IRVING, Texas – Unlike other backup quarterbacks, Brandon Weeden knows he can't complain about a lack of reps during the week.
While it's never as much as the starting quarterback, Weeden has at least gotten all of the snaps on Wednesdays this year, and this week, with Tony Romo still ailing from a back injury, he's getting Thursday work as well.
Does that mean he will play Sunday? No one seems to know and even Weeden isn't trying to find the answer. All he can do is be ready if his number is called to start against the 6-1 Cardinals.
"I'm going to do it like I've been doing up until this point and just prepare mentally, physically like I'm going to play," Weeden said. "That's the only way you can really do it, and if you do it any other way, it's tough. I'm just going to treat it like I'm playing on Sunday. If I do, good, and if I don't, I'll be ready if something happens. Who knows, we'll see. I'll see as the week goes on. I'm not sure how (Romo) is feeling. I'll just play it by ear and keep doing what I've been doing."
And if he does have to play, Weeden said it'll be his job to make sure the offense functions like it has in the first half of the season.
"That's the plan. My job as a quarterback is to keep the train on the track – keep it rolling," he said. "I think the nice thing about this offense is we have so many weapons around us. As a quarterback, you look out there and you've got great receivers, 10 other guys are great players. The communication standpoint is probably going to be a little different because Tony likes to do a bunch of stuff if he sees something; he's been unbelievable at it. I'm just going to go out there and try to be efficient. Get the ball in their hands and let them do the hard work, and see if we can go out and be successful offensively."
Last week, Weeden entered the game in the third quarter and led the Cowboys to 10 points on just two possessions. Weeden did have a pair of incomplete throws to Dez Bryant in the red zone that led to a Cowboys field goal, but he threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Jason Witten on his second drive that tied the game early in the fourth quarter.
Overall, Weeden said there were some things that needed to be cleaned up, but he sounded pleased with his performance based on the circumstances.
"Not bad. Obviously what short amount of time I was in there, I think we put together two pretty good drives," Weeden said. "I think DeMarco [Murray] started the first one off with a big run. Unfortunately, we weren't able to capitalize with the touchdown, but we came away with points. But, you know, not bad. It was a small sample size, but pretty efficient."
And that's the word Weeden said a few times throughout his interview session this week – efficient.
He doesn't sound like he's trying to set passing records if he gets in the game. The goal will be to keep the offense running the same and make sure he eliminates mistakes.
Weeden also knows he must make the Cardinals pay for loading up the box to stop the run. Arizona enters the league ranked third in run defense, allowing just 77.9 rushing yards per game.
[embeddedad0]"When you get one-dimensional and you can't run it or you can't throw it or vice versa, it's tough to win in this league," Weeden said. "I think there was times last year, last two years, when we got one-dimensional and we weren't able to do what we needed to do in either facet of the game. Playing this position is so hard. That's the nice thing about this team. I think we're pretty much 50-50 run-pass and we're explosive with both of them. It's going to be a good test for us. I think we need to stay two-dimensional and we need to run the football like we have been and make big plays when we have the opportunity to throw it."
Weeden certainly sounds like he'll be ready if called upon. Now, all he can do is wait for the call.