As much as Dallas Cowboys fans might want Alex Tanney as the backup to Tony Romo, that role again will go to Kyle Orton. The Cowboys signed the veteran quarterback to a three-year, $10.5 million deal, with $5 million to sign, last year.
Despite Orton’s struggles Saturday against the Cardinals, the Cowboys still have faith in him if something were to happen to Romo.
“He’s played a lot of good football for us — both in practice and preseason games and when he had a chance to play last year,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said, “and we have a lot of confidence in him.”
But Orton made a “couple of bad decisions” against the Cardinals. In three offensive drives, Orton was 4-for-8 for 36 yards with two interceptions and a 22.9 passer rating.
“Anytime you get to go out and play, you don’t want to turn the ball over, especially the way the game started,” Orton said Monday. “To go out and add to it and throw a couple of picks, it was just two poor decisions. Nothing that I haven’t seen. I just made two bad decisions. I’ll learn from it like everybody else and go out and play great next week.”
In three preseason games, Orton is 12-for-17 for 113 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Tanney got Cowboys fans excited with his performance last week when he completed 14 of 19 passes for 136 yards with a touchdown and an interception for an 88.9 passer rating.
But Jason Garrett always has had a veteran quarterback behind Romo with Brad Johnson, then Jon Kitna and now Orton. Tanney isn’t likely to change the Cowboys’ minds about keeping a third quarterback on the 53-player roster either. They have too many injuries at other positions that will need addressing with roster spots.
“We value the quarterback position a lot,” Garrett said. “We would love to have a third quarterback, but roster spots are competitive in this league. You have to make a lot of decisions. You’ve got to figure out who is going to help your team, developing a player versus this guy can help our team right now. That is a good question we have.
“We feel good about our starting quarterback. We feel good about our backup quarterback. Now would like to bring a guy along, what capacity would you like to bring him along in? I don’t know that. Tanney did a good job the other night, though.”