NFL Free Agent Rumors: Kyle Orton Signs with Dallas and What It Really Means

David Levin@@davidlevin71Senior Writer IIMarch 16, 2012

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 01:  Quarterback Kyle Orton #8 of the Kansas City Chiefs warms up prior to facing the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 1, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Chiefs defeated the Broncos 7-3 as the Broncos advanced to the AFC playoffs.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

When Kyle Orton and Dallas inked a deal on Tuesday for the former Denver and Kansas City starter to back up current Cowboys starter Tony Romo, it was possibly the best place for the jettisoned quarterback.

But instead of everyone seeing the signing as a signal that things might not be cozy in "Big D," maybe it should be looked at in terms of what the deal means: security.

For everything Romo has been to this team (minus the fact he has only won a single playoff game since coming to the Cowboys), he has dealt with injuries that have left him either on injured reserved or playing with broken ribs or some other ailment that he has played through.

Orton is no slouch by any means and has been a starter in Chicago, Denver and Kansas City. He knows how to run an offense and is as good a manager of a game as there is. While he does not have the "Manning" arm or the chutzpah of Drew Brees, his even demeanor will be beneficial should Romo go down with another injury. As Steve Wyche writes in his column on

"This was not a move to make Romo perk up and play better. Orton is hardly a threat. Sure, he has started and won plenty of games in the NFL. But if he was playing at a high level, he wouldn't be signing to be someone's backup. In fact, he wouldn't have been a free agent at all.

Orton is insurance that so many teams don't have but desperately need -- especially if they want to make a deep playoff run."

Other teams like Miami, Arizona, Seattle and Cleveland are still looking for answers to their quarterback and passing situations. Dallas has taken care of that. Again, the teams that know how to draft and sign viable free agents continue to do so and reap the benefits of their success.

And, if you really want to put a spin on what the Cowboys did, they may have added trade value on their team. As Wyche also stated, a scenario like this could happen.

"Suppose Romo gets injured and has to sit out three or four games next season. Orton steps in, goes 3-1 and plays well. Besides the inherent quarterback controversy that would arise simply because of the team and market, Orton's trade value would spike, giving the Cowboys a potential bargaining chip in the offseason," Wyche wrote.

It has happened before and we all know in the NFL, it will happen again. While Orton is not a "first-round" trade option, he could still be had for a nice price.

Dallas did very well to sign a player like Orton. What it did not do is create a media hassle the team should not have to deal with.