Weeden not discouraged by Browns stint

OXNARD, Calif. -- Brandon Weeden will always be seen as a Cleveland Browns bust by the fans who bring bones to games.

There's nothing Weeden can do about that. It's a fact that he was a first-round pick who was cut by Cleveland before the end of his rookie contract, winning only five of his 20 starts for the Browns.

Weeden, now the backup quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, accepts his share of the blame for his disappointing tenure in Cleveland. Weeden doesn't dwell on it, but he's determined to be remembered as more than just a Browns bust.

"The things in Cleveland didn't go as planned I think for a lot of people," said Weeden, who threw for 5,116 yards with 23 touchdowns and 26 interceptions. "It wasn't just myself, but of course I'm going to take a lot of it, because being the quarterback you do. But I've always had a chip on my shoulder. Any time somebody tells me I can't do something, that just makes me want to work that much harder and do that much more to prove that person wrong or prove whoever wrong.

"I'm not discouraged by what happened in Cleveland. I know some of it was out of my control, some of it was in my control. There's things I definitely need to do better. But at the same time, now that I'm here, I feel fresh, I feel good. Mentally, I feel good and I'm excited about this opportunity."

Frankly, the Cowboys hope Weeden won't have much of an opportunity to prove people wrong this season. Weeden getting significant playing time would mean that franchise quarterback Tony Romo went down.

But the Cowboys certainly need Weeden, 30, who had a stint in the New York Yankees' farm system before going to Oklahoma State, to be ready to go with Romo coming off a back surgery.

Weeden benefitted from working with the starters throughout the offseason, when Kyle Orton didn't report to Valley Ranch and Romo was held out of competitive drills. The Cowboys saw the arm strength and other attributes that led Cleveland to take Weeden with the 22nd overall pick in 2012, when Dallas gave him a second-round grade.

The divorce with Kyle Orton meant the Cowboys wouldn't have a highly experienced, expensive backup for the first time since Romo became the starter. Weeden's stock fell far enough that the Cowboys signed him to a two-year, minimum-salary deal with little guaranteed money.

"What happened in the past is over," Weeden said. "Now, let's focus on what we can do to make this team better and help this team moving forward."