<
>

Cowboys release Brandon Weeden, Christine Michael

play
Cowboys RB-by-committee did not work (1:46)

The NFL Insiders crew react to the Cowboys releasing RB Christine Michael and what this means for the Cowboys moving forward in the backfield. (1:46)

IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys on Tuesday released quarterback Brandon Weeden and running back Christine Michael.

The Weeden move comes with starter Tony Romo set to return to the field Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. Weeden went 0-3 after Romo went down with a broken left collarbone in the team's Sept. 20 win against the Philadelphia Eagles. He was later replaced by Matt Cassel, who lost all four of his starts.

The first-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2012, Weeden has lost 11 straight starts, including one last season after Romo suffered two transverse process (back) fractures.

After Romo got hurt against the Eagles, Weeden came off the bench and completed all seven of his passes, including a 42-yard touchdown to Terrance Williams, to seal the 20-10 victory. In four games, he completed 72.4 percent of his passes (71-of-98) for 738 yards with two TDs and two interceptions.

After opening up with 28 first-half points against the Atlanta Falcons in Weeden's first start, the Dallas offense scored just two more touchdowns in the following 10 quarters, and they made the move to Cassel. Weeden, however, did not have the benefit of Dez Bryant, who was out with a broken foot, or an improved running game in his three-game stint as the starter.

In his four starts, Cassel had four touchdown passes and five interceptions, including two returned for scores. The Cowboys also failed to score a touchdown in two of the four games, including last weekend's loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Cowboys have lost nine straight games with Romo's backup as the starter, whether that backup was Kyle Orton, Weeden or Cassel. The last backup quarterback to win a game for the Cowboys was Stephen McGee in Week 17 of 2010.

"Certainly you have to be able to absorb injuries throughout your team," coach Jason Garrett said Monday. "Injuries over the course of a 16-game season in the NFL are inevitable, and the value of the backup quarterback is critical. He has such an impact on the team. We came into the season with Brandon Weeden being our backup quarterback, and we gave him an opportunity those first three games to play. Because Tony was out, we brought Matt Cassel in, and we just felt like after those three games we thought Matt gave us a better chance.

"Some of those shortcomings Matt has have a lot to do with him not being around here, and not being comfortable with our system, playing with the guys, and I think some of those things have shown up over the last four ballgames."

Romo will return to his normal practice routine this week, which means he will partake in the Wednesday walkthrough before taking all the snaps Thursday and Friday. He has practiced the past two weeks, running the scout team.

The Cowboys have quarterbacks Kellen Moore and Jameill Showers on the practice squad.

Dallas acquired Christine Michael from the Seahawks on Sept. 6 for a conditional draft pick. The running back, however, has failed to make an impact in Dallas, rushing for just 51 yards on 15 carries in five games.

The Cowboys also released cornerback Corey White on Tuesday.