By Matthew Postins
The Dallas Cowboys concluded their minicamp on June 13, which means players and coaches are off until late July when the team goes to training camp in Oxnard, CA. For the next several days RattleandHumSports.com will update each position group to see if anything has changed since we checked in before Organized Team Activities began in May.
Projected depth chart: (1) Tony Romo, (2) Kyle Orton, (3) Nick Stephens, (4) Dalton Williams.
Last year: Romo threw for nearly 5,000 yards and 28 touchdowns for, statistically, one of his best seasons. He threw a career-high 19 interceptions, including an interception in the fourth quarter of the season finale against Washington that cost the Cowboys a chance to drive for a potential game-winning and division-winning touchdown. Orton threw 10 passes in mop-up duty.
Current health: Romo started throwing around the football toward the mini-camp, indicating that he appears to be on his way to fully recovering from surgery to remove a cyst on his back.
During Mini-Camp: Orton took most of the reps with the first team, while Stephens and Williams handled second-team and third team. During minicamp it was revealed that the Cowboys put in a waiver claim on free-agent quarterback Mike Kafka, a claim that failed. That led to speculation that the Cowboys were seeking to turn over one of their quarterback positions. Meanwhile Romo told reporters he didn’t care that he appeared to fall out of the “Top 100 NFL Players,” as selected by his peers.
The Star: Orton, if you have to pick one. He told reporters at one point that he hadn’t gotten this many reps “in years” as OTAs and minicamp wore on. Reportedly Orton wasn’t as sharp as he was in workouts last year, but that could be nothing. If nothing else he’s built a foundation with Dez Bryant, Miles Austin and Jason Witten should Romo come up with an injury during the season. The Cowboys are hoping that doesn’t happen. The Cowboys are really hoping that doesn’t happen.
Between now and July: Will the Cowboys make a move to add another quarterback? That’s the insinuation left by the pursuit of Kafka. It doesn’t seem likely that the Cowboys will part with Orton, as owner and general manager Jerry Jones appreciates having an experienced quarterback behind his starter. The Cowboys could pursue a change with either Stephens or Williams, as neither really stood out during offseason workouts. A move, from here, seems unlikely.
Next: Running backs and fullbacks.