I was on the Damontre Moore bandwagon when the Texas A&M product came out in the draft, and was more than a little bit disgruntled when he was selected in the third round by the New York Giants. Still Aggie loyalties run nearly as deep as does my blue blood, and I thought that the Giants would be a good opportunity for Moore to establish a reputation as a pass rusher.
He has not done so thus far in his professional career. Ten sacks over four seasons is less than impressive. His conduct as a pro has been even less impressive. Scuffles with teammates in both New York and while a member of the Raiders raise a red flag. So do Damontre’s pending charges for driving under the influence and while his license was suspended. There are some serious concerns about Moore’s character.
Why then am I excited about his chances with the Dallas Cowboys?
Putting aside Aggie homerism for just a moment, there is a lot of potential pass rush ability in Damontre. Rod Marinelli could be the man who can turn that dreaded word into something tangible. Beyond on the field potential, former Sergeant Marinelli may be just what is needed to turn around a young man’s life.
When you watch Moore on film the first thing you notice is that Damontre is the guy that you notice. That was what attracted Pete Carroll to Moore.
"I've really liked him. He just jumped right off the film, his effort, his toughness." - Pete Carroll
That was back in November when Moore was flashing the talent that he has. During that time he accounted for seven tackles and a half a sack in a four game stretch. Damontre Moore was making a statement that he was finally ready to deliver on what scouts saw in him.
Then came the injury that sidelined him. Moore, for some reason or another, regressed to the Damontre of old. He got arrested and his time in the Pacific Northwest came to a close.
The talent is not the question with Moore, it is more a question of immaturity, self-discipline, and work ethic. To put it rather bluntly he needs someone who will ride him. That someone is Rod Marinelli.
Marinelli can take the raw talent, which Moore has in spades, and deliver a finished product. Cowboys fans have seen what he has done with players who bring far less talent to the table. Moore can be something special in a role with the Merry Band of Rushmen.
The biggest thing that Moore will have to overcome is Damontre Moore and his baggage. He needs to accept the no-nonsense efforts of Marinelli pushing him to be the man and the player he has inside him. No one can do it for him. If, and this is a big if given Moore’s recent past, he can accept that ‘playtime’ is over and that this may well be his final shot at the NFL and adjust accordingly then Damontre is in a good place.
If he cannot, then the hometown boy from DeSoto will soon find himself looking for an opportunity that likely will not come. This is his best and possibly last chance to become the player he is capable of. A hometown crowd, a coach that will push him to the limits, and a boatload of talent can still salvage an NFL career. He has to want it, and therein lies the question. He can do it, but does Damontre Moore want to do it?