Kellen Moore has been called undersized. Or, as Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan put it, Moore is just a “little bitty dude” who throws with “the wrong hand.”
Other terms to describe Moore include “immobile” and “lacking arm strength.” Quite simply, he doesn’t pass the eye test for an NFL quarterback, which is why he went undrafted in 2012.
But Moore, listed at 6 feet and 200 pounds, is also known as a “football nerd” with above-average smarts. He spends hours studying the game, something that started at a young age as the son of a high school football coach in Prosser, Wash.
Those hours paid off during a stellar college career. Even with his physical limitations, Moore went 50-3 as a four-year starter at Boise State, throwing for 142 touchdowns (second most in Football Bowl Subdivision history) and 14,667 passing yards (fifth most). Now, Moore is finally getting an opportunity to show his Boise State success can translate to the pro game. He’s been named the Dallas Cowboys’ starting quarterback — their fourth of the season — and will make his first career start Sunday in Buffalo. There’s no question he will be prepared.
“I feel good,” said Moore, who Sunday will become the first Boise State quarterback to start an NFL game. “I think it’s just a matter of being able to stand back there and see it. From the sidelines, yeah, you understand all the concepts and all that. But it’s standing behind center, seeing the movements from that perspective and going through those reps and obviously doing it in the game.”
Next man up
Kellen Moore is the seventh Dallas Cowboys quarterback to start in place of Tony Romo, who — like Moore — was undrafted and made his first start for Dallas during his fourth NFL season. The other sit-ins since 2006:
- Jon Kitna: 4-5 (2010)
- Stephen McGee: 1-0 (2010)
- Brad Johnson: 1-2 (2008)
- Matt Cassel: 1-6 (2015)
- Kyle Orton: 0-1 (2013)
- Brandon Weeden: 0-4 (2014-15)