IRVING – Kellen Moore is too small. Too short. Too slow. But his strengths and his circumstances make him No. 2, too. Sources tell me the Cowboys’ present plan it to have Moore back up Brandon Weeden on Sunday against the visiting Falcons. (See our Advanced-Stats Notebook on the upcoming game here.)
“Kellen’s been working very hard to get himself ready,’’ said offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. "All this news with the new QB we’ve acquired (the trad with Buffalo for Matt Cassel, detailed here) we’re excited about … but the guy we acquired three weeks ago we’re excited about, too.
"We’re excited to see (Moore) be in position to play as well. We’ll see how that shakes out weekly.’'
In other words — and this is reflected in the way the Cowboys have practiced this week — with Tony Romo (collarbone) sidelined (that full coverage is here), Cassel will soon be the No. 2 guy behind temp starter Weeden.
But that isn’t happening yet. So Kellen Moore, fresh off the practice squad, is happening.
“If I’m wearing pads and a helmet on game day, then I’l be ready to go if needed,’’ Moore said earlier this week.
When Moore plays in a game, he pretty much doesn’t lose. He was 50-3 at Boise State, making him a cult hero despite — or heck, maybe even because of — the fact he’s 5-11, 195 pounds and not possessive of a strong arm or fast feet.
Moore never made it onto the field with the Detroit Lions, working under Linehan, and was signed to be a practice-sqaudder in Dallas this fall. His is a trusted mind when it comes to mentor Linehan … but now he might be a Weeden injury on Sunday away from having to be a trusted NFL QB.
That’s likely to be temporary. Linehan notes that Cassel is "a guy who is ready to go when he’s called upon, real soon.’’ And Dallas wouldn’t have bothered trading for Buffalo backup Cassel if it had full and long-term faith in Moore.
But the Cowboys are preparing to have full and short-term faith in him. And Kellen Moore’s ascension to the varsity — the result of his resiliance and the Cowboys’ circumstance — is all by itself a success story of sorts.