Dallas Cowboys Sign QB Caleb Hanie; Speculation About Kyle Orton's Future Grows

Geoff Burke

A surprise signing by the Cowboys creates more questions than it answers.

In an unexpected move, the Dallas Cowboys have added another quarterback to the roster, Caleb Hanie.

Hanie has been in the league for six years, almost entirely as a backup. He was called on one time to step up, and the results were somewhat underwhelming.

Ever since quarterback Caleb Hanie took over for the injured Jay Cutler in the middle of the 2011 Bears season and essentially helped destroy Chicago's playoff chances, Hanie has suited up for the Broncos (2012) and the Browns (2013). He didn't throw a pass for either squad.

This is not the first time the Cowboys have looked at Hanie, having brought him in for a visit last December after Tony Romo was hurt. They wound up signing Jon Kitna over him and the other candidates they considered.

The signing, during what has been for weeks a relatively dormant offseason for the Cowboys and free agency in general, can only increase speculation about what Kyle Orton is going to do. Bringing in a player who is basically a veteran camp body two weeks prior to the NFL Draft would be an odd move for a team that already had three quarterbacks on the roster. It would make sense if there was reason to believe that one of those quarterbacks was not going to be with the team for the OTAs and training camp. Since Tony Romo and Brandon Weeden were both spotted at the voluntary workouts this week, Orton's absence from the same activities seems to speak volumes. More, at the moment, than the team apparently is willing to say.

Hanie may just be insurance because the team is uncertain about Orton's intentions. But it does seem likely that there is doubt about him being available for camp, where the Cowboys will often use four quarterbacks to spread the work around. We'll have any new developments here as soon as we get them.

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