- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Cowboys visit with quarterback Brandon Weeden today can be viewed in several ways.
Weeden was a favorite of the Cowboys coaches a couple of years ago when he came out of Oklahoma State. His age, currently 30, doesn’t scare the Cowboys because there’s a maturity level associated with it and an expectation he could handle the pressures of being a NFL starter at the position.
But after two seasons with the Cleveland Browns, Weeden's compiled a 5-15 mark as a starter and an ungodly mark in Week 1 contests with one touchdown and seven interceptions.
Maybe under the right system, Weeden can excel.
Enter the Cowboys and their timing-based offense. There is no pressure on Weeden to perform with the Cowboys because he’s the No. 3 to Tony Romo and baring injury, isn’t going to sit down for anyone.
So Weeden can learn from Romo and the bounty of offensive coaches, quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson, offensive coordinator Bill Callahan, passing game coordinator Scott Linehan and coach Jason Garrett about the position.
The flip side to this is backup quarterback Kyle Orton.
Team officials are not sure if he’s returning to the team in 2014. Orton is scheduled to make a base salary of $3.2 million with a cap figure of $4.377 million. If Orton retires, he stands to lose $3 million in not only base salary but the money he would have to give back to the Cowboys for not fulfilling his end of the contract.
Orton has two years remaining on his contract, but the team can void those if he’s on the roster by the 15th day of the league year in 2015.
So in reality, Orton is playing his last year in Dallas and Weeden, if he signs, becomes the No. 2 quarterback in 2015, which is a pivotal year for the franchise.
Garrett is in the last year of his contract and if he fails to get the Cowboys into the postseason, it’s almost a certainty he won’t get a new deal.
So Weeden will have to learn a new offensive system again for a new coach, if that new coach is as attractive to him as Garrett is.
Weeden finds himself in an interesting situation because if he comes to Dallas, a place that would embrace him and allow him to grow at the position, he might succeed if given the starting job one day.
If 2014 turns into another playoff-less season, then he could be back to square one.
9hEric D. Williams
8hEric D. Williams