Kellen Moore started in the 2017 Hall of Fame game against the Arizona Cardinals, did he show us enough to justify his spot as the backup to Dak Prescott?
Football is back!! The Dallas Cowboys faced off against the Arizona Cardinals Thursday evening in the 2017 Hall of Fame game, winning 20-18 in Canton. The results of the game mean very little, however, it signals the start of the upcoming season, something that should make all NFL fans should be excited.
The pre-season as a whole gives us an opportunity to watch young players that are pushing for a roster spot. These games can be very telling, especially as we creep closer to roster cuts and the beginning of the regular season.
In this game, I was watching two players specifically. The first was Rico Gathers, who put out an outstanding performance. While it is the pre-season, he did demonstrate all of the tools and raw talent worth developing. He finished the game with three catches for 59 yards and an impressive touchdown reception. The second player was backup quarterback Kellen Moore.
I’ve always been skeptical about Moore and whether he was a suitable backup for Dak Prescott. We’ve seen doubt due to his size, arm strength, or even accuracy. We’ve seen doubt cast on his ability to hold up through an entire NFL game. He’s been labeled as a player who is “not overly athletic.” I had my doubts coming into the match, but I have to admit, those doubts are starting to become alleviated.
Moore dished out an impressive performance, finishing 12-17 for 182 yards and one touchdown, along with one interception. The interception was obvious, however, if Dez Bryant were the receiver, it likely would have been a touchdown. Nevertheless, Moore’s performance was nothing short of remarkable.
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I’m aware this is just the Hall of Fame game, but he demonstrated traits that we haven’t seen up to this point. As seen in the video above, Moore showed the arm strength and accuracy of a solid quarterback in the NFL. His touchdown to Gathers was on point. He had two deep balls to Brice Butler that were right where he could get them. He demonstrated a quick release and even had zip on a couple of short dumps in the slot.
Moore isn’t going to be an athletic phenomenon, but he is an incredibly intelligent and hard working quarterback. He has put in the effort to improve his weaknesses and develop his strengths.
If this game was any indication, that work is paying off. I know it’s one game and we’ll have to wait for the rest of the pre-season to make an accurate call.
However, I’m starting to become a believer in Moore’s impact on this football team. I am becoming confident in his ability as a backup to Dak Prescott and look forward to seeing him on August 12, when the Cowboys head to Los Angeles to face the Rams.