GIL LEBRETON, FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM:
The pocket-sized new quarterback, who at times was playing like Mighty Mouse, turned out to be just another Munchkin.
Kellen Moore — all 5 feet, 11 or so inches of him — will get another public viewing, no doubt. But the Cowboys of 2015, their would-be return-to-Super-glory season, heaved their final playoff sigh Saturday at AT&T Stadium.
The New York Jets’ 19-16 victory officially eliminated the Tony Romo-less Cowboys from postseason eligibility. And it’s just as well.
Owner Jerry Jones sealed this team’s fate months ago when he determined that Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassel would be adequate replacements at quarterback for an injured Romo.
As general manager, Jones couldn’t have been more wrong. The Cowboys have won only one of the 10 games in which Romo hasn’t started. ...
Moore had his moments, none more titillating than his first NFL touchdown pass, a 10-yarder to Dez Bryant.
But he has an unconventional style for an NFL quarterback. He’s left-handed and seems about the same size as that jockey for American Pharoah. Young Kellen also appears to always be throwing uphill.
At least, though, Moore was trying to put the ball in the right hands, namely Bryant’s and Cole Beasley’s and Terrance Williams’.
“I felt like communication was pretty good,” said the former Boise State star. “I think things went smoothly in that area.”
Alas, three pairs of hands wearing Jets uniforms also caught Moore’s passes.
Is he the Cowboys’ quarterback of the future? Heavens to Budweiser, perish that notion for now.
But if nothing else, Moore’s likely impending two-week tryout will give Cowboys fans something to watch as the season mercifully draws to an end.
JERRY JONES, COWBOYS OWNER:
“He’s got a lot of poise. He really knows the offense. That’s not to say Cassel didn’t, but he’s been in it more than Cassel has. He does have a better understanding. It’s obvious he’s got instincts — very good instincts. I was reminded on that first possession that he got that interception, and that’s what happened to Romo when Romo first got in there — that type of thing. Tough spot, but for a guy that got his first NFL snap tonight, then there were some positives there no question.”
RICK GOSSELIN, THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS:
The Cowboys may have not seen their future Saturday night.
But they did see hope.
Hope for the final two games of the season in the form of a young quarterback who had never thrown an NFL pass before Saturday night. Finally given the chance 14 games into his fourth NFL season, Kellen Moore did everything the Cowboys asked of him except win the game.
Moore came off the bench to ignite the NFL’s 28th ranked offense and 29th ranked passing offense, involving the wide receivers, putting the ball in the end zone and engaging a sellout crowd of 90,345. But the game meant more to the 9-5 Jets than to the 4-10 Cowboys and New York prevailed, 19-16, on a late field goal.
That officially put an end to the far-fetched Jerry Jones notion of an NFC East title in 2015. Ten losses aren’t going to get the Cowboys into the postseason — nor do they deserve to play in the postseason. Not when you go 1-6 at home and 1-9 with backup quarterbacks not named Kellen Moore. The division is bad — but not that bad.
So put Romo on injured reserve now. The Cowboys won’t need him in January. And let’s all take a longer look at Moore. ...
Moore wound up throwing 25 passes in his NFL debut, and 18 of them were to his wideouts. Why not? Clearly, wide receiver is a strength of this offense and this team. A week earlier, Cassel connected with Bryant on only one of six passes in Green Bay. Moore hooked up with Bryant four times for 50 yards and threw him seven passes on the night.
Moore did throw three interceptions, but the first two were errors of inexperience and the third a failed Hail Mary. ...
Moore left Boise State as the winningest all-time quarterback in NCAA history with a 50-3 record. He saw all that the college game and college defenses could offer, throwing 1,658 passes for 14,667 yards with 143 touchdowns and only 28 interceptions. Then he spent the past four years watching a couple Pro Bowl quarterbacks, Romo and Matthew Stafford.
If the kid is ever going to be ready to play in the NFL, it’s now. He’s got two games to play for his future as a backup to Romo.
Let’s see what he’s got. These last two games could be entertaining.