(Editor’s Note: In conjunction with the DallasCowboys.com position series, here’s a look back at how each player performed last season. Today’s piece features the quarterbacks.)
Tony Romo -- At times, Romo had impressive stats, including a 31-10 touchdown to interception ratio. His game against the Broncos was record-setting in terms of passing yards. But ultimately, he didn’t get the Cowboys in the Win Column for that game, or in the playoffs for the third straight year. The back injury that forced him out of the season finale proved to be a difference-maker.
Brandon Weeden -- He didn’t exactly look like the first-round pick Cleveland was hoping for. He went 0-5 as a starter and was benched, which led to him being released. The Cowboys are hoping a better offensive supporting cast will enhance Weeden’s game if he makes the team and is forced to play this year.
Caleb Hanie -- While he was on the Browns’ roster for all 16 games, he did not take a single snap for the second straight year. Ironically enough, he was behind Weeden on Cleveland’s depth chart like he is here in Dallas.
Dustin Vaughan-- Vaughan was one of the top quarterbacks on the Division II level, earning All-American honors and he was the runner-up for the Harlon Hill Award, which is the D-2 equivalent of the Heisman Trophy. With a Division II record 5,041 yards last season, Vaughan was the only QB on any collegiate level to surpass 5,000 yards. He left school as West Texas
A&M’s all-time leading passer with 13,525, which is also a Lone Star Conference record.
Scout’s Take: With the release of Kyle Orton a week before the team departs for Oxnard, California, the backup quarterback position is now clearer. Brandon Weeden will be the man behind Tony Romo, but what will be interesting from a roster standpoint is if the front office decides to keep three active quarterbacks. Caleb Hanie has the most experience in the league in regard to his years of service, but these scouts are extremely high on Dustin Vaughan and he could very well get the nod over Hanie -- a big picture move for the future. The last two seasons, this front office has decided to go with just two quarterbacks, which has saved the extra roster spot. But with the health questions surrounding Tony Romo going into camp, I don’t believe they can take that chance. With questions at other positions as well, having to keep that third quarterback on the roster will affect some other plans such as an extra receiver, tight end, defensive linemen or linebacker. – Bryan Broaddus