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Mailbag: What Is The Benefit Of Releasing Orton?


Why would the Cowboys choose to release Kyle Orton and not force his hand to retire? Not only does it let him off the signing bonus hook, but it is a cap hit for the Cowboys. What is the benefit to release him other than just moving forward?

Nick: Actually it's not a hit on the cap. There is some dead money but not as much as what they save in his salary. He actually creates about $1 million in space this year. The benefits of cutting him not only frees up a little room to sign Tyron Smith and/or Dez Bryant, but I think it removes that cloud hanging over the team and the quarterback position. Now everyone knows the deal and it's Weeden's job to keep. I don't have a problem with the cut.

David:If you were following along during OTAs and minicamp, you remember how big of a talking point Orton's absence was. There's something to be said for the importance of your backup quarterback when your starter is coming off a back surgery, but I don't think the Cowboys wanted this to hang over training camp. The money issue is manageable, and now this narrative will take a [embedded_ad] backseat to other matter when the team gets to Oxnard.

Getting sick of players failing to show up, taking money, and then playing elsewhere. Is there any chance we get money back from Orton at this point? What makes this different than the Ratliff situation?

Nick: No, the Cowboys won't have the chance to get any money back from Orton since they cut him. The difference with Ratliff is health. Ratliff was supposedly so hurt that he couldn't play and suddenly he ends up with another team. That's why a grievance was filed to the league. Orton simply held out and it was a standoff between the team and the quarterback. Finally, they decided it wasn't worth it and moved on by cutting him. If he decides to play on another team, there's nothing the Cowboys can really do about it. Guys sit out all the time and the Cowboys decided it was time to cut the cord.

David: There's another thing worth pointing out here: if everything went according to plan, Orton wouldn't have played a meaningful snap of football this season, whereas Ratliff was a Pro Bowler who the Cowboys were hoping could be one of the main difference-makers on the defensive line. At the end of the day, I think the team just decided that the money lost by cutting Orton was worth getting this problem off their plate.

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