Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones says the team wasn’t surprised that back-up quarterback Kyle Orton was absent from Day One of this week’s mandatory mini-camp. In fact, he says the team knew all along that Orton wasn’t planning on showing up.
“We’re aware that he wasn’t going to be here,” Jones told the team’s official website. “We’re just handling all of our business with him, just the way the agreement’s called for. This is mandatory for him to be here and the consequences have been pre-negotiated when we did our contract.”
The consequences Jones speaks of will be felt by Orton’s wallet. If he stays away from Valley Ranch, the veteran can be fined up to $70,000. At last check, Orton was leaning heavily toward retirement, but the Cowboys remained hopeful that he’d have a sudden change of heart.
According to Jones, the upside of Orton’s no-show is that the team will have a chance to look at the young quarterbacks signed this offseason, Brandon Weeden and Caleb Hanie. Weeden would most likely become Tony Romo’s backup should Orton call it a career.
“It has really given us an opportunity, which we really needed to do, and that is evaluate young quarterbacks and quarterbacks that could fit into the picture for several years to come,” Jones said. “So I think that’s going to give us a chance to do that.”
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