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Mailbag: What's The Plan If Kyle Orton Doesn't Come Back?


I'm getting a bit concerned that Kyle Orton hasn't "committed" yet. What plans do the Cowboys have if Orton decides to retire?

David: I think you're looking at them. Brandon Weeden's career in Cleveland isn't going to inspire a lot of confidence in his abilities, but he is a backup with starting experience, which isn't that common in the NFL. The Cowboys like him and think he can handle that role. I think one big difference is that if Orton does retire, the team likely carries three quarterbacks instead of two. I'd guess that third spot will be up for grabs between Caleb Hanie and the rookie Dustin Vaughan.

Rowan: Well, it's concerning. I don't think there are any other grand plans other than the ones the Cowboys currently have. It's troubling that Orton hasn't been around during the voluntary workouts during an offseason of talk about retirement. It's very possible the Cowboys first and second quarterbacks are Tony Romo and Brandon Weeden this year.

How many more years do you think Jason Witten will play? Do you think he will be able to keep the up the production?

David:This is a well-time question, considering Witten said about a week ago that he hasn't even considered retirement. Barring some kind of significant injury, I wouldn't expect him to call it quits any time in the next four years – which is the duration of his [embedded_ad] current contract. It's hard to bet against his stats. Even when his catch total was low, like last season, he put together one of the best touchdown tallies of his career. And it was only 2012 when he set the tight end receptions record.

Rowan: He's signed through 2017, and I expect he'll stick around through the end of that contract before deciding whether or not to retire. My guess is he stays a Cowboy for the duration of his contract. He's 32 right now, and I expect him to make it to at least 35 while still being a reliable player. Will he 70-80 catch, 800-1,000-yard receiver throughout that time? Probably not. But he's always been good at dissecting defenses and finding the right spot to sit in zones without relying on blazing speed, so I expect he'll still be able to be a useful player for another few years.

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