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What does Cooper Rush’s performance mean for Kellen Moore?

Has the rookie pushed the veteran off the roster?

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

There are only so many roster spots to go around on a National Football League team. Final cut downs are always a series of compromises. Teams juggle the final few slots around looking for the best possible combination. Going long at one position means going short at another.

That poses the question “Does Dallas value Kellen Moore enough to go long at quarterback?”.

As my fellow front-page writer Cole Patterson summed it up in his look at rookie Cooper Rush, there is a change in the pecking order behind Dak Prescott. It might not have been announced as such, but it is clear that Rush is now the QB2 in Dallas.

Despite Moore’s all-world football IQ, Cooper Rush just runs the offense better in every way than Kellen ever has on the NFL level. He’s been doing it all preseason long for America’s Team. Each and every week, albeit against opponents’ reserves in non-regular season games, Rush has performed as good as you can ever hope for from the average undrafted free agent at the most important position on the football field.

Still it is that all-world football IQ that might keep Moore on the roster in Dallas. That is what has kept Moore in the league since 2012. He has been with offensive coordinator Scott Linehan since the time they were both with the Detroit Lions. He understands the offensive mindset of Linehan better than any man on the field.

Fans may scoff at the idea, but teams find value in that notion.

Moore’s understanding of the concepts provides a second set of eyes and a sounding board for his coach. Regardless of his limited action, Moore is there to question things from the passer’s perspective. That is a good thing to have with a second-year quarterback as your starter and likely a rookie as his backup.

Linehan might prefer to have his protege around for that purpose, at least for one more season. Kellen Moore can be a vital contributor to the Dallas Cowboys, albeit at the cost of a roster space that the team could otherwise use.

The question is going to be “Do they value his contributions enough to keep him around for one more season?”

Given the need for bodies at other positions, and the likelihood that teams will not be lining up to cash in on Moore’s grasp of Linehan’s offense, Kellen’s professional career could come to a close against the Houston Texans.

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