Nick Foles is happy for Kellen Moore and has no ill will toward Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
Why would he?
Foles is in the Super Bowl as quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles and one win away from making history as the third quarterback to go from backup to unlikely Super Bowl champion, joining Jeff Hostetler and Doug Williams.
Moore is starting a new career as a neophyte quarterbacks coach.
And Jones is still smarting over his team going 9-7, missing the playoffs and continuing a 27-year Super Bowl drought.
It all makes Jones’ arrogant diss of Foles before the 2016 season such folly now.
The Cowboys opened training camp with the unproven Moore as oft-injured Tony Romo’s primary backup. They also had Jameill Showers and rookie fourth-round pick Dak Prescott, considered a developmental prospect for the future, on the roster.
Jones sneered at questions about the uncertainty at backup quarterback and the idea of adding Foles, a proven veteran who had just been released by the Rams.
“We know Foles pretty well,” Jones said. “We like Moore. ... Foles isn’t an option. We wouldn’t get him any snaps. We’ve got four that are going to get the snaps.”
Moore broke his ankle less than a week into training camp and the Cowboys inquired about Foles.
But Foles signed with the Kansas City Chiefs and Prescott emerged as quarterback sensation, replacing an injured Romo as the starter and winning rookie of the year.
Foles was oblivious to it all.
The Austin Westlake graduate was contemplating retirement at the age of 27, just two years removed from a Pro Bowl season.
But the up-and-down nature of the league and a frustrating stint with the Rams had him at a crossroads that was bigger than Jones’ diss.
“In my heart at that time, I was probably going to step away from the game,” Foles said. “But I also knew that being in that situation that I had to take a few days just to let all of the emotions settle.
“It had nothing to do with starting. I really had to go with my heart in that situation. Getting the opportunity to step away, I went on a fly fishing/camping trip with my brother-in-law, Ryan, and coming back and just asking my wife Tori about it, I still didn’t have a clear decision about what I wanted to do.
“But that’s when I really prayed and really asked God for guidance. There wasn’t a sure path. I really just took a step on faith. I knew that I’d have more growth as a person going back to the game.”
And when he decided to go back to the game, there was only one place he would consider going.
It was with the Chiefs and coach Andy Reid, who gave him his first opportunity as a rookie with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012.
“At that point, I was focused on Coach Reid,” Foles said. “There were several teams that called and I think Dallas was one of them. But at that point, I was only going to play for Andy Reid and that is what I decided to do.”
Football was fun again as Foles backed up Alex Smith last season.
“Being in Kansas City last year was one of the special years in my football career,” he said. “I might not be sitting here today if I didn’t have coach Reid right there for me. If I had joy in me, he could bring it back out. He sure did.”
Foles signed with the Eagles in the off-season to back up Carson Wentz, reuniting him with coach Doug Pederson, his quarterback coach with the Eagles in 2012.
A season-ending knee injury to Wentz in Week 13 put Foles in the starting lineup and now on brink of Super Bowl glory, rendering Jones’ diss just a footnote in history.
The word then was that Foles was miffed by Jones’ comments and refused to consider the Cowboys.
He says now that he knew nothing about it.
“I had no idea what Jerry said,” Foles said. “I can’t take it personally. I think they made the right decision.”
Foles said he had great respect for Moore, whom he used to train with, calling him “one of the smartest guys I have ever been around.”
“I love Kellen,” Foles continued. “He is their quarterback coach right now. He is going to be a great coach. Several years from now, he will be a head coach and doing a lot of great things.”
Of course, Foles has the last laugh.
“I am in the Super Bowl and I am grateful to be an Eagle.”
Nick Foles File
Quarterback Nick Foles will lead the Philadelphia Eagles against New England in Super Bowl LII. Here are some notes on Foles’ unlikely journey:
▪ Only quarterback in NFL history to have 100-plus passer rating in each of his first three career postseason starts (minimum 20 attempts per game).
▪ Fourth quarterback in the Super Bowl era to win two postseason games after making three or fewer starts in the regular season, joining Doug Williams (1987 Redskins), Jeff Hostetler (1990 Giants) and Frank Reich (1992 Bills)
▪ Foles is in his sixth NFL season. He was originally a third-round draft pick by the Eagles. He was traded to the St. Louis Rams in 2015 and then signed a free agent deal with Kansas City in 2016 before re-signing with the Eagles this season.
▪ Foles and his wife, Tori, have a daughter named Lily. Tori played volleyball at Arizona and is the sister of former Eagles tight end Evan Moore. Foles was a roommate of Brent Celek’s brother, Garrett, as a freshman at Michigan State.
▪ Foles graduated from Austin Westlake High School, breaking school passing records previously held by Drew Brees, the New Orleans Saints superstar quarterback. Foles was also a high school teammate of Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker.
▪ Foles and Brees are the second quarterback duo from the same high school to play in a Super Bowl. Peyton and Eli Manning, who attended Isadore Newman High School in New Orleans, were the first.
▪ Speaking of high school ball, Foles led Westlake to the Class 5A state finals in 2006 at the Alamodome in San Antonio. The game was tied 29-29 in the fourth quarter before Southlake Carroll pulled away for a 43-29 win. Foles completed 24 of 43 passes for 299 yards without an interception in the state title game. He had an incredible 33 touchdown passes with only four interceptions in his senior season.
▪ Foles signed with Michigan State out of high school then transferred to Arizona, where he played three seasons and developed into an NFL Draft prospect.