IRVING, Texas – The bye week is a mere two days old, but changes appear to be in order for the Cowboys – sooner rather than later.
The writing has been on the wall that Dallas might be due for a quarterback change since the team's 30-6 loss to New England went final on Sunday. After all, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has reiterated multiple times that his coaching staff will evaluate the starting spot after a Brandon Weeden's woeful performance against the Patriots.
With that in mind, multiple reports are circulating around the league landscape that the Cowboys will in fact go forward with Matt Cassel when they return to action next week against the Giants.
Cassel was acquired in a trade with the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 22 and has gradually increased his workload in each of his three weeks with the team. He was a healthy scratch for the Cowboys' games against Atlanta and New Orleans while he acclimated to the offense, but the coaching staff designated him as Weeden's game day backup on Sunday against New England.
"He's certainly comfortable enough," Garrett said Monday. "We wouldn't have put him in that situation yesterday to be the backup quarterback with a possibility of going into the game if something were to happen to Brandon."
The loss to New England was Weeden's third-straight as the Cowboys' starter, and his 11th in a row dating back over the past several seasons. His average quarterback rating over his three starts this season is a respectable 86.8, but his poor performance on Sunday opened the position up for evaluation.
"Brandon didn't play well enough. We didn't play well enough," Garrett said after the game. "We're going to watch the tape and evaluate each guy and each unit to see how we can play better. "
Cassel has tallied a 33-38 career record during his 11-year career in the league. He famously led New England to a 10-5 mark in 2008 while Tom Brady sat out with a season-ending injury. He went 19-28 during a four-year stint with Kansas City, and he was 4-5 as Minnesota's starter in 2013 and 2014.
"He's worked hard, he's a veteran player, he's a smart guy, he's been here for a little bit," Garrett said. "There are always levels of knowing something. The more you're around something the more experienced you are with the people doing it together, the better you're going to be at it. But he's certainly comfortable with our system."
The Cowboys will have a light workload during their bye week, with just two, non-padded practices before taking the weekend off.
But when they return for Week 7, all indications point toward them doing so with a new quarterback under center.