Cowboys make release of Kyle Orton official


It’s official: Kyle Orton is no longer a Dallas Cowboy.

The Cowboys announced this morning that they have officially released Orton, the quarterback who started for them in Week 17 last year and had been under contract to back up Tony Romo again this year.

Orton has stayed away from the Cowboys throughout the offseason, and it was thought that he and the team were due for a standoff over whether he would retire and have to pay back $3 million from his signing bonus, or whether he would begrudgingly show up to training camp. Instead, the Cowboys gave Orton what he wanted and cut him.

The move frees up some cap space for the Cowboys, but it also leaves them with Brandon Weeden as their No. 2 quarterback. If Romo goes down, the Cowboys will have to hope Weeden can be a lot better than he looked in Cleveland the last two years.

The 31-year-old Orton is now a free agent who could sign with any team, but from all indications he has decided to call it quits.

99 responses to “Cowboys make release of Kyle Orton official

  1. Wow, he squeezed them into letting him keep the $3 million.

    Isn’t that the tuition for the first year at Deion Sander’s developmental school? Maybe he could go there. I mean, he’s already in town and everything.

  2. So does this mean he doesn’t have to pay back the 3mil? wouldn’t surprise me Jerry loves to throw money around!

  3. Orton: “I’m not gonna let that old bag keep me from making 3.25million unearned dollars from him. He is too dumb.”
    Jerry: “Yep.”

  4. How many “reasons” would Orton need to continue his career with another team? That’s the question.

    He is better than 3/4 of the backup QBs in this league and arguably better than 6 or 7 guys who are currently penciled in as starters. I have a feeling at least a couple of teams are going to bring some sizable offers to the table, and I’m curious to see if any of them are accepted.

  5. No need to relocate … Just change uniforms as he becomes the Texans’ new starter.

  6. Kyle Orton is too busy doing Kyle Orton things to focus on his NFL Career. Don’t blame him. Guy has made bank, and probably has a stable of smokeshows that he parties with on the reg. Also has a killer beard.

  7. He would immediately be the best QB in Oakland when their front office realizes their mistakes.

  8. On hearing of Orton’s release, Weeden began practicing on throwing the game/division losing INT in case he’s needed in Week 17.

  9. I can just imagine the conversation at the time they signed him to that last deal if it were converted to future hindsight truth at the time….

    JJ: So what do you think you can bring to this team if we give you all these millions up front?

    KO: 42 completions, no more, no less, so we have a deal?

    JJ: Heck yeah, I was worried you were going to say something with a 3 in front of it! Just save those 42 for the Super Bowl game if you can, but really it’s up to you since I’m giving you all the power in this relationship.

  10. Sounds similiar to the Jeramiah Ratliff ordeal. As a bears fan, I wouldn’t mind seeing him make the decision and come back to Chicago to be a back-up.

  11. Instead of calling it quits, he should sign with the Vikings. They don’t have a real QB and calling it quits and collecting a NFL paycheck are not mutually exclusive in Minnesota, he will join a bunch of teammates doing the same thing.

  12. If Jerr-uh goes into the season w/Weeden as #2 QB he is definitely the worst GM in NFL. Never should’ve drafted this turd. Heckert’s worst move as a GM IMO.

  13. Tony Romo your on notice… that’s what that move says to me, Bandon Weeden relationship with Dez Bryant should make Romo a little uncomfortable, and I believe that because of that fact they will not hesitate to pull Romo for Weeden… but only time will tell… and I believe with Weeden will give Romo a healthy push thus bringing out a better Romo…Indeed…

  14. The steelers still have o winning seasons and o playoff appearances since being Tebowed out of the playoffs years ago. Haha. Maybe they should sign kyle

  15. If he wants to make serious bank, all he has to do is follow the Josh McCown plan:

    1) Sign a cap-friendly one-year deal with the Bears.

    2) Get coached-up by Marc Trestman aka the QB Listener.

