Dallas Cowboys announced on Tuesday that they have released Brandon Weeden after opting for Matt Cassel to continue serving as a backup quarterback now when Tony Romo is healthy.
Tony Romo missed seven weeks with a fractured collarbone and Weeden replaced him as a starting QB in four games, completing 71 of 98 passes for 739 yards, recording two touchdowns and two interceptions with QB rating of 92.2. Those are pretty good numbers but can be deceiving. The Cowboys struggled to move the chains, and most of the Weeden’s passes were ineffective, usually completed for a small gain of a couple of yards. The veteran quarterback averaged only 18 points per game as a starter in defeats against the Falcons, Saints, and Patriots.
Matt Cassel, acquired in a trade with Buffalo Bills after Romo suffered an injury, wasn’t much better than Weeden in his four starts. The Cowboys lost all four games to the Giants, Seahawks, Eagles and Buccaneers. Cassel averaged 202 yards per game, threw three touchdowns and four interceptions in four games. Obviously, his numbers are not better than Weeden’s, but the Cowboys hierarchy decided to keep him as a more experienced quarterback and release Weeden.
Tony Romo is expected to be back next week and get a start against the Dolphins, and with Dez Bryant also back in contention after being sidelined for several weeks due to an injury; the Cowboys could be in the mix for a potential comeback after suffered seven defeats in a row. The NFC East division is well-balanced, and nothing is decided yet. Dallas is only a three wins behind the Giants (5-5), who are the leaders of the division, so mathematically, the Cowboys are still in.
It won’t be easy, though, especially with a tough upcoming schedule for Dallas. They will face Miami on Sunday and after that tilt, they need to win the undefeated Panthers. The Packers, Jets, Bills and two clashes against the divisional rivals the Redskins are also on the schedule.
At this point, Dallas Cowboys has a better chance to get the number one pick in the upcoming draft than reaching the playoffs this season. However, anything is possible, and it was evident that Romo is a crucial player for this club, so nobody can exclude the Cowboys out of the playoff picture, at least not before the chance theoretically exist.
Sunday is crucial for this franchise if they manage to beat the Dolphins, and some other divisional results are going on their hands, Dallas will get some confidence and even try to reach the postseason. Don’t write off Tony Romo and the Cowboys yet.