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Now wearing a star, Kellen Moore has been a star for a long time

IRVING, Texas -- Most weeks, Kellen Moore can slip in or out of the Dallas Cowboys' locker room unnoticed.

A few times this season he had to answer questions from a handful of reporters, but Wednesday he saw more cameras, more notebooks, more reporters, more digital recorders than at any time since joining the Cowboys.

That's what happens when you become the starting quarterback for America's Team for Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills.

The swarm moved from Tony Romo's locker by one of the three entrances to the locker room to Brandon Weeden's locker on the other side, then over to the side for Matt Cassel. Now it has found Moore.

"You've still got to get your work done," Moore said of the attention, "and we do a good job of that around here I think."

Moore spoke for about 10 minutes Wednesday. The questions ranged from finally getting his chance to Buffalo's defense. He was polite with his answers, not too revealing, and cracked an occasional joke.

If he is overwhelmed by all of the trappings surrounding his first NFL start, he didn't show it even if he hasn't started a game since 2011 when he was at Boise State.

He has done this before. In Boise, Idaho, he is Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman and Romo all wrapped into one.

"Kellen Moore is the most followed and popular athlete in the history of this city," ESPN Boise radio host John Mallory said. "He can't go out in public without being celebrated. He is the perfect fit for a town like Boise. He's nice, well-mannered and spoken. He's an underdog and a champion. The dude went to Autzen Stadium as a freshman and shredded the [Oregon] Ducks. Nobody does that."

Moore lost only three games in four years at Boise State and they were by a combined five points. Two of the losses came on missed field goal attempts. He won 50 games. Tyrone Crawford was Moore's teammate for two years in Boise. He would notice the reactions of students across campus when Moore would walk by.

"He is Boise, yeah," Crawford said. "They love him there. He did great there. I mean he took a school like Boise and he walked out with three losses his whole career. He's a star up there."

He is so beloved in Boise that when he was named the starter this week, viewers called KNIN-TV, the local Fox affiliate, to see if they would show the Cowboys' game. Originally the station was scheduled to show the Carolina Panthers-Atlanta Falcons game.

The station called the network to make an emergency request.

"I think we're the only station west of Texas to be showing the game," said the station's sports director, Dan Hawk.

Those in Prosser, Washington, Moore's hometown, aren't so lucky. The game will not be broadcast on its Fox affiliate.

Richard James, the town's postmaster, has DirecTV. He is also the business manager at the Princess Theatre. When Moore was starring in Boise, the theatre, built in 1920, would shut down and residents would fill the place to watch the Boise State games.

They won't be able to use the theatre Sunday to show Moore, but James, a Chicago Bears fan at heart and a Seattle Seahawks fan by proximity, figures to have a lot of people over his house to watch the game.

"Once we found out he was starting, let me put it like this, Facebook was blowing up," James said. "The town is all abuzz."

Paul Warden has been Prosser's mayor for eight years. He lived through the buzz of Moore's years at Boise State.

"We're all thrilled he got into the last game," Warden said. "We've just been hoping he would get a chance, waiting."

Despite his success at Boise State, the NFL passed on Moore. He signed with the Detroit Lions as an undrafted free agent in 2012 and spent three years as their No. 3 quarterback. In his first two years he was with Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and they developed a close relationship. When a chance came to join the Cowboys' practice squad in September, he took it.

Linehan has called himself one of Moore's bigger backers. He was pushing for Moore to get an opportunity earlier in the season, but the Cowboys went with Weeden and Cassel after Romo went down twice because of a broken left collarbone.

Moore finally got his chance last Saturday when the Cowboys pulled Cassel. In two-plus quarters he completed 15 of 25 passes for 158 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions. Lions backup Dan Orlovsky watched the game.

"I was fired up for him and I know statistically it doesn't look great, but I thought he looked really good, thought he looked like he belonged," Orlovsky told NFL Nation Lions reporter Mike Rothstein. "It wasn't like he was just checking the ball down and just trying to play it safe. He pushed it downfield. It looked like he was comfortable out there and looked like he belonged."

Despite the mistakes, the Cowboys liked enough of what they saw to give him a chance.

The folks in Prosser and Boise will be watching Sunday the way they did Fridays and Saturdays when he was in high school and in college.

"It's not another start because I haven't had one, but I think it will be good," Moore said. "It will be exciting. You've got a lot of good guys on this offensive left. Unfortunately, we're not playing for a playoff game, but we're still playing for something and we're excited about the opportunity to play a game."