It’s times like these when you remember that Matt Moore is on the Miami Dolphins’ roster, and then you remember to appreciate him, and then you remember to forget his lackluster preseason performance because, really, who cares?
In March, the Dolphins worked a one-year deal for $2.6 million to keep Moore around. They did it to avoid falling into the trap door that has swallowed other NFL teams just two games into the regular season. Smart move, and it’s looking smarter every day.
Look to Dallas, where Tony Romo is out with a broken clavicle and Brandon Weeden, 5-16 as an NFL starter, is the new quarterback.
Or Chicago, where it is hoped for a couple of reasons that Jay Cutler will be able to play with a hamstring injury. First, Cutler is a pretty good quarterback. Second, starting Jimmy Clausen at Seattle on Sunday would put the Bears in a serious pickle.
Then there’s New Orleans, where Drew Brees is dealing with a bruised rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder. His backup is Luke McCown, who has started just nine games since joining the league in 2004 and still, frankly, feels a little overused.
Moore is better than any of those emergency options. Matter of fact, if Ryan Tannehill ever were to leave the lineup due to injury, and he’s bothered by a bad ankle right now, it would feel like maybe half of an emergency in Miami and not the full-blown disaster of a team that’s bubbling up possibilities from the waiver wire and the practice squad.
Back in 2011 Moore was voted the Dolphins’ MVP after starting 12 games in relief of Chad Henne. It wasn’t much of a season, with Miami coming in at 6-10 and Tony Sparano getting fired as coach, but Moore had a couple of three-touchdown games and was the AFC Offensive Player of the Week in one of those.
Tannehill’s had all the playing time the last three-plus seasons, but nobody ever painted Moore as some kind of franchise quarterback. He’s a reliable backup, thoroughly immersed in the Dolphins system and ready to provide competent leadership for as long as needed.
Jerry Jones is just one NFL owner who would pay a lot more than $2.6 million to have that assurance right now.
Here are some career stats to prove Moore’s value to Miami. Doesn’t matter that he’s thrown only 10 passes since 2012 and never wears his helmet past pregame warmups. What matters is that the Dolphins have a Plan B that doesn’t digging through the scrap heap.
Player Record as Starter Comp. Pct. TDs Ints Rating Age
Matt Moore 11-12 58.9 33 28 79.2 31
Brandon Weeden 5-16 56.4 27 28 73.4 31
Luke McCown 2-7 58.0 9 14 68.3 34
Jimmy Clausen 1-10 53.2 5 11 60.0 28