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Orton Possibly Earned Starting Opportunity

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Orton Possibly Earned Starting Opportunity

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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)

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Kyle Orton has been a starting quarterback in the NFL before, and his performance Sunday night might have earned him a shot at another No. 1 gig somewhere in 2014.

Orton, of course, threw a crucial interception in the final two minutes while trying to drive the Cowboys about 40 yards to get into range for a game-winning field goal, and the Cowboys' season ended in a Week 17 loss for the third straight season.

But before that, Orton had a really solid game in his first and only start of the 2013 season after starter Tony Romo had been injured in last week's win over Washington and shelved after undergoing back surgery on Friday.

Orton threw for 358 yards, two touchdowns and the two picks — the first of which was a pass that was behind Jason Witten but probably should've been caught.

From 2008-2010, the 31-year-old was an average-to-above average starter in the league for the Chicago Bears and the Denver Broncos. His best years came in Denver when he threw for 7,455 yards in two seasons to go with 41 touchdowns and 21 interceptions before being ousted as the Broncos' starting quarterback by Tim Tebow, yup, Tim Tebow.

Orton is seen as one of the top backups in the league, and he proved it on Sunday night. Now, the question is whether the Cowboys will have that luxury in 2014 or if Orton will get a shot to start again elsewhere.

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