IRVING, Texas – Throughout the offseason, both Jason Garrett and Jerry Jones have tried to dismiss the notion of backup quarterback Kyle Orton not participating in the voluntary workouts and have reiterated their expectations that Orton will be back for the mandatory events. Garrett even said a handful of times Saturday in between rookie minicamp practices that he expects Orton back.
However, quarterback coach Wade Wilson, who goes back with Orton to their days in Chicago, admitted a bit of frustration that Orton has been a no-show this offseason.
"Kinda, I would love for his heart to be into football and be with the guys," Wilson said of Orton. "Especially since we've got some new stuff going on with Scott (Linehan). I would like for him to be here but its' certainly voluntary. There's nothing we can do about that."
Wilson, who served as the Bears' quarterback coach from 2004-06, coached Orton when he frist got to the NFL in 2005. He said he reached out once to Orton this spring but has since backed off and still hasn't talked to him since the season ended.
"Not since the end of the year. I texted him once," Wilson said. "I know his agent real well. He said to hold off for now."
If Orton decides to retire, he would owe about $3 million back to the Cowboys, who have signed Brandon Weeden and Caleb Hanie as insurance policies this summer.
Wilson said Weeden will be groomed as the No. 2 to Tony Romo if the Cowboys learn Orton has decided not to play this year.
"That's one of the reasons we signed him," Wilson said of Weeden. "He's a first-rounder coming out. Big arm – we like that. He's a mature guy. I don't think the stage will be too for him. I think he's young enough that he hasn't taken a bunch of hits. He still has a lot of hits left in him. [embedded_ad]
"But we're still hopeful Kyle will be here. If he doesn't, we feel good about Brandon especially since he's going through our offseason program."
This weekend, rookie Dustin Vaughan from West Texas A&M has handled the majority of the reps along with Kolton Browning, who is here on a workout basis.
Wilson said the main focus of the position has always been with Tony Romo, who is recovering nicely from his back surgery last December to repair a herniated disk.
"We're not trying to push him too hard," Wilson said of Romo. "The hope would be to get him going for het OTAs and for sure the minicamp at the end of the summer, and go from there."