Thinking Outside Of The Box – Quarterback Edition

Kellen Moore

If you have ever daydreamed about some crazy strategy that, for even just a moment, you thought might work, this post is for you.  This post isn’t what I think will happen – actually I’m fairly sure it won’t.  It’s not even about what I think should happen.  Instead, think of this as a brainstorming session where no idea is shot down and thinking outside of the box is encouraged.  Without further ado, this is Thinking Outside the Box – Quarterback Edition.

The Cowboys have a bit of a dilemma at quarterback this offseason.  They have a superb starter in Tony Romo, but he has succumbed to injury far too often in recent seasons, which makes every backup quarterback an important member of the of the squad.  Vying for the backup spots are veteran journeyman Kellen Moore, rookie Dak Prescott, and second year player Jameill Showers.

First of all, Dak Prescott is nearly guaranteed to make the team due to the team investing a fourth round pick in him just a few months ago.  Because Prescott is considered a bit of project, he isn’t likely to be trusted to be the primary backup.  Therefore, the team will likely include three quarterbacks on the season opening roster, barring an injury to Prescott that would put him on injured reserve.  Either way, however, the competition for that final quarterback roster spot will likely be between Moore and Showers.  If the team focused solely on the 2016 season, Moore would likely make the team as the primary backup.  He gained some game experience last season and knows the offense very well.  He can be considered a safe player because the team can have confidence that he won’t completely bomb if he is forced to play.  If the team focused on building for the future, however, there is an argument that can be made for Showers, who has more upside due to his youth, arm strength, and mobility.

If you are an avid Cowboys fan, this is not news to you.  What you likely haven’t heard is this crazy idea. Call it the Danny Reeves flashback for you older guys. What if the Cowboys approached Moore about being an Assistant Quarterbacks Coach, matched or exceeded the $760,000 salary he would be due as a player, and had him perform game planning and coaching duties along with allowing him to participate in practices as a quarterback (as a coach demonstrating by doing, wink, wink, bob’s your uncle)?  If Romo were to be injured, Moore could then be signed to the active roster to either start or be the backup.  There may be a rule that a coach can’t be signed as a player during the same season, but I haven’t been able to locate such a rule (that probably wouldn’t stop John Mara and the commish from trying to punish the team anyway).  If such a rule exists, the Cowboys could of course keep Moore on speed dial in case of a Romo injury, but releasing him would allow another team to sign him.  Hiring Moore as a coach with knowledge that he could end up playing could persuade him to not sign with another team and allow him to keep his skills sharp and keep him in sync with the rest of the offense.

I had a similar idea many years ago.  The player in the Kellen Moore role was none other than – you probably already guessed it – Jason Garrett.

Frank B.