OXNARD, Calif. — The backup quarterback position in Dallas was a concern even before training camp started. It is now a much more pressing issue.
The presumptive No. 2 Kellen Moore broke his ankle at the end of Tuesday’s practice, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told reporters. Jones is scheduled to have surgery Wednesday in Dallas and is expected to be out three to four months, a source informed of the procedure told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.
Jones initially said Moore broke his leg, then clarified it was a broken high ankle. A defender rolled up on Moore’s leg after he threw a pass, and the injury severity was quickly confirmed by the Cowboys training staff. Jones would not elaborate on any future plans for how they will address the position.
The team drafted Dak Prescott in the fourth round of this year’s draft. His “Welcome to the Cowboys” moment came after practice ended. He made extra throws for five minutes with coach Jason Garrett. Fans yelled from the crowd: “You are our new No. 2, Dak!” And then he was swarmed after practice by over 30 media members wanting to speak to him, just 20 minutes after he theoretically moved up the depth chart. The team also has 2015 undrafted free agent Jameill Showers on the team.
Prescott showed plenty of potential at Mississippi State, but the Cowboys will likely want to find someone with more NFL experience to fill out the roster. Prescott showed some of that inexperience on a poorly thrown interception that came soon after Moore’s injury. Jones said last week the team was not interested in veteran Nick Foles.
It’s a devastating blow for Moore, who has overcome a lack of physical gifts to survive five seasons in the NFL as an undrafted free agent and set himself up to be Tony Romo’s backup. Moore started the final two games of the season for Dallas last year.
“Your heart hurts for him,” Cowboys tight end Jason Witten said. “He just works really hard. … He’ll continue to fight. That’s who he’s been his whole life.”