IRVING, Texas – What would Kellen Moore like to improve from his first quarterback start to his second in this Sunday's season finale?
"Score a few more points," he said. "That's kind of the whole objective, obviously. Hopefully in this one we can do a little better."
Moore again must operate the offense without Dez Bryant, his first and only touchdown target in six and a half quarters of regular-season play.
Bryant will finish the season on injured reserve with foot and ankle injuries that have bothered him for weeks. In his final game of 2015, Bryant caught four passes for 50 yards and a touchdown Dec. 19 against the Jets after the Cowboys replaced Matt Cassel with Moore early in the second quarter.
The star receiver did not practice last week and ultimately sat out the Cowboys' 16-6 loss to Buffalo – Moore's first career start as the third quarterback who has filled in for an injured Tony Romo this season.
Moore knows Bryant's presence in the lineup would certainly help, but he has confidence in the rest of his receivers this Sunday, too.
Against the Bills, Moore completed 13 of 31 passes for 186 yards and an interception. The offense had its best third-down conversion percentage in more than a month (50 percent) but didn't score a touchdown in seven trips to Buffalo territory.
"I think at the end of the day there were some good things. It's not all bad," Moore said. "We certainly, I think, played really well on third down and had some nice drives. We crossed the 50 and then kind of just got stuck for whatever reason. You learn from those things and hopefully can get some more points out of those."
With Romo returning healthy next year, Sunday is the final opportunity for the 26-year-old Moore to make a case as a backup candidate entering the offseason. He is signed through 2016.
"Certainly it's a huge opportunity. You don't know how many of these you ever get, so you take them for as much value as you can," Moore said. "This one will be important; this one will be big. Second start, kind of got the first one out of the way, and hopefully this one turns out a lot better."
The rest of the offense is ready to do their part.
"I think he's done a good job. He spreads the ball around and he gets it out quick," wide receiver Cole Beasley said. "We've just got to continue to make plays for him and hopefully we can go get this win Sunday, help him out."