Brandon Weeden signs with Cowboys

Monday March 17th, 2014

Brandon Weeden signs with Dallas Cowboys Brandon Weeden was 0-5 as a starter with the Browns last season. (Greg Nelson/SI)

Brandon Weeden's second -- and last? -- shot as an NFL quarterback will come in Dallas.

The former first-round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns signed a two-year deal, worth the league minimum ($570,000 in 2014) according to the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, to join the Cowboys. Weeden figures to slot in behind starter Tony Romo and backup Kyle Orton, assuming the latter opts to return amid rumors that he may be considering retirement. The Cowboys would save less than $1 million on the 2014 cap and would take a dead-money hit of nearly $3.4 million by releasing Orton.

At the bargain-basement price he apparently cost, Weeden does not represent too much of a risk for Dallas. The odds are heavily stacked against Weeden, who turns 31 in October, ever developing into much of a reliable NFL quarterback. He may have a shot to stick as a backup, though, despite his miserable first two seasons.

Tossed into the Browns' starting lineup as a rookie in 2012, Weeden threw 17 interceptions to 14 touchdowns, with a completion percentage of 57.4. He had and lost the starting job multiple times in 2013, finishing with an 0-5 record in that role.

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Cleveland opted to move forward this offseason with Brian Hoyer, who provided a jolt of life last year before suffering a season-ending knee injury. Both Weeden and Jason Campbell were released ahead of the start of free agency.

Dallas emerged as a possible landing spot for Weeden in part because that organization reportedly had him graded highly headed into the 2012 draft. Romo's presence there made another QB selection an unnecessary move, but two years later the Cowboys will finally get their shot to find out what Weeden can do.

Based on what we've seen so far, there is not a whole lot to see. Grade: C. It doesn't sound like this is going to set the cash-strapped Cowboys back much financially, so the Weeden addition essentially amounts to throwing a dart. Perhaps, free of Cleveland's disharmony and issues on offense, Weeden can show some signs of life in Dallas -- at least enough to provide a fall-back plan for when Orton either exits or retires. Don't hold your breath.

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