    3) Wait for Jay Cutler to miss his obligatory 4-5 midseason games, then come in and log mad stats throwing jump balls to Marshall, Jeffery, Bennett and Wilson.

    4) Cash in BIG with another team next season.


  16. psj3809 says:
    Jul 16, 2014 11:44 AM
    He signed a 3 year deal, hes retired early, he should pay back some of that signing bonus. Cant have it both ways


    He was cut he didn’t retire early. That may have been his wishes because he is was cut he can retire and not lose money from retiring early.

  17. blackandyella says:
    Jul 16, 2014 11:38 AM
    Wow, Orton has been in the league for 10 years now, and Weeden is still older than him… ————————————————————————————–aactually he isnt older than him dumb dumb

  18. Had the Cowboys drafted a Mettenberger, Murray, Savage, or McCarron type theyd be in a great position. But, they’re Dallas and now behind Romo they have Weedon and Caleb Hanie.

    Meanwhile, Cincinnati and Buffalo would both be smart to make a run at signing Orton for cheap if he’s not retiring. Both could use a veteran backup with his experience.

  19. With all this years suspensions. I’m suprised Kyle orton isn’t getting suspended for Stealing 3 million dollars from the Cowboys. He wouldn’t make that much money on his old job teaching in 50 years.

  20. @psj3809 -He was cut. He did not retire, hence he doesn’t have to pay anything back. That was the point of holding out to try to get cut.. What don’t you get?

  21. Bears fan here. I always liked Orton on a personal level. Seemed like a decent guy with his head in the right place. Got the short end of the stick in Denver with the Tebow situation (and didn’t help himself much), and had a pretty good career backing up Romo in Dallas. I thought the last game he played for Dallas last year was of starter QB quality… although it was a loss.

    Happy Trails to you, Kyle. If you’re back on the football field, I’ll root for you. And if not, I’ll root for you too.

  22. When will Jerry Jones learn that you can’t just have scrub after scrub at the backup QB position? Oh, well, I’m not really to concerned about it since I’m a Redskins fan. 🙂

    Brandon Weeden. Ahahahaha!

  23. If Weeden gets to start ANY games, I can’t wait to see them. If everyone’s lucky he will do the flipper move.

    Oh my LORD, has any QB held on to the ball longer & buckled under pressure like this guy did in Cleveland???

  24. If Romo goes down, the Cowboys will have to hope Weeden can be a lot better than he looked in Cleveland the last two years.
    With Romo the Cowboys will be the same crappy team they’ve been since his rise to starter in 2006. YIKES

  25. tennesseeoilers says:
    Jul 16, 2014 11:41 AM
    No need to relocate … Just change uniforms as he becomes the Texans’ new starter.


    This. I’d take the Rev. Orton Heat over Fitzmagic.

  26. He will sign with the Raiders within a month. For all of you bashing him, he was probably the most capable backup in the league last year.

  27. Orton forced Jurrah’s frozen hand to cut him so he could fulfill his life long dream of being a “professional eater” – Jack Daniels division.

  28. Unless he formally filed his retirement papers with the league he could play for another team this year.

    If he did he could un-retire after 12 months I believe.

    But since the Cowboys cut him he can do whatever he wants unless he already filed.

    But why keep playing at this point if he’s not into it ? He’s made tons of money and if he’s beens smart with any of it, even the 3 mil he doesn’t have to pay back now then he never has to work another day in his life nor does his family.

  29. @dallasdominates

    Compared to that 5-15 record your current backup holds…

  30. Baseplucker, WHY would the Bears want a guy who quits ? Orton quit on the Cowboys for no reason, he isn’t injured , he isn’t recovering from an injury , he just gave up. He hasn’t worked out and frankly, he wasn’t that much of a QB to begin with. Save your Cutler hate for your dog, and be the good packer fan and inbreed

  31. Considering the gift that was just given to Orton, he shouldn’t even consider signing with another team. The Cowboys easily could’ve gone after his signing bonus money, but they didn’t. Rarely does a team do a nice thing for a player, no need to throw it back in their faces.

