Cowboys: Why Kellen Moore Could Beat Bills


The Dallas Cowboys don’t know the Bills very well, but the same isn’t true of new starting quarterback Kellen Moore, who beat Buffalo during the preseason.

One catch phrase we’ve been spared as a Week 16 match up between the Dallas Cowboys and the Buffalo Bills approaches is the following: “Two teams that just don’t like each other.”

Frankly, these two franchises hardly even know each other, no matter what your Super Bowl memories might suggest. Takeaway Dallas’ back-to-back wins against Buffalo in Super Bowl XXVII and XXVIII, these two teams have only played each other nine times in history.

Since the NFL realigned its divisions back in 2002, Dallas and Buffalo have met three times, once every four years just like clockwork. The Cowboys have a three-game winning streak going during that span, which includes that incredible five-interception performance by quarterback Tony Romo that somehow ended up a victory back in 2007.

Having said that, it would seem to be a plus that the Cowboys at least have a new starting quarterback that beat the Bills last September during the preseason. Kellen Moore led all Lions passers in that preseason finale in Detroit en route to a 17-10 victory.

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Granted, winning a game against Buffalo’s backups and reserves won’t mean a great deal on Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

On the other hand, Moore’s quarterback rating of 106.2 in that game should offer a degree of intrigue surrounding this game that the Cowboys should have no interest in winning at all.

Moore completed 16-of-22 passes for 150 yards and an impressive touchdown pass of 64 yards to Notre Dame rookie T.J. Jones. You can see that play in the video below at the :40 mark.

At the very least, Moore should have a decent feel for the scheme the Bills are operating under first-year head coach Rex Ryan, who ended up with the Buffalo following his firing by the New York Jets after last season.

In fact, Ryan had some choice commentary on the quarterback his team will be facing on Sunday, courtesy of Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News.

"I saw him in preseason and he torched us. First thing that jumps out at you, he’s a little bitty dude. You’re expecting these big 6-5 dudes and here’s a guy that’s 6-foot. Then he’s throwing with the wrong hand. But he’s accurate. He’s poised. And obviously the numbers he put up in college speak to that as well. He’s a smart guy. That’s kind of what jumps out at you."

I can’t tell if that’s a whole-hearted compliment or just a thinly veiled attempt at bulletin board material for the Cowboys – or perhaps Moore himself.

It’s also true that despite the fact the Bills will be playing their starters this time around, it’s not like this team’s pass rush is anything to fear.

If you think that the Cowboys pass rush has been a disappointment this season, which it has, take a look at what’s been happening in Buffalo this season.

Let’s just say that Ryan took over the NFL leader in sacks a year ago and quickly dropped that unit all the way to 30th in the NFL entering Week 16.

The Cowboys are ranked 27th in sacks (three-way tie with San Diego and Miami) and are still waiting their first from second-round draft pick Randy Gregory.

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Point is this: Moore should at least have some time to figure out where to go with the ball. Based on how he approached his first regular-season playing time on Week 15 against the New York Jets, it’s a safe bet that Moore will go down field, for better or worse.

In this case, the best that Cowboys fans can hope for is that Moore will have that extra split second to make his case to enter next season as Dallas’ badly needed backup quarterback, something the franchise obviously didn’t have until far too late in 2015.