Cowboys Should Be Weeden Out The Quarterback Spot


In today’s NFL, you can’t have luxuries like the late 80’s/early 90’s San Francisco 49ers experienced where you have two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks hanging out on your roster.

Up in Green Bay, if Aaron Rodgers goes down, the three-headed monster of Scott Tolzien, Matt Blanchard and Brett Hundley are not inspiring Cheeseheads across the land.  Similar situations occur in Denver, Seattle and Indianapolis.

Four perennial Super Bowl contenders are all one hit away from seeing their seasons go up in smoke at any moment.  There are only 32 starting quarterback jobs in this league and somehow, there is not that many people qualified to fill those positions.

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Just look at the Arizona Cardinals.  Last year, the were cruising right along with a 8-1 record and then starting quarterback Carson Palmer was lost for the year.  They finished 3-4, lost home field advantage, never scored 20 points in any game without him and got bounced out of the playoffs by a team with a losing record.

Dallas Cowboys fans know just how fragile things can be as well.

After Week 7 of the 2014 season, the Cowboys were 6-1 and had back-to-back home games in front of them before a date with the Jacksonville Jaguars.  Nine wins in ten games looked incredibly realistic…

Then quarterback Tony Romo was injured.

Thankfully, his injury only culminated in one game lost but that one game was enough to see exactly what #9 means to this team.

Backup quarterback Brandon Weeden got the starting nod during Romo’s absence, ironically against those same Arizona Cardinals, and proceeded to go 18 for 33 attempts for 183 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions.

The numbers alone do not begin to illustrate just how wretched the performance really was.

  • Weeden only completed more than two consecutive passes once all day.
  • Of the 18 completions, only four of the passes traveled beyond 10 yards.  Only 6 of his 18 completions were to wide receivers.
  •  Seven of the eighteen completions were all made within one yard of the line of scrimmage.
  • Wide Receiver Dez Bryant was targeted 10 times and made only two receptions as Weeden somehow could not connect with one of the best receivers in all of football for the majority of the game.
  • Both interceptions thrown were on balls that were badly off target and not something you would expect from a veteran with 21 career starts under his belt.

Unfortunately for Weeden, there are no excuses for this type of play.  Last year, he was afforded practically the entire pre-season to prepare for moments like this.  He was also given every Wednesday during the season to lead the team in practice.

All this and oh by the way, he had the league’s most dominant rushing attack behind him, a top five threat at the wide receiver position, one of the greatest tight ends to ever play the game and the best offensive line in football to keep him safe.

For the upcoming 2015 season, that performance may be all the motivation the Cowboys need to move on from the veteran signal caller.  There are a lot of factors that all seem to point to the eventual training camp visit from the turk coming Weeden’s way.

For one, Romo is the most healthy he has been in three years going into all the offseason workouts.  The Cowboys will certainly work to keep him at that high level of health but he will definitely get more work than he did last year.  Those added reps have to come at the expense of someone.  Weeden is the most likely candidate.

Another factor is the continued maturation of last year’s third string quarterback Dustin Vaughan.  There was a reason he was part of the active roster all year in 2014.  Expect the Cowboys to give Vaughan every single opportunity to escalate himself up the depth chart in 2015.

Lastly, while money is not a factor in the decision (Weeden is set to make $660K next season, all applicable to the salary cap), talent and ability are.

If head coach Jason Garrett has made anything clear to the outside world, it’s that he learned a lot from the coach during his tenure as a backup quarterback in Dallas.  Former Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson loved to create tension and competition for roster spots, especially between those on the fringes.

Garrett does the exact same thing.  He is constantly churning the roster and looking for the best possible players no matter what the position is.

It’s my believe that Weeden needs to have the training camp of his life in order to remain with this team.  If he doesn’t, there really is no point in having him around.

There is no room on this roster or in this organization for progress stoppers.

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