IRVING, Texas – With the 2015 season officially in the books, the attention is about to turn toward the Cowboys' future at quarterback.
With a high draft pick and a glaring need for a backup quarterback, there will be no shortage of discussion about how the Cowboys go forward from here. To hear it from Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones, Kellen Moore has made himself a part of that discussion.
"I think he's got the potential to be a winning No. 2. I think he can ultimately win games in the NFL," Jones said Sunday following the Cowboys' 34-23 loss to Washington.
Given the forgettable nature of Sunday's season finale, it was quite an impressive effort for Moore's second career start. He completed 33-of-48 passes for 435 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions.
"Bottom line is that I am really appreciative of the opportunity," Moore said. "A lot of guys wait in my situation and never get the chance to play in an NFL game. I got to play in a few down the stretch. I feel like there were some good things that came out of it."
It's been an up-and-down trip for Moore since he replaced Matt Cassel during the Dec. 19 loss to the New York Jets. Statistically, the numbers don't jump off the charts, as he completed 57 percent of his passes for 779 total yards with four touchdowns and six interceptions.
During his extended audition, however, Moore showed several flashes – such as his success against a stout Jets pass rush, or his ability to lead Dallas back from a 24-0 deficit in Sunday's loss to Washington.
"Certainly you can take things positively because obviously we were down 24-0," Moore said. "We could have just let it tank from there, but I think we were able to fight back. We had opportunities in the end."
There's no doubt Moore would like to have several decisions back. His overthrow of Jason Witten in the first half led to his first interception, and he threw a costly end zone interception that killed any chance of a Cowboys comeback.
Despite that, Jones said he saw signs of the talent that offensive coordinator Scott Linehan has raved about during this star-crossed season.
"What I like is his ability to put a bad play behind and then I like his instincts," Jones said. "Coach Linehan is right, he has something that's very special, and so we want, we have him and we want to go forward and try to develop his contribution to us winning."[embeddedad0]
Moore has one year remaining on his current contract, so he'll remain on the roster in 2016 – should the Cowboys decide to keep him there. It remains to be seen what steps the organization will take to address its depth at quarterback, but it certainly seems plausible Moore will factor into that process.
"I think this year is a great -- I think it's the example that we should make our decisions off of, is the consequences and the impact of losing our starter in Romo," Jones said. "I think this is a great one to put on the wall and say, 'Now, burn that in your memory, burn that in your thinking when you start thinking about how important backup quarterback is.'"