ARLINGTON, Texas – Well, the Cowboys' fans got what they wanted – at least half of it.
They wanted something different. Tired of seeing the same' ol stuff, they've been asking for a change – particularly at quarterback. They got it, and for a little bit, it looked like it was going to be a change for the better.
By the end of this 60-minute, Saturday Night Special, it was just the same tired result we've seen all year.
This season is going down as arguably the strangest, most head-scratching stretch of games I've ever seen in one year. All season I've called it a crazy rollercoaster ride that our neighboring Six Flags friends would be proud to have across the street.
For some weird reason, I thought this season was just strange enough that these Cowboys would once again surprise us all and come out with a win. But it didn't happen because at the end of the night, these Cowboys did what they've done pretty much all year.
Hey, I've said this on our radio show, "The Break," the last couple of weeks and I'll reiterate once again: If you're reading this article then you're truly one of the real Cowboys diehards. See, that phrase means something to me because I can certainly relate. I've got teams that I root for and when it goes sour, the real fans simply "die hard." It's not a phrase that caters to the fans of winning teams, but the ones that actually suffer through their team's misery, but still find a way to come back the next week, or day or even hour, ready to cheer on their squad once again.
To those fans, the ones that are reading a column about a 4-10, eliminated-from-the-playoffs team, I applaud you.
And I applaud the ones who are just so desperate to see something else, that they've been clamoring to see Kellen Moore play. I truly wonder how many of them who have been asking, begging and pleading with the Cowboys to play this guy, were shocked to see just how short he was.
That's my point. These guys wanted so badly to see QB2 – anything other than Matt Cassel – that they'll take anything they can get.
And truth be told, I'm sure fans want to see a change so bad that they'll probably be fooled into thinking what they saw Saturday night was a huge upgrade over Cassel, or even Brandon Weeden.
The facts are – it's all the same.
I've said for the last couple of weeks for fans and critics and anyone to just be careful what you wish for with Moore, or really any other quarterback. I wasn't one that ever got caught up in his college record and I leaned more on the fact that it's been four years and he's never taken an NFL snap. I know, I know. That's what Tony Romo did, but that route clearly isn't a normal path to success.
So I had my doubts, and I'll admit I was pleasantly surprised by what he was able to do. Once he settled down, Moore seemed to play to his strengths. He's an accurate thrower and he knows how to get himself outside of the pocket to create more throwing room.[embeddedad0]
He battled, he fought, he got knocked down, but he kept getting up to give his team a chance.
But let's call it like it was – he also made plays that got this team beat. He forced the ball three times into spots he shouldn't have.
The first one led to a Jets field goal. The second one erased a chance to score. And the third one ended the game.
So hey, I'm all for trying something different, especially in a time of desperation. But ultimately, it wasn't that different.
You can say Moore gave the Cowboys a better shot to win, but that's only if you're being short-sighted and only comparing him to last week's game in Green Bay. This game where you play it close, make a few plays for both teams and then lose at the end is something we've seen Cassel and Weeden both do this year.
If it's not Romo, it doesn't really seem to matter.
I'm not trying to dismiss anything Moore did, but I'm not trying to dress-up a 52.2 quarterback rating either – regardless if it's his NFL debut or not.
Would I play him next week in Buffalo? Yeah, probably. A full week of first-team reps would only help and maybe then the offense can structure an entire game-plan to fit his strengths.
At this point, all you can do is continue to try as the rollercoaster ride stalls to the finish line.