The Cowboys are headed towards a potential showdown with Kyle Orton. Orton has skipped all the voluntary conditioning programs and OTAs, but we now enter the meat of the next drama in Dallas. June 17th kicks off the mandatory minicamp and if Orton skips out he’ll be fined about $70k for his troubles.
The question is, why is Orton not talking to anyone, why is he taking this road to perdition? The only thing we know up to now is that Orton has already notified the Cowboys that he wants to retire; however, the Cowboys PR is rolling with the idea that Orton will come to his senses and show up to camp. Will he? Does he want to? Orton will need to pay back his $3 million signing bonus and miss out on his nice base salary.
Typically players who want a new contract or contract extension will use the mandatory minicamp to make a statement which in some cases will drag into training camp. The Cowboys don’t want this and neither should Orton. Orton should just come out and say, “here’s your money back, I’m done, I’m retiring” and be done with it.
If Orton quits, then what?
Let’s just say Orton ends up calling it a career with the Cowboys, what do the Cowboys do with their quarterback situation? Are you ok with rolling with Brandon Weeden as the #2 QB, is he even a legit, viable option?
It’s possible the Orton signing has been a bit underrated by many fans including myself, but there is some upside to his game. Weeden is already familiar with some of the terminology that is used in Dallas, since he played a year under Norv Turner, so the learning curve under Scott Linehan won’t been that big a deal to handle. Linehan has his own style, so there will be some new terminolgy to absorb, but he’s already said there will be some carry over from last year.
In addition to Weeden having some familiarity coming into the fray, he has also been working a great majority of the 1st team snaps due to Tony Romo being out as he continues to rehab his back. The only thing that has fans concerned would be Weeden’s decision making on the field. While with the Browns, he turned the ball over too much and made some horrifically bad plays to say the least and for that reason, it’s possible the Cowboys could go to they free agency well once again. There’s no doubt that Will McClay already has some names readily available for the Cowboys should Orton retire from football.
Names to consider
Rex Grossman (33): last played with the Redskins in 2011.
John Skelton (26): last played with the Cardinals in 2013 and a player the Cowboys consider in the past.
Brady Quinn (29): last played with the Rams, he was on IR dealing with a hip injury.
Kevin Kolb (29): last played with the Bills in 2013, but was released after suffering another concussion.
Jon Kitna (41): last played for the Cowboys in 2011, but was signed as an ultra emergency quarterback for the last game of the 2013 season. Could be far fetched, but you never know.
Tommy Rees (22): was signed as an undrafted FA for the Redskins, but Rees could compete for a #3 QB. While at Notre Dame he was a solid game manager, could be worth taking a flyer on the young rookie. Zack Martin could give his recommendation.
Waiver wire or trades
Outside of possibly adding another quarterback in free agency, the Cowboys could also choose to go with what they have in-house: Weeden; Hanie; and Vaughan. Obviously, they would likely bring in another guy to compete. Keep an eye on players like Case Keenum on the waiver wire, he’s in the middle of a log jam in Houston and could be released soon.
The Cowboys may also look at throwing a late round pick to acquire someone like Ryan Malett, or Brian Hoyer if he gets disgruntled once Manziel is named the starter – officially. Other than all these choices, the options are going to be very-very limited. I honestly hope Orton shows up and is there for the 2014 season. 2015 is when the Cowboys need to do some serious scouting on a rookie QB, its time to address Romo’s replacement.
Are you ok with having Weeden backup Romo for the 2014 season?