Dec 29, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Kyle Orton (18) talks with wide receiver Cole Beasley (11) before the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Time For Cowboys To Move On From Kyle Orton

By now everyone should know that not only has Dallas Cowboys backup quarterback Kyle Orton refused to participate an any voluntary team workouts, he also has essentially left the Cowboys in the dark about what his plans for the upcoming season are.

Things should become clearer this week when mandatory practice begins. There is speculation that Orton is done with football, which really doesn’t make much sense. If you were a backup, essentially just running the scout team in practice and still getting paid more than a lot of the league’s starters, wouldn’t you ride that gig out as long as possible? If I had that sweet of a deal I wouldn’t leave until I was fired and security physically drug me off the premises (yeah, it would get pretty embarrassing).

The biggest argument for how unnecessary Orton is to the team would be his own indifference.
I would also be the first one to arrive at OTA’s, both to show my eagerness and appreciation, as well as to fight for my job. I would sleep in my Dallas Cowboy’s sheets every night, with my playbook tucked snugly under my pillow. This is how much several quarterbacks in the league (not to mention fans at home) would love to be in Orton’s position. So why does Orton not seem to  appreciate it?


Now let’s look at this from the Cowboys viewpoint.

Kyle Orton is the most expensive backup in the league, making more than many starters. Is he worth that much to a team with such cap issues? As prone as starting Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo might be to injuries, I’m pretty sure if he had an internal organ hanging out he would just have it stuffed back in and taped up before starting the next offensive series.

A starting quarterback that refuses to come out of the game when injured leaves little need for the league’s most expensive backup. This is especially true when we are building not only the best offensive line the Cowboys have had in recent years, but one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. We might actually be looking at a injury free season for Tony, virtually eliminating the need for a backup, especially at Orton’s price tag.

To make the situation even more decisive, word coming out of camp about newly signed backup Brandon Weeden has been positive. Weeden has been running first team drills while Romo recovers from off season back surgery. Having a viable option for backup QB that will almost certainly not be used anyway, makes Orton even more dispensable.

The biggest argument for how unnecessary Orton is to the team would be his own indifference. Not only refusing to participate in OTA’s, but according to new offensive play caller Scott Linehan, Kyle doesn’t even have a copy of the playbook.

The Cowboys still are uncertain if Orton plans on attending mandatory team activities this week, implying that he has made no contact with the team, including any indication of his mindset leading into the upcoming season. Everyone, especially someone as handsomely paid as Orton owes a team more than that.

So I say it’s time to move on from Kyle. Rumor has it that Weeden would very likely beat Orton out for the spot if going head to head, plus the lack of respect and consideration Orton is currently showing Dallas, combined with the $3 million Orton would have to pay back from his signing bonus in the event he walks…makes moving on to Weeden seem like a no-brainer.

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Tags: Brandon Weeden Dallas Cowboys Kyle Orton Tony Romo

  • Old Frog

    I wouldn’t bet on Orton giving the Cowboys $3 million.

    • SmartThinking

      Funny. How many times have we seen veteran players ditch training camp only to come back by about the second pre-season game. I think the monotony of training camp gets to some veterans and they’d rather have a rectal exam than show up for two-a-days. Then again, $ 3 million is a compelling incentive, especially when it’s already in your bank account.

      • Old Frog

        I would love to be able to read Orton’s contract. I don’t think he sees it this way. In his mind he’s been paid $7.25 million for 2 years of work at $3.5 million/year so if he owes the Cowboys anything it’s the $250,000 he’s been paid but hasn’t earned. I can’t believe the Cowboys can reasonably expect him to repay money he’s earned to compensate them for allocating his signing bonus over 5 years on their books but without reading the contract he signed who knows.

