ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 29: Kyle Orton #18 of the Dallas Cowboys looks to pass in the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Cowboys Stadium on December 29, 2013 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Not surprised the Cowboys released Kyle Orton. I even called for it a month ago.
Only shocking thing is the timing of the transaction. As in, what took so long?
Orton clearly didn’t want to play football. But nor did he want to retire and be forced to pay back a large chunk of money from his signing bonus.
Whatever, his riddance is indeed good.
Directly, it means Brandon Weeden is the No. 2 quarterback behind Tony Romo. Fine by me. The Cowboys’ talent level is so thin that any injury to Romo will be terminally devastating. Weeden won’t be able to salvage the season, but neither would have Orton.
Indirectly, the release frees up $3.25 million in salary cap space this season to re-sign foundation stars Dez Bryant and Tyron Smith to long-term contracts. Orton will count $2.25 million against next year’s cap, but that was the case whether he played or not.
Facing an expensive retirement or a $30,000-per-day fine, Orton likely would’ve shown up for training camp next week in Oxnard. But he wouldn’t have wanted to be there. And that would’ve made him a distraction.
The Cowboys are better off without Orton. Now. And in the future.
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.