  32. AFCN could use you KO.
    Big Ben > Orton > Flacco > Dalton > Hoyer > Manziel

  33. dallasdominates says:
    Jul 16, 2014 12:05 PM
    For anyone who cares.. Kyle Orton has started a grand 70 career starts. His record?

    35-35… Adiós Kyle Orton.
    Sounds like a VERY GOOD back-up.

    So tell me, who’s your back-up now, and what is his record?

  34. I don’t think it’s about the money, it sounds like after nearly a decade in the NFL, he’s content with walking away. Wish him the best either way

  35. Two points:

    (1) It is critical to have a strong / competent / seasoned backup quarterback. The Cowboy GM has really cut his team’s throat here.

    If Tony “OH No” Romo is not 100% healthy, is not in perfect synch with the offense and/or goes down again – kiss the season goodbye.

    (2) Kyle Orton was smart. He wants to win and wants to be part of a functional team. Hats off to his posture and final move with the Dallas ball club.

    Bottom line, it is sad that Dallas Cowboys have GM and Owner JJ. He constantly kills the Golden Goose. Sad times in Dallas and Texas. Time is passing quickly and the Cowboy have missed their shot at the title.

  36. Most teams are screwed if they lose their starting QB during the season for more then a couple games. Can’t believe Weeden could be worse then many other back-up’s, at least he’s started on a semi-pro team.

  37. Thank God, now the Vikings have somewhere to send Christian Ponder.

  38. SF last? when? Anyway, Orton restructured his deal to free up cap space when the cowboys/redskins went 20 million over in the non-capped year, so the Cowboys could sign ANYONE after the Roy Williams/Marion Barber contracts ate all of their cap space. His contract was retroactively pro-rated into signing bonus to free up immediate cap space. The cowboys didn’t throw free money at him, they were forced to do it, and he (of course) agreed. In addition, he was cut, intentionally sacrificing the 3.25 million owed to him due to the restructuring. He didn’t rob anyone, he didnt get a gift, it just simply worked out in his favor because JJ doesnt know how to run a team, yet is far too ego-maniacal to hire someone who does. Really the same reason they had to let their only good player go this year (DeMarcus Ware). Consider the magnitude of the reality that Denver can afford to pay him fresh out of a SB appearance, but the cowboys are still paying players from 2 years ago that aren’t even on the team anymore. Kyle is a class act that made a very smart decision putting his financial future in the hands of Jerry Jones.

  39. Really, what team would want Orton to start all year? Even with Orton on a qb challenged team, they’d still be a qb challenged team. Name one team that Orton would turn into a playoff team? If he doesn’t turn them into a playoff team, then what’s the point?

  40. As a Redskin fan, whenever I feel depressed all I have to do is check out what’s happening with the Cowboys. Romo who was overpaid by Jerry is coming off back surgery, and Brandon Weeden, a castoff from the Browns, is the only QB backup…..With all their losses on defense in free agency, their injuries, and Jerry Jone’s “brilliant” moves running the team….It looks like the Cowboys are primed for last place in the NFC East!

  41. I would seriously draft Christian Ponder or Kirk Cousins before Brandon Weeden (Hey, his last name makes sense since both he and Gordon were on the browns).

  42. So now that this move is official, will Dallas sign a capable QB for their #2 slot?

  43. The Foo Fighters are on tour again and they need their lead singer back.

  44. spurtbball says: Jul 16, 2014 2:20 PM

    As a Redskin fan, whenever I feel depressed all I have to do is check out what’s happening with the Cowboys.
    So that’s why you are always posting on Cowboy articles…..

  45. Really? We are talking about Kyle Orton and this is news? The guy hasn’t been relevant in quite a while just like the cowboys.

  46. Financially, the situation is a wash for both parties – Orton keeps the $3 million signing bonus money, but he loses the $3.25 million he would have earned if he had played this year.

  47. there is so much ignornace in this thread it is ASTOUNDING!

