Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told reporters on Wednesday that veteran QB Kyle Orton doesn’t want to retire from the NFL and would like to play another year, per Clarence Hill.
“Once he gave an indication that he was not going to retire and come back with all the other aspects of not having participated in the spring work that we did,” Jones said, via NFL.com. “… then it was decision time on our part.”
“You need to be out there, you need to be on the field, you need to be doing your best every play, or somebody else can step up there,” Jones said. “That’s all alive and well in this decision. But it’s important to understand that we were paying Kyle a lot of money. That money can go toward paying (someone) that can help us win in our judgment more than having that much invested in him, his position of backup quarterback.”
Dallas had been in a standoff with Orton for much of the offseason, but ultimately elected to cut him last week.
Clearly, Orton was able to win the standoff with the Cowboys and is now free to sign on with a team of his choosing.
Orton, 31, still had two years remaining on his three-year, $10.5 million contract. Dallas could have forced Orton to pay back his $3 million signing bonus had Orton retired, but he’ll now be able to keep the bonus.
Dallas freed up just $995,000 in cap space with this move, according to OverTheCap.com.
In 2013, Orton stepped in for Tony Romo after he suffered a season-ending back injury. Orton threw for 358 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in a loss to the Eagles.