Matt Moore has given the Miami Dolphins everything they could expect from a backup quarterback.
He's putting up numbers and victories. Last week, he threw three touchdowns as the Dolphins won their third consecutive game, 35-8 against Buffalo. Since he became the starting quarterback, replacing an injured Chad Henne, Miami is 3-3, and Moore has thrown for 1,152 yards, seven touchdowns with four interceptions.
During the three-game win streak, Moore has completed 70.8 percent of his passes with six touchdowns and one interception.
Don't expect the Cowboys to be surprised. They signed him as an undrafted free agent for training camp in 2007 and tried to keep him after final cuts. But Carolina claimed him, and he wound up starting 13 games for the Panthers over three years before landing in Miami this season.
"Matt was someone we really liked coming out of school," said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, who joined the Cowboys as offensive coordinator that year. "He played at Oregon State for Mike Riley and played in a pro-style offense. When you play in that kind of offense and get coached as well as he was coached in college, those guys have the ability to see things and cut the ball loose. We really liked that about Matt. He's a very athletic guy -- a quick release and quick stroke and a good feel for playing the position, really, at the NFL level."
Moore looked as though he might have a place in Carolina. He led the Panthers to a 4-1 finish in 2009, and the Panthers released Jake Delhomme and gave Moore the starting job. But he went 1-4 to start the season and fell out of favor.
"Opportunities like this don't come around very often," Moore said. "I was fortunate to have some opportunities in Carolina, which led me to this place. When you get a shot like this, you get to step in and do some things, make a name for yourself."
He's convinced his teammates and coaches.
"He's got poise," tailback Reggie Bush said. "We all had a lot to learn on the fly, getting used to a new quarterback. He's doing a great job of handling everything that's been thrown at him."
Good on third
The Dolphins didn't allow any third-down conversions by Buffalo last week. The previous week, the Washington Redskins were only 5-for-14 on third down against the Dolphins.
"We're getting people off the field right now on third down at a much higher rate," Miami coach Tony Sparano told Miami reporters.
The Dolphins are no strangers to Thursday games, at least not lately. This will be the third consecutive year they've played a Thursday game. They lost to Chicago 16-0 in Week 11 last season and defeated Carolina 24-17 in Week 11 in 2009. Both years, the games were the week before Thanksgiving.
Former Cowboys tight end Anthony Fasano has four touchdown catches in the past five games for the Dolphins.
After going five games without making an interception, the Dolphins have four in the past two games.
Shayne Graham, who the Cowboys cut in camp, is likely to be the Dolphins' kicker.
Reggie Bush is 75 rushing yards away from matching his career high.
Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7760