Moore set to be 4th starting QB for Cowboys this season
IRVING, Texas (AP) Kellen Moore will be the fourth starting quarterback for Dallas this season at Buffalo on Sunday.
As for whether he will back up Tony Romo next year, coach Jason Garrett isn't interested in talking about auditions even though the Cowboys (4-10) are eliminated from the playoffs with two games to go, as are the Bills (6-8).
''A lot of people will start pointing that way that this is a great opportunity to evaluate players in regular-season games,'' Garrett said Monday. ''That's not really the way we think. We have one objective going to Buffalo, and that's winning a ballgame.''
Making his first regular-season appearance late in his fourth year in the NFL, Moore sparked the offense after replacing an ineffective Matt Cassel in the second quarter of a 19-16 loss to the New York Jets on Saturday.
Romo missed seven games with a broken left collarbone and was lost for the season after breaking it again in his second game back. Cassel was 1-6 filling in for Romo after Brandon Weeden went 0-3 following the first injury.
Although he threw an interception on his second career pass and three for the game, Moore beat a blitz with a quick toss to Dez Bryant in the flat, letting the receiver get around cornerback Darrelle Revis for the 10-yard touchdown.
Moore also led a drive to a tying field goal in the final two minutes before the Jets drove the other way for the winning points.
''Obviously I took this opportunity for what it was,'' Moore said after going 15 of 25 for 158 yards. ''We'll grow from it and learn from it and see what happens.''
An undrafted free agent out of Boise State, Moore signed with Detroit in 2012 and spent two seasons there with Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan.
Moore joined the Dallas practice squad in September, before Romo got hurt, and was moved to the active roster after the injury.
He backed up Weeden for two games while Cassel was learning the offense following the trade that brought him from Buffalo, then was inactive for four games before going back to the practice squad.
When Romo went down again on Thanksgiving against Carolina, Moore was the backup again. With Cassel struggling and getting booed against the Jets, Garrett made the move to Moore.
''He has not had experience in the NFL playing regular-season games, but he's an experienced quarterback - 53 starts in college, he won 50 of them,'' Garrett said. ''He's had success playing in preseason games. He needs to play more. He made some mistakes, but I thought he handled himself very well.''
The last time the Cowboys used four quarterbacks was 2001, when Quincy Carter made eight starts to three each for Ryan Leaf and Anthony Wright and two for Clint Stoerner. That was the second of three straight 5-11 seasons.
''We have not been able to get the continuity to get it going on offense,'' owner and general manager Jerry Jones said after the loss to the Jets. ''Games like that, we have managed to figure out how to lose them rather than win them. And I think you just have to say we are not good enough to win those games.''
So the Cowboys will try another starting quarterback.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL
Follow Schuyler Dixon on Twitter at https://twitter.com/apschuyler