Free Press writers Shawn Windsor, Dave Birkett and Carlos Monarrez dissect the Lions’ 26-10 win over the Patriots on Sept. 23, 2018 at Ford Field.
Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press

When Kellen Moore was with the Detroit Lions, it was a running joke that he was biding his time playing football until his coaching career began.

Moore’s father won four state championships as a high school coach in Washington state, Moore was close with former Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, and the left-handed quarterback never hid his desire to one day follow in their footsteps.

Six years after signing with the Lions as an undrafted free agent, Moore is finally headed down that path.

When the Lions visit the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, Moore will be on the opposite sideline, working under Linehan as the Cowboys’ first-year quarterbacks coach.

“I think everybody who’s been around him probably said, ‘Boy, he’s going to be a coach someday,’ ” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said in a teleconference with Detroit reporters Wednesday. “Just the way he’s always looked at the game, I think it’s probably been from the coach’s perspective, his dad being a coach and him being a quarterback. So I think the transition’s been smooth for him and he’s really adding a lot to our staff.”

Moore spent the 2012-14 seasons in Detroit, but never appeared in a regular-season game.

He signed with the Cowboys’ practice squad in 2015 and spent parts of three seasons on the active roster before retiring after last year.

In 2015, Moore, who backed up current Cowboys starter Dak Prescott for two seasons, played in his only three NFL games and made two starts. He completed 61 of 104 passes for 779 yards with four touchdowns and six interceptions.

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford said Thursday that Moore was “a really smart player when he played” and that it’s no surprise he’s caught on as coach in the NFL.

“He had a great feel for the game and you could see it,” Stafford said. “If and when his career was over as far as a player, he was going to be interested. And if he wanted to, he was going to be a great coach. So, I have no doubts that he’s doing a great job for those guys. It will be really good to see him and it’ll be interesting just to see him in that role having played with him before and that whole deal. That’s going to be fun.”

Injury update

T.J. Lang hasn’t gone through a full practice since the regular season began, but the veteran right guard insisted his balky back is doing “good.”

“It’s regular season and I don’t know if anybody’s 100% healthy,” Lang said. “Everybody’s fighting through some different things. I’m no different, but kind of went through the same thing last week and it is what it is, man. You got to go day by day, but today I did a lot more practicing and feel pretty good.”

Lang missed the Lions’ Week 2 loss to the San Francisco 49ers because of a back injury and was limited in practice all last week, when he played all 73 snaps against the New England Patriots.

Rookie right guard Frank Ragnow was a late add to the Lions’ injury report Thursday because of a knee injury he suffered in practice. The extent of the injury was not immediately known.

Defensive end Ziggy Ansah (shoulder) and tight end Michael Roberts (knee) both missed practice Thursday. Roberts is not expected back until after the Lions’ bye week.

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