Just as he was settling into a steady role, former Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore was handed a cruel twist of fate Tuesday.
Working all offseason as the Cowboys’ backup quarterback behind Tony Romo, Moore suffered a broken right ankle after an offensive lineman rolled up on his leg when the Bronco great was stepping back to pass. Dallas was in Oxnard, Calif., for training camp.
According to an Associated Press report, the injury happened during one of the last plays of 11-on-11 work in the second full-pad practice of camp. Guard Jared Smith was pushed back by defensive lineman Lawrence Okoye and stepped on Moore’s ankle.
Moore was taken off the field with the help of trainers and was quickly carted off with a soft cast on his lower right leg.
Shortly after he was taken off the field, Cowboys owner and General Manager Jerry Jones told reporters that Moore had a broken leg or high ankle fracture. The team later clarified that his right ankle that was broken. ESPN’s Ed Werder reported Wednesday that Moore will need surgery and will miss three to four months.
“It’s regrettable,” Jones told the media after the diagnosis. “We’ll just basically take a look at it and address it from here.”
Citing a source, Dallas radio host Mike Fisher tweeted that Moore will miss eight weeks, and that’s without surgery. If he needs to be operated on, it will be longer.
Moore played in three games for Dallas last season, his first regular season NFL games since entering the league in 2012. He started twice, completing 61-of-104 passes for 779 yards with four touchdowns to six interceptions.
Jones has praised Moore this offseason, saying in June that “Moore has shown us he has inordinate instincts. Look at his won-loss at a high level in college. He does, at the end of the day, many things that can’t be coached.”
Dallas drafted Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott in the fourth round of this year’s NFL Draft, but Moore has been Romo’s primary backup, even taking the first-team snaps Sunday. Prescott and undrafted free agent Jameill Showers, in his second year, have been sharing third-team work.
After practice, when asked about Moore’s injury, Cowboys tight end Jason Witten said, “Your heart hurts for him because he just works really hard. He’s constantly taking notes, he’s studying.”
Dave Southorn: 208-377-6420