Frank Heinz, NBC 5 News
Kyle Orton and Miles Austin talk during a game against the Eagles in 2013.
Jason Garrett recently talked to Kyle Orton. Here’s how the conversation should’ve sounded between the Cowboys’ head coach and veteran backup quarterback:
Look, if Orton is missing this week’s mandatory minicamp at Valley Ranch because he’s contemplating retirement, then he shouldn’t come back. Ever.
Bill Parcells was full of crap on almost every level, but one thing he repeatedly said does ring true: If you’re considering retirement, you’re already retired. If Orton is having second thoughts about playing in 2014, the Cowboys should not waste their time and energy attempting to convince him to play.
Why? Because, honestly, he’s not worth it.
“We had a good conversation,” Garrett told reporters Wednesday afternoon. “We’ll keep that to ourselves. Again, we think as an organization we anticipate all our players who are under contract and on our roster to be here at a mandatory minicamp. He’s not. We’ve focused our attention on the guys who are here and handle his situation accordingly.”
We can worry about Tony Romo’s surgically repaired back and ramping age all we want, but the truth is Orton has started one game in two seasons as his backup. In last year’s NFC East Championship Game he was decent, but wound up throwing three interceptions in the season-ending loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Orton is better than backup Brandon Weeden, but not enough to bend the team’s rules. And let’s face it, if Romo goes down for any extended period of time the season’s kaput anyway.
I guess Orton could waltz into training camp in Oxnard and restore order. But at this point, that’s not likely. He’s either thinking about quitting, or else he’s making a strange contract negotiation ploy. The Cowboys could cut him, and take a slight hit to the salary cap, or Orton up and finally retires and gives back his signing bonus money.
It’s not a good situation, either way. But it’s clear that right now Orton doesn’t want to play football, so he should no longer be a Cowboy.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.