I've never been particularly enamored with the idea of Kyle Orton playing quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys.
Sure, like any fan, I hoped for the best and sometimes that means you allow hope to seep into evaluations. Focus on the positives. That might have actually brought me to sending some complimentary words in Orton's direction soon after he was signed. The concept that he was "starter-quality" should Romo be sidelined for an extended period of time escaped me, though.
Kyle Orton's career completion percentage is below 60%. His touchdown-to-interception ratio isn't even at 1.5 to 1. He's not a bad backup candidate, but he's certainly not " Reserve Du Jour" that's worth plenty of Francs. Or Euros, or whatever those guys like O.C.C. use that are worth more than my dollars.
Remember how this all happened, Orton making his way to Big D. In 2010, Romo missed the majority of the season after he was smashed into little pieces by the far-off-distant-memory "vaunted" Giants pass rush. During the following season, Orton was supplanted mid-year by Tebowmania in the Mile High city (and that state of mind must have been in play to think he was a solution) and awarded his release.
The Cowboys put a waiver claim in on Orton, but lost out to the Kansas City Chiefs. After the year, his contract was over and as a free agent, signed with the Cowboys.
This is when things get interesting. For whatever reason, probably because there are actually only 8-10 people on the planet that can play NFL quarterback at a consistently high level, teams clamored for Orton. If the chances are your starter is suspect, at least have a viable backup. Not a bad train of thought. But out of all the situations looking for a backup or possible a stop gap starter, Orton chose Dallas.
Now, this is all just me spit-balling, but follow along. I imagine that being wooed by The Jerry Machine is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You see the reaction that draft prospects have after official visits? Those guys wouldn't even have control over where they end up playing! Imagine if JJ, et al, were bidding for your services?
I think they wrapped Kyle Orton up in a warm, soothing ooze of 'Hey baby girl" 's like a Sugar Daddy in the parking lot of a Freshman Social at the local college campus.
And he fell for it. Hook, line, sinker, neckbeard trim and all.
I think they told Orton that being the backup pretty much guaranteed that he would get his chance to shine during the season.
That Romo guy, he plays so recklessly. Our line is so bad and he's so haphazard, you could even start the majority of a season. In Dallas. In Dallas, son! Look at Jon Kitna, he had the ride of his life last year (2010); this is where you want to be. Hell, Kyle.. I don't even know if we're going to commit to Romo long-term, this ship could be yours sooner than you think. We aren't particularly sure we can win with him. You know his contract expires at the end of this year...
Well, they did commit to him long-term, and in a big way.
Again, this is all just me speculating. But I think Orton believed he would play a lot more than the 61 pass attempts he's thrown over the last two seasons. Romo has played over the last few seasons with a back injury and has only missed one start, the 2013 season finale.
Competitors want to compete. Firstly, I think Orton signed here with thoughts that he'd have a legitimate shot at glory. Don't talk to me about how he should be happy to sit and collect his $3 million to ride the pine. I think Kyle Orton is trying to make a play so he can go somewhere and make a play. Hey, this is probably the most respect I've had for him since he came to Dallas.
I could be wrong. Hell, it could be that he's so shook from his interception against the Eagles that he just doesn't want to play football anymore. After biding his time for two years and getting the chance to be a playoff-securing hero, he failed on the biggest stage. That kind of thing can scar a soul; make a man doubt himself.
I'm not sure what's going on with Kyle Orton. What I do know is I've wanted Dallas to work on a better backup solution than the three-year, $10.5 million deal they gave him of which he's collected $7.5 million for those 61 pass attempts. If we can somehow regain some of that money (cap space that will rollover to 2015 is what I care about), in our "moving on", I'm even more for it.
So, yeah... miss those mandatories, Kyle. Please. I won't be mad at you at all, champ.