Southpaw Kellen Moore Deserves Chance To Start For Cowboys
The blank printout revealed everything that I suspected about the history of left-handed quarterbacks in Dallas Cowboys history. There is none. Or was none, until Saturday night when Kellen Moore came on in relief of a struggling Matt Cassel to play quarterback for a 4-9 Cowboys squad that was clinging to the faintest of playoff hopes.
Though Moore wasn’t necessarily the spark that head coach Jason Garrett was hoping for, Dallas falling in the end by a 19-16 final, Moore was a spark nonetheless, staking the Cowboys to a 13-9 lead going into the fourth quarter. And when New York pushed ahead on a touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Eric Decker with 8:58 remaining, Moore was there to even the count, leading an 11-play, 51-yard march to set-up a Dan Bailey field goal from 50 yards.
That Moore was a victim of yet another fourth quarter collapse from the Dallas defense linked him with each of his two quarterbacking predecessors, who grew accustomed to watching defeat become a reality while standing on the sidelines. That, and the uniform he is wearing, is surely the only commonality between the former Boise State standout and the duo of Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassel. Moore’s six-foot frame is noticeably shorter than both, and his arm-strength is also lacking in comparison.
None of that seemed to affect Moore, who entered the game with the heart of a gunslinger. With a windup that looks strangely akin to Bernie Kosar, and an emphatic release that would make Philip Rivers proud, Moore completed 15-of-25 passes for 158 yards and one touchdown, a nice stat line for a quarterback seeing his first NFL action.
What is not so nice are the completions that he threw to the Jets defense. His first interception came on his second-pass when he threw it up for grabs in the middle of the field, and watched New York safety Michael Gilchrist make an easy grab near midfield. Moore’s second no-no came in the red-zone when he forced a pass over the middle for Bryant that instead found the mitts of Calvin Pryor.
38 different quarterbacks have started games for the Dallas Cowboys over the span of nearly 56 NFL seasons. All 38 have been right-handed.
With the Cowboys at 4-10, and staring down the gun-barrel of their worst season since 1989, Jason Garrett could do far worse than to give Moore a chance as the Dallas starter next Sunday in Buffalo. Yes, the time for the southpaw has finally arrived at Valley Ranch.