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Stephen Jones Still Expects Kyle Orton To Play This Year

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The Cowboys backup QB hasn't been seen at Valley Ranch, but he' s still expected to play in 2014.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

You could excuse Dallas Cowboys fans for jumping to the conclusion that Kyle Orton won't be the backup quarterback in 2014. First we heard the whispers that Orton was contemplating retirement. Then the Cowboys went ahead and signed Brandon Weeden in free agency after he was cut by the Cleveland Browns. Those two events by themselves were enough to arouse speculation.

But that wasn't all. Orton was a no-show at the recent voluntary workouts. Add on to that the fact that the Cowboys signed another backup quarterback in Caleb Hanie and it sure seemed like Kyle Orton's days in Dallas were done.

But there are two factors working against that. One, if Orton retires he gives up a bunch of cash.

At the NFL owners meetings, agent David Dunn said Orton would play in 2014, and the Cowboys have long believed he would play because of his high base salary and the fact that he would have to pay back $3 million of the $5 million signing bonus he received in 2011 if he retired.

Then there is the dogged belief by Cowboys management that he will be back, a point Stephen Jones reiterated today.

[Stephen] Jones was asked Monday if anybody knows what Orton is thinking. "That’s a good question," Jones said, laughing. Jones added that he hasn’t talked to Orton, but the backup quarterback has been in contact with Cowboys coach Jason Garrett and other assistant coaches.

"That’s just a situation that we’ll work through," Jones said, "and we expect Kyle, when mandatory practices start and the mandatory things begin, we fully expect Kyle to be there." Organized team activities for the Cowboys are May 27-29, June 2, June 4-5 and June 9-12.

So I leave it you BTB community, will Kyle Orton be on the Cowboys roster when they play the 49ers to start the 2014 season?