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Five Reasons Why Dallas Cowboys’ Kyle Orton Has No Shot to Beat the Philadelphia Eagles

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5 Reasons Why Orton Will Fail Sunday

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

No matter how you interpret the damage control coming from head coach Jason Garrett's press conferences, Tony Romo is out as a starter for the Dallas Cowboys for the final winner-take-all game with the Philadelphia Eagles.

The bottom line of the whole situation is that some doctors saw something on the MRI that would rule out an appearance on Sunday, and no amount of Garrett sugarcoating is going to change that. Garrett is just doing what any head coach would do in similar circumstances as it does not benefit him in any way to rule out Romo and have the Eagles going over every Kyle Orton game film from his time in places like Denver, Kansas City and Chicago.

Garrett wants the Eagles to prepare for both Romo and Orton, and that’s just what any head coach would do. In fact, that’s what Chip Kelly of the Eagles did before his team’s game with the Cowboys earlier this season. With Michael Vick's status as Nick Foles' backup in the air with a hamstring injury, Kelly strung along the Cowboys with the intent of getting them to prepare for Foles and Vick, not Foles and third-stringer Matt Barkley.

In reality, Kelly had no intention of playing Vick at all and did indeed go with the ineffective Barkley when Foles went down with a concussion in the third quarter. The posturing did not help Kelly as Barkley threw three interceptions in a 17-3 loss.

Will similar posturing help Garrett now? It rarely does. Here are five reasons why Kyle Orton stands no chance against the rejuvenated Eagles on Sunday night:

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5. Too Much Rust

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Orton has not started a game since the 2011 finale for the Kansas City Chiefs against the Denver Broncos. In the time between that game and this one, he’s only thrown 15 passes and those were mostly meaningless ones in mop-up action. An indication of what he can do and what his limitations are came in a game against the Chicago Bears where he completed three of five passes for 40 yards. He can throw the short out but is no longer an effective downfield threat. Maybe he can only throw the ball long wearing a baseball cap backward.

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4. His Defense Allowed 45 Points to Bears

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this month, Orton’s teammates on the defensive side of the ball allowed 45 points to the Chicago Bears. Playing in a game where the Bears could have clinched the NFC North, the Eagles’ defense allowed just 11 to the Bears and their offense scored 54 on them. Orton will be caught up in an arms race with an Eagles offense that just has too many weapons.

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3. His Best Game Came in a Loss

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

On Sept. 26, 2010, Orton set career highs against Indianapolis for attempts (57), completions (37) and passing yards (476) in a 27-13 Denver loss.

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2. Produced Just 7 Points in Last Start

Andrew Carpenean-USA TODAY Sports

The last game Orton started was two years ago. Orton started for Kansas City in Week 17 of the 2011 season and led the Chiefs to a 7-3 win at Denver. He was 15-for-29 passing for 180 yards.

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1. Was Beat Out By Tebow

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Broncos replaced Orton as their starter midway through the 2011 season with Tim Tebow. Denver waived Orton in late November, and he signed the next day with the Chiefs. He finished 2011 with Kansas City. You know things have hit rock bottom when your hopes rest on a quarterback who was beaten out by a guy who can’t get a job in the league.