Dallas Cowboys: Time to move on from Brandon Weeden


Two years with the Dallas Cowboys. Two NFL starts for the Cowboys. Two heart-breaking losses. That’s the current stat line for Cowboys back-up quarterback Brandon Weeden, as he’s been forced into the starting lineup once again due to an injury to Tony Romo.

With Romo out at least another seven weeks, the Cowboys are trying to stay afloat just long enough for their superstars to return from injury. Does that mean the best thing the Cowboys can do now is replace Weeden behind center?

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The issue is Weeden didn’t have a particularly bad game in Sunday’s 39-28 loss to the undefeated Atlanta Falcons. In fact, the former first rounder completed a shocking 85% of his passes, 22 of 26, for 232 yards. Where the problem lies is the fact the Cowboys totally ignored the intermediate to long passing game as Weeden didn’t complete a pass longer than 20 yards all game.

Instead, Dallas concocted a conservative gameplan that dinked and dunked the ball downfield the entire contest. And that was fine in the first half, as the Cowboys found early success with their ground game. But in the second half, the Falcons stuffed the box on defense and stifled Dallas’ running game. And when the outcome of the contest was placed on Weeden’s shoulders in the fourth quarter, the former first round bust folded like a tent.

"“You can tell either Weeden or the coaches or both don’t want him making any throws that would be regarded as medium or high levels of difficulty,” the Dallas Morning New’s Bob Sturm wrote following the game on Sunday. “He threw 26 passes and I remember (two long ones) — the seam route to Jason Witten, that was a high pass and a slant to Terrance Williams. Otherwise everything was within five yards of the line of scrimmage, and the Falcons adjusted appropriately. Once that happened, the Cowboys had an offense that had zero explosiveness.”"

Some may argue that the Cowboys gameplan handcuffed Weeden, which certainly could be the case. But Dallas simply didn’t trust the 31-year old quarterback to do anything but manage the game. And that fact might be the biggest indictment against Weeden. And the biggest reason the Cowboys should move on to either Kellen Moore or, more likely, Matt Cassel in next week’s pivotal matchup against the 0-3 New Orleans Saints.

"“I am pretty sure they never passed on first and they were pretty clear with their gameplan, which was try to work with a quarterback who can’t run an NFL offense very well,” Sturm continued. “The more we think about it, we should have seen that last week when they traded for Matt Cassel. Not that Cassel can do magic tricks. They were pretty sure what Brandon Weeden could not do.”"

But here’s the thing. All offseason, the Cowboys coaching staff have been bragging about Weeden’s intangibles. He has the prototypical size (6’4, 228 pounds), the rocket arm, and the starting experience under center coaches salivate over. Combine those attributes with a fourth year quarterback in his second season under the same system and who gets more starting reps with his first team than most back-ups see in career (mainly due to Romo Wednesdays). So why would you put in such a conservative gameplan for Weeden when you’ve invested so much in him?

Sturm gave us the answer. The Cowboys know what Brandon Weeden can and can not do. And Dallas doesn’t trust him enough to allow him to air it out. And it’s for that reason I believe the Weeden era has ended in Dallas…or at least, it should.

But what do you think? Should the Cowboys replace Brandon Weeden this week? Answer in our poll below and in our comment section!

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