IRVING, Texas– There's been no shortage of speculation that the Cowboys might make a quarterback change – but it won't be happening this week.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett addressed the media on Monday afternoon, one day after his team's 28-7 loss to Green Bay. Having assessed the game tape, he was asked if Matt Cassel would remain his starter for Saturday's game against the Jets.
"Matt Cassel will be our starting quarterback this week, yes," he said.
That's not overly surprising, given comments from both Garrett and team owner/general manager Jerry Jones in the wake of Sunday's loss at Lambeau Field. The alternative would be starting inexperienced backup Kellen Moore, but that's not a call Garrett is ready to make.
"I think the evaluation is who gives us the best chance to win on Saturday night. We still feel like Matt Cassel is that guy," Garrett said. "He's done some good things for our team over time that he's started for us this year."
There are plenty of people who would disagree with that assessment. The Cowboys are 1-5 this year in games Cassel has started, and he completed just 45 percent of his passes for 114 yards Sunday against the Packers.
That said, Cassel is still an 11-year NFL veteran with 78 career starts, while Moore has yet to appear in a regular season game.
It's not to say that the elder signal-caller has played well. The Cowboys have scored one or fewer offensive touchdowns in four of his six starts, and he has thrown just five touchdowns compared to six interceptions.
"Has he played perfectly? Absolutely not and no one knows that more than he does. No one knows that more than we do," Garrett said. "We've got to create an environment for him to be successful and really for guys around him to be successful as well."
That will begin in earnest, considering that the Cowboys have another short week ahead of them. They host the New York Jets on Saturday night, giving them a shortened preparation time for the second consecutive week.
Garrett's vote of confidence in Cassel isn't likely to quell the calls for Moore to start. The fourth-year quarterback has hung around the Cowboys' locker room all season and has piqued plenty of interest – especially given the team's offensive struggles since Tony Romo broke his collar bone back in Week 2.
Moore piled up an absurd 50-3 starting record during a prestigious four-year college career at Boise State, and he has extensive experience working with offensive coordinator Scott Linehan while the two were with the Detroit Lions.
It might make sense to give Moore an opportunity if the Cowboys are mathematically eliminated from postseason contention. But Garrett was clear on Monday afternoon – that time hasn't arrived yet.
"I think you're always looking for opportunities to evaluate young players," he said. "Our sole objective right now is to win this game this Saturday night and we're going to give Matt Cassel the chance to do that as our starting quarterback because we think he gives us the best chance to do that."