VALLEY RANCH SHAKE-UP: Veteran QB Matt Cassel back in the saddle | Rookie La’el Collins rejoining the trenches | RB Christine Michael to get more reps | Dallas Cowboys bye-week report 2015

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IRVING, Texas – The bye week is typically a time to make some adjustments and even big changes. The Dallas Cowboys are doing just that.

Head coach Jason Garrett confirmed in his press conference today that the offense will change two key positions, including the quarterback. Veteran Matt Cassel, who was acquired by trade three weeks ago, will replace Brandon Weeden as the Cowboys’ starting quarterback.

Cassel, who has inactive for two games against Atlanta and New Orleans, moved up to the No. 2 quarterback last week against the Patriots.

“We decided (Tuesday) to do this and spoke to both of the players,” Garrett said. “There are a lot of different reasons you make a decision like this. You evaluate the quarterback and what we’re asking them to do on a daily basis and weekly basis. Also at this position, you look at how the offense is performing and this position has an impact on the entire offensive unit. It certainly has an impact on how the team is performing. Sometimes it’s fair and sometimes it’s unfair but it’s the nature of the position.”

The Cowboys, who have endured their first three-game losing streak since Garrett took over as head coach in 2010, haven’t won without Tony Romo, who suffered the broken collarbone injury in Week 2 against the Eagles.

Weeden has now lost 11 straight starts, both in Dallas and Cleveland. Garrett said he move to the No. 2 spot.

In more of a surprising move, Garrett said the Cowboys will also switch the left guard position, inserting rookie La’el Collins to the starting lineup ahead of Ron Leary.

Collins, who started the Week 3 game against the Falcons in place of Leary, who had a groin injury, has been inactive the last two games.

Garrett said he spoke to both Collins and Leary about the move and said it’s the best decision for the offense.

“We really just watched the tape of the guys who played and how they played in game situations,” Garrett said. “We evaluated his tape vs. Ron’s tape and felt like over the last couple of weeks he is deserving of this opportunity right now.”

As for other moves, Garrett said Christine Michael will get more work in the running back rotation but wouldn’t go as far to say he will start, only that he will get some reps with Joseph Randle and Darren McFadden.


Brandon Weeden displeased but only one play away, again


IRVING, TexasBrandon Weeden has probably had better birthdays.

Today, 32-year-old Brandon Weeden practiced as the No. 2 quarterback.  He also stood in front of his locker at Valley Ranch and answered questions regarding the demotion. Naturally, his competitive nature was on display.

“Well, how do you think I took it?” Weeden said in reference to the decision to start Matt Cassel in the next game. “Obviously I’m pissed. It’s the nature of this business. I have to be ready. I’m back in that positon. I’m one play away again. It’s my role again.”

Weeden said he expressed his displeasure to head coach Jason Garrett, who delivered the news to him yesterday (Tuesday) about his demotion.

“They know how I feel,” he said. “They know I’m pissed. But I’m a pro. There’s not a whole lot I can say.”

Garrett announced the news to the media today (Wednesday), applauded Weeden on the way he handled the news, and the way he played in his three starts.

“Brandon is a competitor. He wants to play,” Garrett said. “He did a lot of good things over the course of the last three weeks as a starter for this team. There are some things he should really be proud of in his performance. There are some things obviously he needs to improve upon but that’s everybody on our football team. He’s a professional. He wants to play. He wants to be the guy who is in there but he understands the situation we’re in as a team, he understands the decision, he understands the motivation for the decision. We think it’s in the best interest of our football team and he took it like a pro.”

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