Aug 20 (Reuters) - Ryan Tannehill will become the first rookie quarterback ever to start for the Miami Dolphins in a regular season opener when he takes to the field against the Houston Texans on Sept. 9, the team said on Monday.
The 24-year-old, taken eighth overall by Miami in April's National Football League (NFL) draft, edged out veteran starter Matt Moore for the role, Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin told reporters.
"After a thorough evaluation of the quarterback position we have come to the decision that Ryan Tannehill is our starting quarterback," Philbin said. "It was a close competition, but in the end we feel that this is the best decision for our football team at the present time."
Moore ended last season as Miami's starter, leading the Dolphins to a 6-3 finish down the stretch.
Tannehill, who played college football at Texas A&M, has completed 25 of 44 passes for 267 yards and one touchdown in his two preseason games for Miami, including his first start last Friday against the Carolina Panthers.
He became the first quarterback to be selected by the Dolphins in the first round of the NFL draft since Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino in 1983, and will be Miami's 17th starting quarterback since Marino retired following the 1999 season. (Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue)