Brandon Weeden Would Be Logical Addition as Backup QB for Dallas Cowboys

Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IIMarch 14, 2014

Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden warms up before an NFL football game against the New York Jets Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J.  (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Kathy Willens/Associated Press

Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden may not be good enough to be a starter, but it makes sense for the Dallas Cowboys to pursue him as a backup to Tony Romo.

Weeden was released by the Browns on Wednesday, according to the team's official Twitter account, playing just two seasons for Cleveland after being selected No. 22 overall in the 2012 NFL draft.

During those two seasons, Weeden didn't exactly put up the best numbers. He played in 23 games, completing just 55.9 percent of his passes for 5,116 yards, 23 touchdowns and 26 interceptions, giving him a 71.8 passer rating.

Brandon Weeden's Season Stats

Still, those numbers could be worse, and at 30 years old, Weeden still likely has plenty of football left in him. With experience as a starter, teams will take a look at Weeden as an emergency backup in the event their starting quarterback gets hurt, and that appears to be exactly what the Cowboys are planning to do.

ESPN's Todd Archer reported that the Cowboys had expressed interest in the 30-year-old quarterback, and if the team did decide to bring in Weeden, the move would make a lot sense.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - AUGUST 24:  Brandon Weeden #3 of the Cleveland Browns  passes the ball during the preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 24, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Currently, the Cowboys already have a backup QB in Kyle Orton, who will be turning 32 years old next season. However, Orton is in the final year of a three-year deal worth $10.5 million, according to Spotrac, and given how much he's making, it's unlikely the team will use their club option to keep him through 2016.

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 22:  Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys scrambles with the ball in the second half during an NFL game against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on December 22, 2013 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Patrick McDermot
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Considering the fact that the Cowboys would lose nearly $3.4 million in dead cap space if they cut Orton, it seems unlikely that they'll release him if they do sign Weeden. This means that if the former Browns QB does come to Dallas, he'll likely be the third-string quarterback until 2015.

While the Cowboys aren't known to have three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster, this year might be an exception. Romo is coming off of a back injury that kept him from playing in the team's Week 17 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles, potentially costing them a shot at winning the NFC East and making the playoffs.

While Romo should be healthy for next season, keeping a third quarterback is still a safe move in 2014, in the event he gets hurt once again. Dallas, then, won't have to bring in a 41-year-old quarterback like Jon Kitna at the last minute to be an emergency backup to Orton.

Weeden also would make sense as a natural fit with the Cowboys. He was teammates with Dez Bryant in 2008 and 2009 at Oklahoma State, and that connection with the team's top receiver could go a long way compared to other backups.

While Weeden may not have been a successful quarterback during his two seasons with the Browns, he has a chance to get a fresh start as a backup if the Cowboys decide to bring him in, and it would be a smart move for both sides.