Dallas Cowboys passing game coordinator Scott Linehan said that QB Brandon Weeden is having his best week of practice and could supplant QB Kyle Orton as the team’s backup quarterback, per Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star Telegram.
Linehan’s comments are interesting, as the likelihood that QB Tony Romo can withstand the aches and pains of a 16-game season appears to be dwindling with each successive injury.
Orton has stated that he, at the very least, is considering retirement, and most likely favoring that option. The situation is complicated however, as Orton received a prorated $3 million signing bonus, which Dallas would seek to reclaim should Orton in fact retire.
Weeden’s history is well-documented. He entered the league as a 28 year-old rookie, the oldest in league history. In two seasons with the Browns, Weeden threw 23 touchdown passes against 26 interceptions. That ratio is not terrible for a quarterback with only two years of experience, but Weeden appeared to regress in his second season, completing only 52.8 percent of his passes in 2013 compared to 57.4 percent in 2012.
Linehan is known for being an aggressive play-caller, favoring throwing the ball down the field. Weeden struggled throwing the ball deep for Cleveland however, but some of that can be attributed to the weather.
It is likely that Dallas is simply guarding against the possibility that Orton does in fact retire, leaving only QB Caleb Hanie as a real threat to Weeden.
Whoever wins the No. 2 job could ultimately be a significant player for the 2014 Dallas Cowboys.