The Dallas Cowboys still don't know who their backup quarterback is, and it's not because they planned on having an open competition. Nor is it because the third-string, younger QB is outplaying the second-string guy, either. No, the Dallas Cowboys are thinking about promoting newly-signed, Cleveland Browns castoff Brandon Weeden simply because Kyle Orton isn't here to maintain his position. Make no mistake about it, the club isn't happy that Orton is missing.
Linehan said brandon Weeden is having his best week and could supplant Orton as primary backup— Clarence Hill (@clarencehilljr) June 10, 2014
It's fair to say #cowboys OC Linehan doesn't exactly have a bond w absent backup QB Orton.— mike fisher (@fishsports) June 10, 2014
Inferring from the reporters covering today's post-practice session with the coaches (I know, dangerous to look through their eyes), it seems that new offensive playcaller Scott Linehan is frustrated at Orton's disappearance. For all the chatter about Linehan running Garrett's system, one shouldn't pretend that there won't be a heavy influence of what Linehan thinks works best in the 2014 version of the Cowboys offense. There is still new stuff that is being installed which Orton is missing.
How much stuff? Well, all of it, apparently.
Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said he doesn't believe that backup QB Kyle Orton has had a playbook with him during time away from team.— Brandon George (@DMN_George) June 10, 2014
Players and clubs have disagreements all the time. It doesn't happen in every offseason program, but undoubtedly there are a handful of players each season that avoid the work for whatever reasons. Some feel that their veteran nature on a team means that they can do without the grind of the early summer. Others stay away from voluntary workouts due to contract disputes. Others avoid the work due to injury concerns, which often times go hand-in-hand with contract concerns.
According to most reports, Cowboys backup Kyle Orton is missing these voluntary workouts because he doesn't want to play football anymore. At least, that's what he told the Dallas Cowboys in the early stages of the offseason. Orton has stuck to his story, not attending any of these scheduled workouts. The club is one day away from completing this third set of voluntary workouts and next week, the mandatory session begins.
Some Cowboys fans have poo-poo'd the importance of this work for a variety of reasons. Some do it simply because they choose to see any and everything about this team in a positive light. Kyle Orton's missing practice? It's only voluntary, this stuff isn't important anyway. Others don't have any faith in Orton as a backup option anyway. Kyle Orton's missing practice? Who cares, if he has to play any significant time the season's done anyway.
At the beginning of May, I penned an article asking Kyle Orton to go away. To summarize, I don't think Orton is all that, I definitely don't think he's worth the money he's paid and I'm not appreciative of him holding the club hostage. If you want to retire, do it. I've talked on twitter (@BloggingTheBoys, shameless plug) many times about the fact that if you are contemplating retirement, you already are. I got that from good ol' Bill Parcells and apparently our head coach agrees.
Garrett basically upheld Bill Parcells' position when talking about Orton: if you are contemplating it, then you already have.— Mark Lane (@therealmarklane) June 10, 2014
But it seems that the Cowboys don't fully believe that Orton wants to go. There is talk (I've heard this somewhere) that he either wants out to go somewhere else, or (heard this from @fishsports on Cowboys Crunchtime over a month ago, go to the 119:40 mark here), that he wants more money.
Whatever your stance is, it's coming down to face off time in less than a week. Orton stands to be fined $70,000 if he doesn't show up. Is the "ascension" of Weeden simply posturing from the Dallas brass? Is the retirement talk just a ploy? We're about to find out.
Answer the poll, and pontificate and bloviate in the comment section, do you think Kyle Orton is showing up next week?