Cowboys' stalemate with Orton continues in mandatory minicamp

Cowboys' stalemate with Orton continues in mandatory minicamp

Credit: Getty Images

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 29: Kyle Orton #18 of the Dallas Cowboys prepares for their game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Cowboys Stadium on December 29, 2013 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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by LANDON HAAF

WFAA Sports

Posted on June 17, 2014 at 4:33 PM

Cowboys quarterback - and I use that term lightly - Kyle Orton is making a run at Kardashian-esque fame and fortune this offseason.

Just as the three alliterate sisters have achieved celebrity status by way of no real accomplishments or anything noteworthy that doesn’t involve Ray J, Orton is quickly becoming the most talked-about player on the roster, for doing absolutely nothing at all.

After missing all of the Cowboys’ organized team activities, Orton was a no-show for the first day of mandatory minicamp Tuesday. He hasn’t shown any indication of a desire to continue to be an NFL quarterback since he stepped off the field after a Week 17 loss to Philadelphia last season.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said the team was aware that Orton wasn’t going to be at Tuesday’s camp, and the organization is handling all of its business with him just the way the agreements call for.

“Our consequences have been pre-negotiated when we did our contract. The organization has visited with his representation,” Jones said. “We’ll let it play out from there.”

“I’m not going to get into details because I have not visited with him personally,” he said.

The crux of the Orton saga is that the backup quarterback doesn’t want to pay back the $3 million he is owed on his contract by retiring, while the team doesn’t want to release its backup quarterback and owe him the money. Head coach Jason Garrett said the club will not do anything with the roster regarding Orton’s absence at this point.

“What we have to do as a football team and as an organization is move on,” Garrett said. “We addressed that head on with how we’re going to handle the logistics and the business side of it.”

The main focus in the standoff with Orton is to coach the players that do show up for practice.

“Situations like this provide opportunities,” Garrett said. “The other quarterbacks who are getting the work in his absence are taking advantage of that work and it’s good for our football team.”

Jones said Orton’s situation has given the team a chance to evaluate its young quarterbacks, something it needed to do. When a player misses practice, someone else must step up, he said.

Romo close to being cleared

The quarterback that was trying to get extra reps in the apathy-induced absence of Orton and the injury-induced absence of Tony Romo was… Tony Romo?

Romo attempted a switcheroo with Caleb Hanie during Tuesday’s practice, putting on Hanie’s no. 7 jersey and breaking the huddle to take a snap in 7-on-7 drills.

The Cowboys coaches caught on to the scheme and pulled him out of the drill, as Romo is currently limited to working against air and not facing competition. The rehabbing QB said he is anxious to get back to said competition, though.

“I think any time you’re getting healthier and getting ready to go you want to ramp it up. We’ll have plenty of time for that soon,” he said.

He hopes to be cleared for all football activity by the time the team’s July 22 training camp rolls around. The Cowboys are “being smart” with Romo’s back injury, which may include limiting his work at the beginning of training camp.

“I think the plan going in will be to maybe target the number of throws or number of reps to be smart early on but my plan is to go full-go unless something changes,” Romo said.

The veteran signal-caller said he feels healthy enough to do a lot of normal things on the field now, and said he is “at the end” of his rehab process.

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