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Orton gives Cowboys a chance to advance

Orton Getty Images

For all the criticism periodically and repeatedly heaped on Cowboys owner/G.M. Jerry Jones, he deserves praise on one fairly important front.

Jones had the foresight to acquire a veteran backup with experience competing for playoff berths.

In 2012, Jones and the Cowboys signed Kyle Orton to a three-year, $10.5 million contract, with $5 million up front.  At a time when younger options were readily available for far less money at the bottom of the draft, Jones wanted someone with more experience ready to go in the event Tony Romo isn’t.

Contrast that decision with the backup plan forged by a more tenured and competent “football guy” in Green Bay.  From Seneca Wallace to Scott Tolzien to (finally) Matt Flynn, the Packers would be long out of the playoff chase but for the backslides committed by the Bears and Lions.

It’s easy to forget Orton’s accomplishments, especially since he hasn’t accomplished much in recent years.  In four seasons that featured 33 starts with the Bears, Orton compiled a record of 15-2 at home.

As a rookie in 2005, Orton led the Bears to 10 wins in 14 meaningful starts before yielding to Rex Grossman late in the year.  (Grossman started the team’s divisional-round loss to Carolina.)

Orton started 15 more games in 2008, winning nine of them.  In 2009, his first year with the Broncos, Orton became the toast of the league by leading Denver to a 6-0 start before cooling off, considerably.

From the moment the Broncos beat the Chargers to extend their season-opening winning streak to six, things fell apart for Orton.  He finished the year 2-7 as a starter in 2009.  In 2010, Orton went 3-10.  In 2011, a 1-4 start yielded to Tebowmania.

But a 2-1 late-season effort with the Chiefs gave Orton some lift on the market, and Jones provided a landing spot.

The Cowboys haven’t had to use him yet.  That likely will change on Sunday.  Given that there aren’t enough good starting quarterbacks to go around for 32 teams, the fact that the Cowboys have a backup with some success as a starter gives them a lot more hope than if they had the Seneca Wallaces or Scott Tolziens of the world on the roster.

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27 Responses to “Orton gives Cowboys a chance to advance”
  1. billsfan1 says: Dec 24, 2013 8:40 AM

    Ive always wondered why Orton was never giving more opportunities to start somewhere in the league

  2. wishingtonredslur says: Dec 24, 2013 8:44 AM

    Those last three years with the Broncos the whole team was bad, like gave up before the season started bad.

  3. orivar says: Dec 24, 2013 8:53 AM

    Do not sleep on Kyle Orton. Also Seneca Wallace unfortunately got injured but was doing alright.

  4. ptdennis says: Dec 24, 2013 8:53 AM

    I just don’t see it. I have like Orton from his days at Purdue. I can see a final score 34-3 Eagles, and Kyle Orton is not to blame. I could see 34-20 Eagles, with a healthy Romo.

  5. boogymanoflamancha says: Dec 24, 2013 9:10 AM

    If he was as good as your rosy picture suggests, wouldn’t he be starting somewhere?

  6. iwantrudytodressforme says: Dec 24, 2013 9:14 AM

    Um, to all this talk about the back up qb giving the cowgirls a chance to advance…..when are they going to bring in a back up defense? Eagles are going to shred that 3rd string LB core. Bring any qb you want, unless his name is Sean Lee cowgirls are toast.

  7. mialto says: Dec 24, 2013 9:19 AM

    Man do I miss Orton in Chicago, he would of been a great backup to have in the 2010 NFC Championship game instead of all the other scrubs, until we landed McCown.

    Cowboys are lucky to have him.

  8. myeaglescantwin says: Dec 24, 2013 9:27 AM

    Orton has proved he can win some games.

    This is his shot to come out and make a statement about his career.
    I would expect him to put the ball up for this talented WR core. If you have one game to make a difference, who else would you want besides Bryant & Witten. This dude will chuck the ball up and let the WR’s try and make plays.

    With the Eagles defense, you never feel comfortable against a good set of WRs.
    The media can write what they want, but this game will be close. Take that 10pt spread while you can.

  9. apkyletexas says: Dec 24, 2013 9:28 AM

    Wouldn’t this also be a good description of why Vince Young and Tebow need to have jobs in this league? The fact that they are established winners and have led teams to the playoffs?

    Strange that established winners are sitting, while Schaub and Yates and McGloin and Pryor and Fitzpatrick and Keenum and Wheedon and a litany of absolute duds at the QB position around the league are doing the “heavy lifting” on Sundays.

    It’s almost as if some teams don’t really want to win. If you know what I mean.

  10. whitecastleisafoodgroup says: Dec 24, 2013 9:28 AM

    Believe it or not (not for most) Orton will give the Cowboys a chance. He’ll follow the plan and not change many, if any, calls at the line. He may not win the game for the Cowboys but he won’t brain-fart late in the game either. Solid game manager.

