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).
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.