Matthew Stafford was watching the Cowboys-Jets game Saturday night, trying hard to stay awake for only one reason: The Detroit Lions quarterback knew his former teammate likely was going to get a chance to play.
Stafford said he excitedly sent Lions backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky and offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter a group text in the second quarter that read: “He’s in!”
He is Cowboys quarterback Kellen Moore, who made his NFL regular-season debut last week in a 19-16 loss to the Jets.
“I’m fired up,” Stafford told Lions reporters this week via the Detroit News. “I was texting him a bunch and happy for him. I think he played good. First live action, probably didn’t get a whole bunch of reps during the week. That’s a tough defense to open it up against, but he’ll play good for them. He’s a good player.”
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Moore completed 15 of 25 passes for 158 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions against the Jets. He will make his first NFL start Sunday against the Bills.
Moore never played a down in his three seasons in Detroit, but he left on good terms. His former Lions teammates are rooting for him.
“The measurables, he’s not tall,” Lions receiver Golden Tate said. “I’ll say this: He isn’t the most athletic and doesn’t have the most arm strength, but I always thought he had really good touch; I thought his anticipation was awesome. He knew he couldn’t throw a comeback as you were coming out of your breaks, so he would kind of anticipate and float it. So, actually, coming out your break, the ball would still be there. He was good at that.”