Cowboys Release Kyle Orton After Two Seasons as Romo’s Backup

The Dallas Cowboys released quarterback Kyle Orton, leaving Brandon Weeden as the backup to starter Tony Romo, who is coming back from surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back.

Orton, 31, has said he planned to retire and didn’t show up for any of the Cowboys’ offseason activities, NFL.com said.

Orton, a former starter for the Chicago Bears and Denver Broncos, appeared in four games for the Cowboys over the past two seasons. He took over as Dallas’s starter for the regular-season finale last year after Romo had back surgery. He completed 30 of 46 passes for 358 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in a 24-22 loss to Philadelphia.

Weeden, 30, signed with the Cowboys in March after compiling a 5-15 record as the Cleveland Browns’ starting quarterback over the past two seasons. Weeden worked with the Cowboys’ first-team offense during offseason minicamp as Romo continued to recover from his surgery.

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