Kyle Orton watch to start next week

IRVING, Texas -- The Kyle Orton Watch will be on when the Dallas Cowboys hold their mandatory minicamp June 17-19.

Orton has skipped the voluntary offseason program and organized team activities as he ponders his future. He took part in the program his first two years. If he retires, he would have to re-pay the Cowboys $3 million of the $5 million signing bonus he received in 2011. If the Cowboys cut him, they would save $3.25 million against the 2014 cap, but he would count $2.25 million against the cap in 2015.

If Orton does not show up for the minicamp he would be subject to a fine of nearly $70,000. If he does show up, the Cowboys will monitor what type of shape he is in before putting him on the practice field.

Coach Jason Garrett reiterated that he anticipates Orton to take part in the minicamp, but he has not had any recent conversations with the Cowboys backup. Garrett is not sure Orton has a copy of the playbook to understand the changes implemented by new playcaller Scott Linehan.

"We just have to work through it," Garrett said. "We’ll have a minicamp next week that’s mandatory, and we’re hoping that Kyle Orton is here and part of it. He’s been a good football player for our team."

With Orton absent and Tony Romo limited in what he has done this offseason because of back surgery, Brandon Weeden has taken the first-team snaps. The Cowboys like what they have seen from Weeden, but Garrett would not go so far as to say it has been enough to be Romo’s backup.

Linehan said the work with the first group gives Weeden a head start in getting accustomed to the offense.

"Really thought he’s had his best week this week and that’s really kind of what you want to want to see, a progression of him getting more comfortable with our offense," Linehan said. "Been really happy with him."