Matt Moore gives Dolphins the kind of QB insurance other teams crave

 

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?

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) and Miami Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore (8) walk to the field prior to preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida on August 29, 2015. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) and Miami Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore (8) walk to the field prior to preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons at Sun Life Stadium on August 29, 2015. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

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.

[Deep balls aren’t exactly falling from the sky for Mike Wallace with Vikings, either]

[Heightened anxiety just part of the package with Ndamukong Suh]

[Like other coaches, Chip Kelly must figure Tim Tebow scores all his TDs by accident]

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