QB Kyle Orton has been playing head games with the Dallas Cowboys all summer. Rumors swirled that he had been contemplating retirement. Dallas planned for the worst-case scenario by signing Brandon Weeden. Parting ways with Orton will prove to be the best move of its offseason.
Many fans may look at the loss of a veteran quarterback and replacing him with an unknown commodity as a loss. I think it’s the complete opposite.
Let’s be real, Orton had his mind made up this whole time. He didn’t want to play, but he also didn’t want to have to pay back the $five million he would owe the Cowboys if he retired. All he did was force their hand for this move.
The Cowboys could have waited a little longer to recoup some of that signing bonus that was allotted for this season, but there was no point. It wasn’t about the money anymore. It was about ridding the entire team of the cloud that was hanging over them. Nobody will have to be worried about answering questions on when he’s coming back.
This also helps Weeden. He now knows his role on the team. Unless he suffers a huge setback or injury, he will be the backup. The feeling of comfort and stability may be the exact change in environment he needs to succeed. The Cowboys liked what they saw from him during minicamp. If he can build off that, it will be exactly what both sides need.
The interesting side story to all of this is that Dallas will save $3.25 million against the cap this season. This money could be used to sign Dez Bryant or Tyron Smith to a long-term deal. I think the organization made this move now for exactly that reason. I look for them to sign at least one of those guys before the season starts to eliminate any doubt about the future.
Dallas has made several key moves to shape and rebuild this team. They made some tough decisions on some veterans and took some chances on some unproven guys. Cutting Orton will prove to be the best decision for the Cowboys’ future.