    Orton’s “signing” bonus (which people are either saying he should have to pay back, “stole” from Dallas, or he got lucky) wasn’t really a signing bonus. Orton’s “signing” bonus wasnt the result of a new contract, it was the result of converting his existing salary into a signing bonus so as to provide immediate cap relief a few years ago.

    Look at it this way: lets his salary was supposed to be 10 mil for a particular year (using a bigger number for easier illustration purposes only). He converts it to 1 mill base salary, and a signing bonus of 9 mill. He still gets all 10 paid at the same time, but the 9 mill cap value is spread out over the remaining course of the contract.

    So Dallas wanting him to pay back the signing bonus is crap. FIRST they sign him to a bad contract. THEN they ask him to restructure bc Jerry and Stephen suck at cap management decisions, and they need relief. THEN they wanted him to pay back money he had already rightfully earned a year or two ago?!

    Obviously the numbers are different, but the principle is the same.

    Anyone saying something other than Dallas did the fair thing by simply letting him walk, is either clueless of the situation, or a hater. As far as Orton is concerned, if he doesnt want to play (in Dallas specifically or the NFL in general) so be it. But asking him to pay back money he rightfully earned in an effort to provide cap relief, is ridiculous.

  48. geefan1 says:
    Jul 16, 2014 2:39 PM
    So now that this move is official, will Dallas sign a capable QB for their #2 slot?


    Based on Jerrah’s track record I’m going with “no”.

  49. Wow Dallas is one hit away from Flipper Weeden being their starter!?!?! Good luck Dallas, better say a prayer before every game, take it from a Browns fan.

  50. Typical move by JJ and the Cowbabies. Someday, just maybe, they’ll be the Cowboys again, after the demise of JJ.

  51. harrisonhits2 says: Jul 16, 2014 12:30 PM

    Unless he formally filed his retirement papers with the league he could play for another team this year.

    If he did he could un-retire after 12 months I believe.
    Unless something has changed since Favre-watch, un-retiring is a simple matter of sending a fax and waiting a few days for the league to process it. There is no 12 month requirement that I know of

  52. One of the ugliest dudes to ever play professional football, and yes, I’m aware that Eli Manning exists.

  53. Be afraid of the Eagles!
    They are the team with the:

    The Best Running Back
    The Best Running Back Combo
    The Best QB in the League
    The Best Offense
    The Best WR Corp
    The Much Improved Defense
    And the Best Coaching Staff Ever!

    Haters gonna Hate!

  54. Bring the BUZZ back to Dallas…
    This would be a great day in Dallas, if Jerry Jones would bring in Vince Young.. Give him that chance to finally play for his home state…. It would be a WIN-WIN situation for everybody involved…
    This would be the best insurance policy a team could ever have…
    (NFL Rookie of the Year, 2 Pro Bowls, Playoff experience and Mobility). Vince has a career winning record of 31-19…
    It would definitely upgrade the team’s quarterback pool…

  55. What people failed to realize is that if Romo goes down with and or without Orton, the Cowboys are doomed. Orton was a “serviceable” back-up at best. After all, if he couldn’t win a starting job with the Kansas City Chiefs with all of their QB problems, why do people seem to think that if Romo were to be injured, he could lead the ‘Boys to the Promise Land. So it appears that everyone is making it seem as if the world is coming to an end with the loss of Orton. His entire NFL career stats show him to be 35-35. Good riddance if you ask me. If he wants to take his talents elsewhere, don’t let the door hit him in the back. Another thing to keep in mind is that his salary for this year was not and the operative is NOT guaranteed. Yes, the ‘Boys will take a “cap” hit but they will gain more financial relief in return.

  56. Maybe Orton has his own personal reasons for not returning.
    I wish him health and happiness. I think he still has game, but well see if he comes back with another team. Maybe he was just tired of being Romo’s lap dog.

  57. I loved it last year when Orton threw the game-ending interception against the Eagles, and the Cowboys’ owner turned around and yelled at his GM.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.