Boise State Football

Cowboys’ Jones: Kellen Moore will start at No. 2 QB

New York Giants safety Darian Thompson runs through a drill during rookie camp Friday in East Rutherford, N.J.
New York Giants safety Darian Thompson runs through a drill during rookie camp Friday in East Rutherford, N.J. The Associated Press

Even though Dallas took a quarterback in last weekend’s NFL Draft, owner Jerry Jones said this week he expects former Boise State great Kellen Moore to be Tony Romo’s backup when the season starts.

Dallas took Dak Prescott of Mississippi State in the fourth round Saturday, but he likely will start the season as the No. 3 quarterback, Jones said.

Moore was pressed into duty last season when Romo broke his collarbone and the Cowboys’ other options faltered. The first Boise State quarterback to throw a pass in the NFL, Moore made his debut Dec. 19, then started the final two games. He was 61-of-104 passing for 779 yards with four touchdowns and six interceptions, including 435 yards and three TDs in his final start.

“I think Kellen Moore has shown the ‘it,’ Jones said Thursday on Dallas’ 105.3 The Fan. “He has the instincts. He has the anticipation. He knows what’s going on. He gives me and us a great feeling about basically improving. Obviously those interceptions were not something you can live with, but some of the stuff he was doing was obvious the team was responding. He was able to move the team.”

DRAFT UPDATES

▪ Former Boise State defensive end/linebacker Kamalei Correa, taken in the second round (42nd overall) by the Ravens, officially signed Friday. He will make the rookie minimum of $450,000 this season. He met the media and immediately said, “The taxes on that contract, that hurt.” Full contract information was not available.

▪ Another Boise State draftee, offensive lineman Rees Odhiambo, a third-round pick (No. 97 overall) of the Seahawks, signed Wednesday for four years and a maximum of $3.36 million.

▪ Defensive back Donte Deayon is one of 14 free agents to sign with the Giants, who started their rookie camp Friday.

▪ The Dolphins opened their rookie mini-camp Friday with 12 undrafted free agents, including linebacker Tyler Gray. “It all starts with work ethic,” Gray said. “I think what I’m looking forward to most is just that I have been given this opportunity and it’s up to me to take it as far as I can.”

THOMPSON OFF TO GOOD START

Darian Thompson, the former Boise State safety taken in the third round (No. 71 overall) by the Giants, has not yet signed but worked out Friday and met with the media.

“It’s a fresh start,” he told the media. “A lot of people don’t know me, so what I’m trying to do is put my best foot forward, and whatever happens, happens.”

Newsday reported that Thompson, who received his playbook Thursday, was active Friday by calling out checks, yelling coverages and directing new teammates during the first on-field segment of camp.

“It’s just a 30-minute deal, but Thompson, I thought, was barking out,” defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said in Newsday. “That’s the first thing I look for in a safety. Will you bark them out? Will you be loud? Will you not be afraid to make a mistake? I think that’s huge, and that stuck out a little bit.”

Said Thompson: “It’s a lot easier to communicate when you know what’s going on, so first things first, I tried to learn the playbook as much as possible before I got out there so the communication comes natural.”

NUMBERS GAME

According to the teams’ websites, some former Boise State players have been assigned numbers: Correa (51), Thompson (27), Odhiambo (70), Deayon (38), Gray (57) and center Marcus Henry of the Saints (61).

SWR HEADED TO CFL

Wide receiver/returner Shane Williams-Rhodes could create some havoc up north on the larger fields of the CFL. The 5-foot-6 Williams-Rhodes tweeted Thursday night he has signed with the Toronto Argonauts.

COWBOYS’ LAWRENCE APPEALING SUSPENSION

Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence hopes to have his four-game suspension overturned or reduced, similar to what happened with cornerback Orlando Scandrick (Boise State) in 2014, Jones said to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Jones has acknowledged Lawrence was suspended by the NFL for the first four games of the 2016 season for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.

Scandrick’s suspension for “popping a molly” on vacation in Mexico was reduced from four games to two games.

“It’s under appeal,” Jones said about Lawrence’s suspension. “And it’s very similar to the (Scandrick) situation there when it was reduced from four to two.

“But I wouldn’t want to be presumptuous. It’s under consideration. You don’t want to tell them what to do. Let them look at all the facts and the entire situation, which is what is required and will be done, and then maybe we can get a reduction.”

Any type of reduction for Lawrence would help the Cowboys. They are hurting for playmakers at defensive end, with Lawrence’s suspension to go along with a four-game suspension of Randy Gregory for multiple violations of the league’s substance-abuse policy.

The Cowboys also didn’t bring back defensive end Greg Hardy.

Lawrence is a budding star, leading the team with eight sacks last season, including seven in the final eight games.

The Cowboys tried to address the position in the draft and free agency. They signed Benson Mayowa (Idaho) from the Raiders and re-signed Jack Crawford. The Cowboys also have high hopes for fourth-round draft pick Charles Tapper, who could open the season as the starter at right end in place of Gregory.

None of the other defensive ends on the roster has more than three sacks in a season. The Cowboys are considering moving tackle Tyrone Crawford (Boise State) to end in place of Lawrence.

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