Kevin Jairaj, USA TODAY Sports

Former Boise State Bronco Quarterback Kellen Moore Throws For 435 Yards in Third NFL Game in Four Years

Moore made two mistakes, but showed a rhythm Bronco fans are accustomed to seeing.

DALLAS, Texas--Former Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore, playing in just his third game in four years, threw for 435 yards and three touchdowns this afternoon in a 34-23 Dallas loss to Washington.

Moore, the winningest quarterback in NCAA football history at 50-3 for the Broncos, was not given a snap in three seasons with Detroit.  But when Lion offensive coordinator Scott Linehan went to Dallas, he was instrumental in bringing Moore to the Cowboys.  Star Cowboy quarterback Tony Romo was injured earlier in the year, and backups Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassel were ineffective in 10 starts between them, giving Moore his first opportunity to play a game since he led Boise State to a 56-24 win over Arizona State in the 2011 Las Vegas Bowl.

Unlike his performance last week, Moore found a rhythm today, connecting on 11 consecutive passes at one point this afternoon, with #11 coming on a 5-yard TD strike to wide receiver Cole Beasley that cut the Redskin lead to 24-14.

But a Washington field goal and a breakdown in the Cowboy secondary that left Rashad Ross wide open for a 71-yard touchdown play doomed any legitimate chance for a Dallas comeback.  

Still, Moore guided the Cowboys from their own 20-yard line to the Washington 2, but Redskin defensive back Will Blackmon made a break on Moore's pass for Beasley and intercepted it in the end zone.  Dallas' defense rallied for a safety on the ensuing possession however to cut the lead to 34-16.  

After the punt, Moore led Dallas from their 33 to the Washington 20.  With a first down, Moore called an audible, a quick pitch to Darren McFadden.  McFadden raced outside and was headed for a touchdown when the ball was poked out, resulting in a touchback.

The Cowboy defense forced a Redskin punt, and then Moore led Dallas on a 13-play, 89-yard drive that culminated in a seven-yard strike from Moore to Beasley to cut the margin to 34-23 with 4:22 remaining.  Moore was 11-12 on the drive.

However, an onside kick was recovered by Washington, and the Redskins ran out the clock.

Moore finished the day 33-48 for 435 yards and three touchdowns against two interceptions.  Moore's 101.66 quarterback rating was #10 in the NFL in the 10 early games, a more effective outing than both Tom Brady (76.29) and Eli Manning (93.36), among others (see chart below).

With his 435 passing yards, Moore is tied for fifth-best in Dallas franchise history.  Only Romo, Don Meredith and Troy Aikman have thrown for more in a Cowboys game.

Moore was 13-for-31 for 186 yards in a 16-6 loss to Buffalo in his NFL debut last week.

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NFL Quarterback Ratings, Week 17:

1.    Kirk Cousins, Washington (155.14--12 for 15 for 176)

2.    Matthew Stafford, Detroit (119.39--28 for 39 for 298)

3.    Alex Tanney, Tennessee (114.88--10 of 14 for 99)

4.    Ryan Tannehill, Miami (112.83--25 of 38 for 350)

5.    Sam Bradford, Philadelphia (108.33--30 of 38 for 320)

6.    Drew Brees, New Orleans (105.56--32 of 42 for 323)

7.    A.J. McCarron, Cincinnati (103.94--17 for 27 for 160)

8.    Matt Ryan, Atlanta (103.24--24 for 36 for 334)

9.    Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh (102.66--24 for 36 for 349)

10.  Kellen Moore, Dallas (101.66--33 for 48 for 435)

11.  Jay Cutler, Chicago (97.46--17 for 23 for 245)

12.  Eli Manning, New York Giants (93.36--24 of 43 for 302)

13.  Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo (82.74--18 of 28 for 182)

14.  Brian Hoyer, Houston (78.02--25 of 40 for 249)

15.  Tom Brady, New England (76.29--12 of 21 for 134)

16.  Josh Freeman, Indianapolis (65.92--15 of 28 for 149)

17.  Ryan Mallett, Baltimore (59.52--30 of 56 for 292)

18.  Blake Bortles, Jacksonville (51.43--17 of 32 for 239)

19.  Austin Davis, Cleveland, (49.18--24 of 46 for 240)

20.  Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets (42.74--16 for 37 for 181)


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