Four years and five days after his last start as Boise State’s quarterback, Kellen Moore will get his first NFL start Sunday for the Dallas Cowboys at the Buffalo Bills (11 a.m., Fox).
Moore met with the Dallas and Buffalo media Wednesday, discussing his start, his first since the 2011 Las Vegas Bowl. Moore made his NFL debut in relief Saturday against the Jets, completing 15-of-25 passes for 158 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.
“It’s not (just) another start, because I haven’t had one, but I think it’ll be good. It’s exciting, and we’ve got a lot of good guys on this offense,” Moore said.
After nearly four full seasons on the Lions and Cowboys’ practice squads or as a backup, this was the first week he took a majority of the snaps with the starters. Moore said the adjustment wasn’t a major one from practice or preseason games, but simply the fact that “I just hadn’t played since August really.
“When you’re behind center, you’re seeing it from that vantage point, and it’s different, so you’ve got to utilize as many reps as you can to get comfortable with that view point,” Moore said.
On his first game, he said “some good, some bad, not enough good to obviously win the game, but you learn from it. Probably the biggest thing this week is getting the reps ... getting reps with those guys and getting comfortable with them.”
Sunday’s foe is a familiar one for Moore, who was 16-of-22 for 150 yards and a touchdown for the Lions against the Bills in this season’s preseason finale. He’s played them four times in the preseason, going 4-0 and completing 60-of-98 passes for 611 yards with five TDs and an interception.
Though he may not say it, there could be a little extra motivation. After that preseason win this year, Bills coach Rex Ryan said of Moore, “He’s a little bitty lefty. What do you want me to say? Big deal.” Ryan’s quarterback, Tyrod Taylor, is 6-foot-1. Moore is 6-foot.
On Wednesday, Ryan was more complimentary.
“Well, I tell you what, I saw him in preseason and he torched us,” he said. “First thing that jumps out at you, he’s a little bitty dude. You’re expecting these big 6-5 dudes and here’s a guy that’s 6-foot. Then he’s throwing with the wrong hand.
“But he’s accurate. He’s poised. And obviously the numbers he put up in college speak to that as well. He’s a smart guy. That’s kind of what jumps out at you.”
Cowboys defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford came to Boise State in 2010, Moore’s junior season.
“I didn’t care what he looked like,” Crawford said this week. “I knew what he could do on the field. That’s something that kind of confuses me with everybody that talks about Kellen, how he looks. He’s been hit by some big boys. It doesn’t matter how you look if you can go out there and get it done.”