The offseason work of NFL teams is just about done. Teams have signed their free agents and drafted what they hope will be their future stars. All that is left now is to sign the rookies to contracts and get ready for training camp. With the rosters pretty much set, let’s take a look at Dallas Cowboys’ team broken down by position. Today I will focus on the quarterback position.
The Cowboys signed two QBs in free agency: Brandon Weeden and Caleb Hanie. They also signed undrafted free agent Dustin Vaughan. Those three will join Tony Romo and Kyle Orton, bringing the total number of QBs to five. The Cowboys will keep at most three QBs once the season begins, but let’s look at each of these quarterbacks individually.
Let’s start with Romo. Much has been discussed about Romo’s health concerns. He is coming off a second back surgery in less than a year. That wouldn’t be good for anybody, much less a 34-year-old Romo. With all that said, the Cowboys seem to have little worry about him. They passed on Johnny Manziel in the draft as well as 14 other QBs. Dallas believes Romo has four to five great years left, so barring a career-threatening injury, Romo will be the starter for the foreseeable future.
I believe Dallas’ ideal plan is for Orton to be their backup QB. Orton has been in the Cowboys’ system for two seasons and played well in final game of last season in place of an injured Romo. The problem is Orton is reportedly mulling over retirement. If he does retire he will have to pay back some of his signing bonus to Dallas. In the end I think Orton reports for training camp and plays in 2014, because nobody likes to give back money.
That brings us to Weeden. He must be showing the Cowboys something that he never showed in Cleveland, because the organization has been raving about him during mini camps. He impressed Dallas so much that they believed they didn’t need to draft a developmental quarterback in the, because they believe Weeden is that guy for them. Dallas rarely carries three QBs on their regular season roster, but I believe they like Weeden enough to change their ways in 2014.
The other free agent signing was Hanie. He has had a few starts in the NFL but has never impressed. Hanie is a long shot to make the team and would probably take a couple of injuries for Dallas to consider him. He will have a lot of fan support during the preseason due to the fact he grew up and played high school football in Forney, Texas, only about 20 miles outside of Dallas.
While Dallas passed on the 14 QBs who went in the draft, they did sign one undrafted free agent and that was Vaughan. He put up monster numbers in college for West Texas A&M. Vaughan will be a practice squad guy at best, but then again that’s where Romo got his start as well, so you never know.