With starting quarterback Tony Romo on the mend recovering from back surgery, and his back-up Kyle Orton missing-in-action, the Dallas Cowboys were on the lookout for a fill-in quarterback. If, for nothing else, to be an active arm for the organized team activities taking place this week. As a result, the Cowboys have now signed former Chicago Bears quarterback Caleb Hanie to a one-year contract.
Hanie is a native of Texas who has been working out with young receiver prospects in the Dallas area. But the 28-year old hasn’t appeared in an NFL game since 2011. In three seasons with the Bears, Hanie recorded 679 passing yards, three touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He became a free agent in 2012 and has made stops in Denver, Baltimore and Cleveland before landing in Dallas on Wednesday. Hanie did tryout for the Cowboys last year when Romo went down in late December. The team apparently liked what they saw, but opted to go with veteran back-up and High School football coach Jon Kitna instead.
At this point, Hanie’s addition to the Cowboys should only be looked upon as just another lively arm for the team’s offseason activities. His signing should not affect whether Dallas selects a quarterback next month in the NFL Draft. And it’s also not an indication whether Orton will return for the 2014 season. The other former Bear has been contemplating retirement over the offseason. Orton’s absence from the Cowboys voluntary workouts this week is either more proof he’s struggling with the decision or simply the case of a veteran not wanting to workout until he has too.
Hanie joins fellow former Brown’s quarterback Brandon Weeden on the depth chart. Weeden signed a two-year deal worth $1.2 million with the Cowboys in March. Dallas head coach Jason Garrett considers the 30-year old a development quarterback with a lot of talent, despite his age.
Regardless, it doesn’t appear Hanie has much of a chance to make the team’s final roster. Still, he’ll have his opportunities to shine this offseason. But so far, there are no quarterback controversies in Dallas.