Report: QB Kyle Orton signs with Cowboys for three years
Tony Romo has a new backup.
QB Kyle Orton struck a three-year deal with the Cowboys on Wednesday, per NFL Network’s Steve Wyche. Dallas needed a new veteran presence in the QB room after Jon Kitna‘s retirement.
Orton split his 2011 season between the Broncos and Chiefs. He lost four of five starts with Denver before losing his job to Tim Tebow. Orton later asked for his release and was claimed off waivers by quarterback-needy Kansas City.
He won two of his three starts with the Chiefs and dealt the Packers their only regular-season loss. K.C. HC Romeo Crennel credited Orton for helping him get the “interim” tag removed from his title after last season.
A seven-year NFL vet with 69 career starts — he’s 35-34 — Orton passed for 1,758 total yards with nine TDs and nine INTs in 2011. He has a 79.4 career passer rating. The Bears selected Orton in the fourth round of the 2005 draft.
Romo is the undisputed starter in Dallas, but injuries have cost him 13 starts over the past four seasons.
March 14, 2012 – 12:12pm
How did Chicago do last year when it lost Jay Cutler? The Bears were in position to make the playoffs and saw it all go away.
Bring it closer to home. How did the Cowboys do when Tony Romo missed three games in 2008? Brad Johnson went 1-2 with one loss to the Rams. If the Cowboys won that game against a bad team – and the defense deserves a lot of blame for that too – they would have made the playoffs.
The 2010 season was already a wash when Romo suffered a broken collarbone in the sixth game of the season, but for as well as Jon Kitna played the Cowboys posted a 4-5 record.
In a perfect world the Cowboys never get to Orton play but Romo has suffered injuries in three of the last four years. He missed 10 games in 2010 and those three in 2008. Last year he played through a broken rib.
Bounty or no bounty, quarterbacks are targets on gamedays. As Jerry Jones’ good friend, Al Davis, once said: the quarterback must go down and he must go down hard.
Orton represents a slight shift in Garrett’s philosophy on the backup QB. Johnson was 39 when he joined the Cowboys. Kitna was 37. Orton turns 30 in November and has 69 starts to his credit.