Dec 1, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden (3) throws a pass in the second quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Orton or Brandon Weeden: Backup QBs are a Waste of $$$ for the Dallas Cowboys

Dec 29, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Kyle Orton (18) prior to the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

With Brandon Weeden visiting the Dallas Cowboys today, it’s time to fully address the backup QB situation in Dallas. It’s a pointless position and a complete waste of money. Obviously this is my opinion and not a view shared by all but let me explain my side…

Salary Cap problems have put the franchise in a pretty precarious position. Forced to part ways with declining player DeMarcus Ware, the Cowboys set out on the impossible goal of filling numerous roster holes with limited funds. As we stand today, there are so many starting spots open on this team, the Cowboys will be forced to play with some very marginal players in 2014.

With such limited funds the Cowboys need to find ways to cut corners. The top corner to cut is the Backup QB. Kyle Orton, who is contemplating retirement, is set to make over $4M in 2014. For a guy who may never see the field that is a pretty hefty price tag. Now the Cowboys are looking to cover themselves when/if Orton really does walk away. Brandon Weeden will visit Big D to see if he could provide a more moderately priced insurance policy to Tony Romo.

It’s difficult to justify spending much of anything on a backup when the Cowboys have so many open starting spots in need of allocations. The Cowboys need players at other positions and these players are almost guaranteed to see more playing time than a backup QB.

Tony Romo is indeed returning from back surgery and it seems perfectly reasonable to assume he may miss some snaps next season. But does that alone justify paying a player millions just to fill in? Consider this…

The Dallas Cowboys are not very good. After back-to-back-to-back 8-8 seasons, the Cowboys aren’t exactly a team on the verge. In fact they are much more likely to be worse in 2014 than they are to get better. Salary Cap problems and an aging roster say this team has a couple tough years ahead of it.

The Cowboys really don’t have a very good shot at the playoffs even if Romo stays healthy.  And even if they put together the perfect draft, there are just too many holes to fill on this team. If Romo goes down, would any backup in the world offer the Cowboys a legitimate chance to improve and possibly become a contender? Are any QBs out there that would even let them tread water?

Maybe the Cowboys could tread water with Orton, but as a sub .500 team what’s the point? I’m largely against veteran backup QBs anyway. I think grooming young and inexpensive talent is always time and money better spent. Obviously if I ran the Broncos who are ALL-IN this season, it would make sense to make a reliable vet, but most teams just don’t need that. The Cowboys certainly don’t.

Most honest Cowboy fans know the score. This team needs to rebuild. The Cowboys will never admit it but they are quietly starting the process. This largely goes across the board to all positions – Aging veterans just get in the way of the process. The Cowboys should be spending their time bringing in young QBs at minimum salaries. Find potential and groom it. They may not work out but at least the Cowboys would be trying.

Veteran backup QBs are just a waste of money for these Dallas Cowboys. What do you think?

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Tags: Brandon Weeden Dallas Cowboys Kyle Orton

  • ctcowboy1968

    I disagree. Tony absolutely needs a capable back up. There certainly is risk there. The only old player on the offense is Witten. The O has to compensate for the D. We have no chance of winning without the O functioning well. Having an unqualified QB gives Dallas no chance to win.
    Putting $$ aside, I know that isn’t possible but I am, Orton has a lot of experience and can win ball games. He was one bad pass away from putting Dallas in the playoffs. Weeden has no experience. They are both the same age. It does not make any sense to go with an old inexperience loser over Orton. At that point, bring in a cheap McCoy or rookie.

    • Reid Hanson

      The rookie idea is what I’d opt for. I fully expect Romo to miss a game next season but I would rather lose a game developing someone than try to win with someone like Orton who isn’t part of our future. Orton could mean the difference between a 7-9 season and a 6-10 season (if he even plays anymore). Does a difference like that matter on a losing team? I say no, but I know many will say it still matters.

      • Aj Riz

        I agree. I’d rather take a flyer on a cheap rookie in the draft than pay Orton 4mil or Weeden. Neither is a part of the future. Like you said if you’re a team on the verge then a competent veteran makes sense.
        I think too many people have let the powers that be make them believe we are one play away from winning it all when it’s probably more likely we are on the verge of tearing it down and rebuilding. Get rid of Garrett for the love of god, clean up the cap, and draft better.

  • ctcowboy1968

    BTW, yes the Boys may be worse than 8-8 next year with the brutual schedule that they have. As for your reference to an aging veteran team, that’s been resolved by letting them go in FA. Youth abounds on this team now.

    • Reid Hanson

      True – There is certainly more youth than before but we still have big money going to older players. Witten, Carr, and Romo being the big ones along with all of the dead money from the corrected mistakes of the past. Very good point though. The cowboys are clearly correcting their situation. It’ll just take some time.

  • Old Frog

    Why in the world is Orton contemplating retirement? Lot of money without a lot of pressure.

    • Reid Hanson

      I wondered the same thing. It’s easy money he would be leaving on the table.

  • SmartThinking

    We can debate the issue of whether or not a veteran backup QB is a good idea or not. I happen to believe having a former starting veteran of Orton’s caliber in reserve, particularly considering Romo’s precarious physical condition, is a very good, frankly, low-cost insurance policy.

    But save that debate for another time.

    Bringing in Brandon Weeden, in any capacity other than team bus driver, is an absolutely terrible idea. 1) He’s incredibly dense, even according to Cleveland standards. They had to dumb down their play calling scheme so he could understand it. 2). He’s afraid to stay in the pocket and let plays evolve so he 3). throws interceptions or 4). overthrows his receivers because he cannot judge their patterns very well.

    A team as bad as Cleveland let Weeden go because he couldn’t challenge their starter. It’s a very real possibility, given his health, that Romo won’t finish the season and his backup will have to play. With these two scenarios on an apparent collision course towards one another, it just makes sense to keep Orton in place and tell Weeden we already have a competent bus driver but thanks anyway.

  • Darin Dauenhauer

    The Cowboys do not require a backup QB because they need a solid 4-12 season. something to break out of the mediocrity currently set in down there. It isn’t something that goes away on its own. JJ needs to get out of his own way. The team needs a reset. Letting the older vets go and moving to a younger team could just mean a younger BAD team if they don’t get talented young players. I haven’t been witness to anything that gives me confidence that the current management staff is capable of that sort of building…

  • Mike Shaw

    It’s costing Dallas 75K towards the cap and Cleveland owes him 2.1 million still and the contract was only 1.23 million for 2 years which is pretty cheap. Orton is for sure overpayed for a back – up but not weeden. I mean you have to pay them something.