The Cowboys’ offseason workout program commenced Monday, but the top backup to Tony Romo was not present.
Kyle Orton, who has reportedly contemplated not playing in 2014, did not attend the first day of Dallas’ voluntary offseason work, Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Monday.
According to Williams, the Cowboys are “hopeful” the 31-year-old Orton will play in 2014. The club expressed similar sentiments earlier in the offseason.
The Cowboys acquired Brandon Weeden from Cleveland in March, giving them some veteran QB depth if Orton, a ninth-year pro, decides to step away from the game.
With Romo ailing because of a back injury that required surgery, Orton started the 2013 season finale for Dallas, completing 30-of-46 passes for 358 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He has started 70 regular season games since entering the NFL with Chicago in 2005.
Orton is slated to make $3.5 million in salary in 2014, according to NFLPA data. According to Williams, were Orton to retire, he would have to give back $3 million of a $5 million signing bonus he received upon joining Dallas in 2012.
Previously, Orton played for the Bears, (2005-2008), Broncos (2009-2011) and Chiefs (2011).