Henry Melton was a huge signing for the Dallas Cowboys, but he’s not the only player to don the silver and blue this week.
That’s right. Let the jokes begin. The inept, ineffective Brandon Weeden has joined the Dallas quarterbacking corps. Maybe he can chip in a few interceptions this year.
Why did the Cowboys sign this guy? They have not only a statistically elite starter, but also quite possibly the league’s best backup.
I’ll tell you why. It’s called $75,000.
That was Weeden’s cap hit. For next to nothing, the Cowboys have locked up the NFL’s best third-string quarterback. Finally, Weeden is playing at a level where he can excel.
All kidding aside, Weeden never had much of a chance in Cleveland. The line play in front of him was atrocious. His weapons were limited. He didn’t help himself out most of the time, but a look at the film says the fault belongs to the entire offense and not entirely to him.
So there’s no reason to sit here and lob insults at a man who, most likely, will never see meaningful playing time in Dallas. Weeden’s best-case scenario at this point is to play out his two-year veteran-minimum contract, perform well in the preseason and land a gig somewhere that will let him compete to start.
For the Cowboys, Weeden means a few things. He will allow Tony Romo to take it easy during OTAs and mini-camp so he can be fully healthy when training camp rolls around. He will provide some insurance for the possibility of a Kyle Orton retirement, an increasingly unlikely but still-possible occurrence. After all, retirement rumors don’t pop up from nowhere.
Perhaps most importantly, signing Weeded precludes the need for Dallas to draft a quarterback. I would be shocked to see them do so with three good ones on the roster now. Instead, the team can focus its energy almost exclusively on the defense, drafting potential starters and then some depth.
There was a sense of frustration among the Dallas fan base when the signing was announced, one day before Henry Melton’s deal was done. Most of this was probably a reaction to the perceived lack of moves at Valley Ranch rather than a true criticism of a deal that can only be characterized as solid and largely unimportant.
Now that the team has nabbed Melton, criticism seems to have subsided. Finally the team has added the starting-caliber 3-technique it needed.
Weeden should be grateful to have the attention removed. He knows as well as anyone that his role in Dallas will be to stay below the radar and learn from league veterans Romo and Orton.
It will be hard, but when Weeden takes the field for some preseason action, let’s try to avoid the wisecracks and snide remarks. He was a practically free solution to a temporary problem, and that’s all he’ll ever be.
Hey, it could be worse. It could have been Tim Tebow.
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