  • IBleedBlue

    Dallas doesn’t need to do anything with regard to Orton. He’s under contract. I’m not sure I understand the point here. If Orton doesn’t show, it only hurts him. Granted, he’s a better option RIGHT NOW than our other QBs but if Weeden continues to get meaningful reps through camp and into the preseason, the transition becomes a ton easier for the O-line and skill players. The fact that he’s not there at the moment really has nothing to do with anything other than Orton’s wallet getting lighter once the mandatory part of the calendar kicks in.

    • SmartThinking

      Meaningful reps?

      Your comments regarding Weeden’s capabilities are delusional and just more wishful thinking rather than a simple embrace of reality. Weeden’s history tells it all. Cleveland dumped him at a discount because they knew something Dallas will soon learn: Weeden can’t read defenses, he panics in the pocket, and he throws interceptions.

      Our players need to practice against much better players than what Weeden brings to the party because they’re certainly going to face those significantly better players once the season begins.

      Being a true Dallas Cowboys fan means accepting the bad along with the good rather than waving a blue and silver flag and expecting those of us who have seen this franchise at its elite level versus what passes for this team today to believe Weeden can raise this team to new heights with his performance.

      Trying to polish Weeden’s abilities rather than learning from his record is the sports equivalent of painting red lips on a cow and calling it Marilyn Monroe.

      • IBleedBlue

        Yes, meaningful reps as in with the #1′s. A real offense. With real coordinators. You know, something he didn’t have in Cleveland. You know, that team that has been in turmoil since, well, forever.

        But I’m sure you know FAR MORE about Weeden’s (in)capabilities than the Dallas front office. I’m sure you know FAR MORE about why Cleveland let him go “at a discount”. I’m sure you would have had a FAR BETTER plan in place had you been Dallas’ GM and your signed, under contract back-up QB pulled a no-show.


        BTW, I can almost guarantee that I’ve been watching this team play longer than you. Not that any of that matters. But you sound like a typical arm-chair hack that has never suited up in your life. Although I’m sure you admire your journalism degree from some directional college in it’s frame on your basement wall on a minute to minute basis. Only someone so steeped in worthless platitudes (really? is that what it means to be a fan of the Cowboys? LOL.) could have crafted such a response.

        Good luck with all that, Chad.

        • SmartThinking

          Well. Lessee. My dad took me to my first Dallas exhibition game at The Cotton Bowl in the late summer of 1960. And, actually, I visited one or two Cowboys practice sessions at Sprague Field that summer as well. There weren’t any Cowboys games prior to that so my tenure watching this team is, pretty much, in your face.

          As for everything you’ve stated in your second graph, the answer is Yes.

          If you read any sports accounts other than this website, you’d know that Cleveland let Weeden, and Hanie, go because they planned to focus on their current starter. With two first round draft picks, they had a top tier QB in mind with one of those picks because neither Weeden or Hanie were starter material and could hack it. Weeden and Hanie were collateral damage to that effort. Dallas picked them up subsequently, and Weeden at a considerable discount. So, if you didn’t know that then, BY FAR, yeah, I do know more.

          Curiously enough, yes, I do hold a J degree from The University of Texas. One of three degrees I earned in my career. Neither of my houses have a basement, though.

          I also was fortunate enough to be recruited and play one year for The Horns at that institution in the 60′s before being injured and subsequently cut. So, I’m not exactly the arm chair hack you seem to have envisioned me to be.

          Finally, your meme indicates you’re a fanatic. It’s, apparently, difficult for you to read opposing comments about this Dallas team. Well, buckle up bud. I’ve still got a lot to say and fully intend to.

          If you’ve followed this team from early on, then you might remember the philosophy and direction coaches and players worked with, from top to bottom, during the early period. That, or any other direction, for that matter,is missing entirely from this franchise today, replaced by a cult of personality around its owner and GM. The result is a poor product, poor decision-making and no idea in place for how to change the direction of the death spiral this team has been in for several years now. I object to that. So, if you don’t like the responses I write, go elsewhere.

          Lastly, who’s Chad?