Dallas Cowboys: What to Look for in Kellen Moore


The season is nearly over for the Dallas Cowboys, and while their postseason hopes are no more, there are still things to look for these last weeks.

The 2015 season for the Dallas Cowboys may seem like a lost cause but it doesn’t have to be wasted just because playoffs are now a mathematical impossibility. Certain key players can be evaluated and the Cowboys can consequently make informed offseason decisions based on the performance of these key players.

While many have been lobbying for the Cowboys to go into “Full Evaluation Mode” (pull starters and test the depth), Jason Garrett has denounced that strategy wholeheartedly. Playing time will be given to those who earned it and only the players who give the team the best chance to win will play.

One player who fits both the “evaluate for the future” and the “best chance to win” categories is the new starting QB, Kellen Moore.

In recent weeks, the buzz around Cowboys Nation has been solely focused on the former Boise State star quarterback, Kellen Moore. As the fourth, and hopefully final, starting QB this season, the Dallas Cowboys are hoping to find a solution to their backup QB troubles BEFORE the offseason begins.

If Moore can prove his worth, that he can do enough to win on a somewhat consistent basis, then he has a future with the Dallas Cowboys. It’s almost guaranteed that both Jason Garrett and Scott Linehan will return as the primary offensive minds, so answering questions now will clearly help them in the future.

Check out: What to Expect from Kellen Moore

Both Garrett and Linehan like Moore and are clearly in his corner. If Moore can prove to be (or not to be) that makes their offseason evaluation all the easier.

Three things Kellen Moore needs to do:

  1. Kellen Moore needs to make good decisions. He got a pass on the three INTs last week but if he does it again, coaches, media, and fans will waver in their support.
  2. Kellen Moore needs to keep going to his playmakers.  Moore targeted his WRs more than his predecessors and that didn’t go unnoticed. Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley, and Terrance Williams all have game-breaking potential and they need the ball in their hands as often as possible.
  3. Kellen Moore needs to go through his progressions. What stood out the most from last Saturday is how Moore read the defense (post-snap) and moved through his progressions. He searched for the best option without constantly defaulting to the check-down.

Check out: Is Kellen Moore the Answer in Dallas?

If Kellen Moore can show well in these three main things, he almost assuredly has a future in Dallas next season. How well he does will determine exactly what role that is.

It will be interesting to see a few other things from him as well. Here are three items to look for, that aren’t make-or-break, but important nonetheless.

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Size Compensation – Kellen Moore is 6’0” 200lbs. And those measurements are being generous if we’re all being honest. Moore will struggle to cleanly deliver passes through passing lanes in a way 95% of the league does not. It’s an uphill battle to be a short QB in the NFL and it will be interesting to see if he can cleanly deliver passes on-time to receivers he may not even see.

Pocket Presence – Something I always noticed when Kellen played at Boise State was his pocket presence. He had a good feel for the pocket and while he wasn’t fast, or even very quick, he was unexplainably elusive. Not only that, but Kellen was willing to take a hit to deliver the pass. Tony Romo has taught us those are good qualities to have.

Next: DeMarcus Lawrence is becoming a Star

Deep Sideline Passes– Kellen Moore doesn’t have the arm of Romo so it’s fairly certain he’s going to struggle to deliver some of those passes that have been staples of the Dallas Cowboys. Sideline comebacks and deep outs are going to be risky, and in all likelihood, eliminated from the playbook.