Cowboys sign QB Orton

Posted March 14, 2012 @ 1:24 p.m.
Posted By PFW staff

Needing a veteran backup for Tony Romo, the Cowboys signed QB Kyle Orton on Wednesday to a three-year contract, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported.

When asked about the possibility of signing Orton last night at the Ed Block Courage Awards, Romo told PFW, "Kyle's a great guy. I was fortunate to have Jon (Kitna) the past few years. If we could get Kyle, that would be great for us."

Orton started the 2011 season with the Broncos, but was released in November after losing his starting job to Tim Tebow. He then signed with the Chiefs and started the final three games of the season for them. In total, he threw nine touchdowns and nine interceptions during the 2011 season.

A seven-year veteran, Orton has been a starter and a backup in the NFL. He has started 69 games for the Bears, Broncos and Chiefs, though only once did he play all 16 games in a season. For his career, Orton has completed 58.3 percent of passes.

The Cowboys were in need of a backup for Romo following the retirement of Kitna earlier in the offseason.

The PFW spin

Orton has starting experience, and he's expected to win the backup job over Stephen McGee. This was a solid signing considering the need to protect Romo, who has had clavicle and rib injuries the past two seasons. But don't rule out the Cowboys drafting a young QB to perhaps push McGee and for someone to groom long term.