agencia libre.

Takeaway Tuesday: Awuzie and Lewis Impress, Concerns Around Dez Bryant

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant (Brad Penner / USA TODAY Sports)

Normalmente, cuando hablamos de jugadores como él, hay muchos conflictos para los aficionados. Vaya, yo mismo acabo de plantear que es uno de mis jugadores favoritos, pero quizá a veces el cambio es necesario.

Sí, la producción de Dez Bryant no ha sido la misma desde la última temporada que tuvo con Tony Romo. Pero ¿es eso excusa suficiente?

Basta pensar en jugadores como Larry Fitzgerald y DeAndre Hopkins para darse cuenta de que no. Aún con quarterbacks mediocres, ambos se mantienen como receptores de elite en la NFL.

Es cierto que Dak Prescott no es el mismo QB que Romo era, y no es un jugador que vaya a lanzar pases profundos tan frecuentemente como Tony lo hacía, pero eso tampoco significa que sea algo malo necesariamente.

Este equipo le construyó un equipo a su ex-mariscal para sacarle todo el provecho al #9. Es hora de hacer lo mismo por Dak Prescott.

Insisto en que los Cowboys tienen que buscar a un WR tan pronto como en la primera ronda del NFL Draft o incluso hasta en agencia libre.

Los Dallas Cowboys tienen tantas cosas que hacer antes de la próxima temporada y decidir que hacer con uno de sus jugadores más emblemáticos de la actualidad, Dez Bryant, es una de ellas.

¿Les gustaría ver a Dez Bryant de vuelta en el 2018?

Tell me what you think about “Cowboys en Español: ¿Estará Dez Bryant de Vuelta en el 2018?” in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!

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Will Ryan Switzer see an Increased Offensive Role in 2018?

Brian Martin

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Will Ryan Switzer see an Increased Offensive Role in 2018?

The Dallas Cowboys clearly had a specific role in mind for Ryan Switzer when they drafted him 133rd overall in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Come to find out, that role didn’t include being involved much on the offensive side of the ball, at least not as a rookie.

After watching the way the Cowboys utilized Ryan Switzer in 2017, it’s pretty obvious the sole purpose he was drafted was to improve the special-teams play in the return game.

They clearly didn’t envision him being a part of the game plan on offense, despite the continuous outcry from fans.

Like most rookies, Ryan Switzer didn’t really get off to a fast start, and took a while to get used to the speed of the NFL. But, once he calmed his nerves and regained his confidence, he proved to be an upgrade in the return game.

Switzer ended up ranking third in kickoff returns, averaging 25 yards per return in 2017 and 12th in punt returns with almost 9 yards per return.

He also became the first Dallas Cowboys player to return a punt for a touchdown since 2013. He accomplished this against the Washington Redskins, in Week 13 when he took an 83-yarder to the house.

Surprisingly enough, using Ryan Switzer solely as a return specialist wasn’t enough for a lot of Cowboys Nation. A lot of fans wanted to see his talents utilized more on the offensive side of the ball as well, but were only left disappointed.

Ryan Switzer

Dallas Cowboys WR Ryan Switzer

Getting Switzer involved in the offensive game plan just wasn’t in the cards in 2017.

He only managed to catch six passes for 41 yards and rushed four times for 5 yards. This isn’t exactly what Cowboys fans envisioned after hearing Switzer was opening a lot eyes in training camp and organized team activities (OTAs). That was the main problem.

He was hyped up so much heading into the season that fans expected to see him involved much more on offense.

The Cowboys, on the other hand, had something else in mind, but I doubt that’s the case for the upcoming 2018 season.

I really think we’re going to see an increased role for Ryan Switzer next season.

The Cowboys coaching staff should have a much better understanding of his strengths and weaknesses now that he has a year in the system under his belt. And, they’ve seen firsthand how explosive he can be with the ball in his hands.

What the Cowboys coaching staff will have to determine this offseason is just how big of a role Switzer will have next year.

Should Switzer take Cole Beasley‘s job?

Cole Beasley, like the rest of the Cowboys receivers, had a down year in 2017. We shouldn’t assume that his job is safe, especially with someone like Ryan Switzer waiting in the wings. But, is Switzer ready to take over full-time?

Tough decisions will have to be made eventually, but such is life in the NFL.

Will Ryan Switzer see an increased offensive role in 2018?

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