Former Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore will start for the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday at the Buffalo Bills (11 a.m., Fox), coach Jason Garrett told Dallas radio station 105.3 The Fan on Monday morning.
Moore, in his fourth year as a pro, made his NFL debut off the bench last week against the New York Jets. He provided a spark for the Cowboys offense and threw his first touchdown pass but also tossed three interceptions.
“We felt like he did good things for us,” Garrett said, according to SI.com. “Unfortunately, the turnovers he made weren’t good, but hopefully he’ll learn from the experiences and gives us a chance to move the ball and score some points up there.”
KNIN (channel 9), Boise’s Fox affiliate, was originally scheduled to air a Panthers-Falcons game Sunday morning. But the station got permission to show the Cowboys-Bills game instead.
The announcement means Moore will get the majority of first-team snaps in practice for the first time in his career, which will give him a better chance at success. The Bills also will be able to game plan for him.
Moore went 16-for-22 for 150 yards and a touchdown (106.2 rating) to lead the Detroit Lions to a 17-10 victory over the Bills in the preseason finale this year.
He received his most preseason playing time annually in the Lions’ preseason game against the Bills. He is 4-0 against them, accounting for six total touchdowns.
“He’s a little bitty lefty. What do you want me to say? Big deal,” Bills coach Rex Ryan said after this year’s game, according to the Detroit Free Press.
On Saturday, Moore was 15-for-25 for 158 yards and a touchdown with three interceptions. He entered the 19-16 loss to the Jets in the second quarter facing a 6-3 deficit. He rallied the Cowboys to a halftime lead and the tying field goal late in the fourth quarter.
Moore became the first former Boise State Bronco to play quarterback in an NFL regular-season game — and he did enough for several media members to call for him to start the Cowboys’ final two games. They also play Washington on Jan. 3 in Dallas.
Moore’s career preseason numbers: 135-for-224 for 1,350 yards and nine touchdowns with four interceptions (83.37 rating).
His numbers against the Bills: 60-for-98, 611 yards, five touchdowns and one interception (91.84).
Moore was 50-3 as a starter at Boise State from 2008 to 2011. He holds the NCAA career record for wins by a quarterback. He finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting in 2010.
He signed with the Lions as an undrafted free agent in 2012 and improbably made the roster as the third-string quarterback. The offensive coordinator was Scott Linehan, who now is the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator.
Moore was the third-stringer in 2013 and 2014 and was given a chance to compete for the backup job this year in training camp. When he couldn’t beat out Dan Orlovsky, he was cut. The Cowboys signed Moore and have used him as the backup, No. 3 quarterback and practice-squad quarterback at times this season. He has served as the backup since starter Tony Romo was injured for the second time this season.
Backup-turned-starter Matt Cassel had thrown for 1,276 yards in nine games this season (141.8 per game) with five touchdowns and seven interceptions before he was benched last week. He had a 70.6 rating and the Cowboys are 1-6 when he starts.