Fine, I’ll admit it. I’m more excited about Matt Cassel’s arrival than The Pope’s.
That’s because Brandon Weeden will start at quarterback for the Cowboys Sunday. But by the time Tony Romo returns in late November, the job will belong to Cassel.
Underwhelmed by the gaggle of off-the-street quarterbacks at Valley Ranch Tuesday and lured by the bargain price offered by the Buffalo Bills – a 5th-round pick in 2017 in exchange for a 7th and the quarterback – the Cowboys reinforced their quarterback position in advance of Romo’s seven-game absence by trading for the 33-year-old, 11-year veteran.
In a perfect world, Cassel won’t take a snap for the Cowboys. They’d love Weeden to keep the job until Romo returns.
But you and I both know that last Sunday’s 7-of-7 performance in Philadelphia was just a tease. Weeden was cut by the Browns. The Browns. And he hasn’t won a game as a starting quarterback in the NFL since Week 14 of 2012. He is 0 for his last 8 starts, including the one dismal performance against the Cardinals last November in Arlington.
I’m not saying Cassel is the savior. But he’s the perfect insurance policy for not if, but when things go awry with Weeden.
Cassel went 10-5 as injured Tom Brady’s replacement for the Patriots. He went to the Pro Bowl with the Chiefs. He’s thrown for 15,000+ yards and 96 touchdowns. He’s made great throws in big games, something Weeden has yet to sniff.
With Cassel just arriving Wednesday, it won’t happen this Sunday against the Falcons. But sooner or later, Cassel will be the Cowboys’ starting quarterback. And you’ll be glad owner Jerry Jones is going all in on 2015.
Think about it. The Cowboys suffered injuries at receiver (Dez Bryant), running backs (Joseph Randle and Darren McFadden in training camp) and quarterback (Romo), and have temporarily filled the voids via trades with the acquisitions of Brice Butler, Christine Michael and Cassel.
Without further significant injuries, the Cowboys will be a monster come Thanksgiving. They’ll add or re-introduce Bryant, Romo, Greg Hardy and Randy Gregory.
Thanks to Cassel, their head will still be above water when the reinforcements arrive.
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 lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.