Dallas Cowboys Kyle Orton

Dallas Cowboys backup quarterback Kyle Orton has been released

By Mathew Postins


The Kyle Orton saga is over. It looks like the quarterback won.

The Dallas Cowboys released Orton on Wednesday, several months after the 31-year old quarterback first expressed an interest in retiring from football.

Orton skipped all of the optional preseason workouts and the mandatory mini-camp in June, actions that cost him more than $100,000 in bonus money and fines. Up until mini-camp the Cowboys made it clear they expected to see Orton in Dallas. But after mini-camp came and went the team expressed disappointment that Orton did not show and tempered expectations that Orton might materialize at training camp.

By releasing Orton now the Cowboys are off the hook for Orton’s base salary of $3.25 million this season, though they will have to absorb a cap hit of $1.1275 million in dead money this season and $2.255 million in dead money in 2015, according to ESPNDallas.com.

Brandon Weeden is now the presumed backup to Tony Romo, while Caleb Hanie would be the third-string quarterback, if the Cowboys decide to keep three quarterbacks.

Orton, who played well in the Cowboys’ season finale in place of Romo last season, not only exits Dallas with the opportunity to play elsewhere this season, if he chooses, he also does not have to pay back his signing bonus. Had Orton retired, he would have been compelled to pay about $3 million back to the Cowboys in bonus money.

The Cowboys had no public comment.