It's a funny thing when your team signs a player in free agency, and you think it is an outstanding move, yet, you hope you never see the player on the field. That's the life of a backup quarterback. Okay, maybe you would like to see him mop up games that are blowouts in the Cowboys favor, but that's about it.
So it is as we talk about one of the newest Dallas Cowboys, backup quarterback Kyle Orton. The move to add Orton has been almost universally praised. Dallas had lost Jon Kitna to retirement and the option of Stephen McGee taking over for Tony Romo in case of injury wasn't very appealing. Dallas went out and got a quarterback who has been a starter in this league, has put up respectable numbers, and should be able to keep the boat afloat if Captain Romo goes down at any point.
In fact, the idea that Orton signed so quickly with a team where he knew he would be only the backup was curious. Certainly Orton could have waited and signed with one of the handful of teams that have a genuine quarterback competition going on. So why backup Romo? He answered that question in a radio interview.
Make the jump...
You didn’t want to go somewhere where you had a chance of competing to be the starter? "Well I’ve kind of been in that situation the last three or four years just going into camp and competing. To be honest with you I don’t think that situation has worked for me. I don’t think it’s worked out for the club. I think you need to know who your guy is going to be going right into the season and backing that guy. I don’t think that’s been the situation that I have been in and I really didn’t want to get into that situation again. I’m fine with knowing my role as the backup on this team. I am going to be the best backup I can and support Tony [Romo] any way that I can."
I have to admit, that was an answer I didn't expect. I'm not sure exactly how take that, a quarterback who didn't want to get into a competition for a starting position? I guess he knows what's best for him, but that is not something I expected to hear. So why Dallas, why did he choose to come here?
Why this situation? What was appealing to you about the Dallas Cowboys? "Man everything was appealing to me to be honest with you. Going back to when I asked to get away from Denver and getting claimed by Kansas City. Dallas put a claim in as well as Kansas City and Chicago, so right then I kind of had a big interest in the Cowboys. Just kind of going into free agency I just wanted to make sure some of the things I was looking for was a great locker room, a veteran lead locker room and you know a good team where we were going to be playing in a lot of big games and a coaching staff that fits with me and having worked with Wade Wilson in Chicago and kind of following Coach Garrett I feel comfortable with every situation and just real happy with the decision I made."
I guess there is one thing you can count on, Orton is going to be a great teammate in the locker room and at practice. He has no desire to create a controversy with Romo even if he could. He knows his role and he's going to accept it.
Let's hope we never see him play, but if we do, his play makes the fear of a Romo-less Cowboys go away.