Cowboys “assuming” Kyle Orton will play in 2014

AP

Last week, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said that backup quarterback Kyle Orton has yet to commit to a return for the final year of the three-year contract he signed with the team before the 2012 season.

Owner Jerry Jones said Sunday that the team has had some conversations with Orton’s agent, but that the veteran remains unsure about his plans for the season. Jones said he’s “assuming” that Orton will decide to return and collect his $3.25 million salary and that the Cowboys want him back even if their cap situation would be better if Orton retired.

“He hasn’t indicated that he has decided or not decided to play,” Jones said, via Rainer Sabin of the Dallas Morning News. “If he plays, we want him to play with the Cowboys. I could say to him directly the last time we were together made it very rewarding and worthwhile for you to be on the team, and I hope it was rewarding to you. I can say that…As I sit here today, we want him.”

Any savings that Orton’s departure would bring would be balanced out by the need to find another backup quarterback. With Tony Romo coming off back surgery, it’s easy to understand why the Cowboys would prefer to stick with Orton over searching for someone else.