    This game might actually be closer than most think if Orton can keep the Eagles off the field. I’d still pick the Eagles though. The Cowboy’s defense is as putrid as the Bears and the Eagles blew us out.

  11. jaypace says: Dec 24, 2013 9:30 AM

    Kyle Orton isn’t going to win anything. Yes he is serviceable but he is not a qb that is going to go out and win you a game.

  12. herecomethebirds13 says: Dec 24, 2013 9:31 AM

    Chance? The cowgirls have a better chance of winning the megamillions….good luck
    -herecomethebirds

  13. tvguy22 says: Dec 24, 2013 9:35 AM

    Can’t sleep on him. The Vikings game proved that for Philly.

  14. cuda1234 says: Dec 24, 2013 9:35 AM

    In 2011 a 1-4 start gave way to Tebowmaina and a 1-5 finish. But only one of those qb’s is still in the league.

  15. 25cuts says: Dec 24, 2013 9:36 AM

    Marshall and Alshon is a better set of WRs and cutler is better than orton…..so don’t kid yourself. The eagles are taking this game. Besides philly D is definitely better than Dallas.

  16. doublenickelz says: Dec 24, 2013 9:37 AM

    Got a feeling that this Cowboy defense will rise to the occasion and shut down Filthadelphia! This Romo injury will give the team an emotional lift. Not saying we are going deep in the playoffs, just saying we will beat those Birds on Sunday night….remeber, third times a charm.

  17. harrisonhits2 says: Dec 24, 2013 9:46 AM

    Any given Sunday Eagles fans. And teams that go in overconfident and don’t take opponents seriously often go home losers.

  18. bleedgreen says: Dec 24, 2013 9:52 AM

    Orton’s first season was 10-5… yes. But he completed 51% of his passes and had a 9/13 TD/INT ratio with a blistering QB rating of 59.7. Don’t discount the Chicago defense during that time.

    If you discount that first year (because he obviously wasn’t good), the guy is 25-29 as a starter. Thats not good. He had 1.5 “OK” years in Denver but lost his job to Tebow who took a 1-4 team to the playoffs and won a playoff game. Friggan TEBOW beat him out. In Kansas City he was 1/2 TD/INT in 4 games. In FOUR GAMES he threw ONE touchdown.

  19. flyspe says: Dec 24, 2013 10:00 AM

    If Orton plays, I think the Cowboys come out inspired. They would have no pressure and have an out even if they lose. Then it all falls on Orton coming out to a fast start like Cassel did against the Eagles. (Of course the Eagles also decided to give the Vikings excellent field position almost every possession) This is also assuming this isnt some kind of ploy to have Romo come out and play “hurt”, Jerry thinking he will look like Jordan or Curt Shilling with the bloody sock.

  20. atleastimnotaraidersfan says: Dec 24, 2013 10:01 AM

    Kyle orton is a no heart loser. He went 6-0 in Denver due to mike Nolan’s defense that year. Anytime orton had to win the game for Denver, he choked. Just like he will on Sunday. Orton is a loser through and through.

  21. iwantrudytodressforme says: Dec 24, 2013 10:09 AM

    It just doesn’t come down to the qb for Dallas though. Their defense is SHOT right now. The 3-11 redskins kept up with them with Kirk cousins. I mean come on! Like I said, put any qb up there you want. Sure play make believe, call in farve. Even he’ll tell you the cowgirls D is the deciding factor in this game not the QB play. Sure maybe Orton can make a few TDs, but the eagles will have more. Just ask the bears. Or go back to the Vikings game everyone keeps pointing out…our D lost us that game, not Nick Foles.

    But whatever, go birds!

  22. cowboyfan45 says: Dec 24, 2013 10:34 AM

    CHANCE!! Better chance of me winning the Mega millions lotto than Cowboys beating the Eagles Sunday night..

  23. jrmalo23 says: Dec 24, 2013 1:05 PM

    As estatic as I am that the Cowboys are on the verge of facing yet another failure at the end of the season (especially during Christmas) I am reminded that if Trent Dilfer can do it…so can Kyle Orton.

    Lace up the cleats Eagles and get ready to fly.

  24. stunzeed5 says: Dec 24, 2013 1:18 PM

    Stop trying to build up a Sunday night game that will be a massacre

  25. greatestgamensports says: Dec 24, 2013 9:23 PM

    Doesn’t matter who the QB is in this game,Dallas comes away with a victory period! They will do what the Vikings did without their best player and then some, it will be karma this holiday season for ambushing Santa all those yrs ago!
    *HOWBOUTTHEMCOWBOYS*

  26. dixonorifice says: Dec 24, 2013 9:53 PM

    Cowboys will come out and play inspired football… and lose by 30.

  27. axespray says: Dec 25, 2013 4:45 AM

    Yeah – That “football man” in Green Bay is garbage, not like his teams were wiped out with injuries in three of the last four years or anything.

    or that he built a superbowl winning team and a 15-1 team without having to throw away millions on the Mario Williams of the world.

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