Dallas Cowboys

Kellen Moore prepared if his chance to play comes this season

Cowboys backup quarterback Kellen Moore has spent four years preparing for his first NFL snap.
Cowboys backup quarterback Kellen Moore has spent four years preparing for his first NFL snap. Star-Telegram

Kellen Moore has spent not only the last week or even the last three months preparing for a chance to play. That’s what all of the last four years have been about.

Moore, as the backup to Matt Cassel, again finds himself an injury away from his first NFL action.

“Yeah, if it comes to that, I’ll be ready,” Moore said Saturday. “Obviously, I feel like it’s been a good week. It’s been nice just getting reps simply. It’s as simple as that. Just getting out there and playing.”

Moore didn’t get many reps when Tony Romo resumed practicing last month. But Romo fractured his left collarbone on Thanksgiving, returning Moore to the scout-team quarterback role.

“The scout team reps are obviously really what you’re getting out of practice,” Moore said. “So it’s obviously huge for backup quarterbacks in those roles, and those are the reps you’re going to get, and then you find ways to get reps in other ways too after practice or whatever it may be.”

Moore has never played a down in the NFL. He spent three seasons with the Detroit Lions, but they released him before the season opener this year. The Cowboys signed him to their practice squad Sept. 8. Moore has bounced up and down, between the practice squad and the 53-player roster since, spending five games on the practice squad and six on the roster.

Moore was active for two games this season as the backup to Brandon Weeden while Cassel caught up on the offense after a trade from Buffalo. But Moore didn’t play.

“Obviously, for the last few years it’s been the preseason and take advantage of those,” Moore said. “Obviously, I didn’t play when I was in Detroit because Matthew [Stafford] was healthy and everything went well up there. But you try and take advantage of each opportunity and who knows I guess. Backup quarterbacks are always everyone’s favorites anyway, right?”

Some Cowboys fans are clamoring for Moore to get his shot. He went 50-3 in his career at Boise State, throwing 142 touchdowns and 28 interceptions.

For now, Moore’s role is to run the scout team and prepare himself in case something happens to Cassel.

“Kellen has gotten all the scout team reps this week. Matt is taking all the first team reps,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Saturday. “…He maximizes that scout-team work. They get opportunities to throw to the guys who are going to be playing in the game in one-on-ones and seven-on-seven and some of those things, and then you’ve got to maximize that scout-team work. That’s the dynamic with a lot of teams around this league for a long, long time has been. That’s really part of the job description of a backup quarterback. You have to go in and be effective and run the football team without getting a lot of work in practice. I think Kellen understands that.”

Charean Williams: 817-390-7760, @NFLCharean

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