If Kellen Moore does nothing else in his Dallas Cowboys career, he’ll always have Sunday.
Moore threw for the sixth-most yards in team history.
But the Cowboys lost.
That ranked as the most consistent thing the Cowboys did this season: They couldn’t find a way to win with their backup quarterbacks. The Cowboys started three backup quarterbacks, and they combined to go 1-11 in Tony Romo’s absence.
We weren’t good enough throwing the ball. We weren’t good enough running the ball. We didn’t have enough balance.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett on the team’s offensive problems
“Obviously, at the end of the day, these games are about winning,” said Moore, who completed 33 of 48 passes for 435 yards with three touchdowns, two interceptions and a 100.6 passer rating. “Bottom line, at the end of the day, we want to win these games. We weren’t able to.”
Dallas averaged 15.8 points per game without Romo, scoring the second-fewest touchdowns (26) in team history for a single season.
“Obviously, we weren’t good enough,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “We weren’t good enough throwing the ball. We weren’t good enough running the ball. We didn’t have enough balance. We weren’t effective moving the ball on a consistent basis and scoring points. Those are all obvious things.
The Cowboys averaged 15.8 points per game without Tony Romo, scoring the second-fewest touchdowns (26) in team history for a single season.
“We’ll go back and look at it. Obviously, we had a lot of different players playing over the course of the year. We had different quarterbacks playing. But you can’t look at it that way. You have to look at it from the standpoint of what we were able to do well, what we didn’t do well and how are we going to move forward and solve those things.”
The Cowboys begin this off-season with a top priority of finding a backup quarterback they can win with.
I think he’s got the potential to be a winning two. I think he can ultimately win games in the NFL.
Owner Jerry Jones on backup quarterback Kellen Moore
While Matt Cassel becomes a free agent in the off-season, and probably won’t return, Moore has another year on his contract. Owner Jerry Jones gave Moore a vote of confidence after Sunday’s game, saying Moore will get a chance to compete for the No. 2 job.
“I think he’s got the potential to be a winning two,” Jones said. “I think he can ultimately win games in the NFL.”
Moore had never played a down in the NFL until Dec. 19. In his 2 1/2 games, he completed 61 of 104 passes for 779 yards with four touchdowns, six interceptions and a 71.0 passer rating.
But Jones also didn’t rule out drafting a quarterback. The Cowboys have the No. 4 overall pick, with Cal’s Jared Goff and Memphis’ Paxton Lynch both are rated as top-10 picks.
“It really limited us to not have Romo this year, and just the way that we have our team structured, what we try to do, he’s hard to replace,” Jones said. “…He is hard to replace in our system. We’d like to not have to replace him next year, but we will be looking to the future with our backup situation. We thought we were doing that this year, and thought we were prepared over the last two years looking ahead at the backup, as well as a little eye on the future.
“That didn’t work out for us, so we’ll be looking to approach it, probably in the same way, but we’ll have to really weigh the value of this high pick that we have earned, really earned it, and to everybody’s dismay everywhere that’s a Cowboy fan, but we’ll use it and use the ramifications of picking this high, whether it be in the first round or whether it be ensuing rounds, we’ll use to the best advantage.”