IRVING, Texas– Brandon Weeden cares about getting his team in position to win.
He cares about ending the current losing streak, and he certainly cares about doing his part both physically and mentally to move the offense up and down the field.
Everything else is off his radar.
Weeden knows the job as quarterback of the Cowboys comes with criticism. He just doesn't choose to listen to it.
"I'm sure I'm still getting crushed for not playing well or whatever, but my goal, honestly, is just to give this team a chance to win," Weeden said. "I never will go out there and go 30-for-30, 300 yards and three touchdowns. I don't care if I'm 12-of-30. Just give this team a chance to win, whatever that may be, and just find a way to give the team a chance to win. That's my main focus."
And Weeden wasn't even fazed when Jerry Jones' postgame comments about his limitations were brought to his attention. Jones said Drew Brees and Weeden aren't comparable because one is a Hall of Famer and the other has "limitations."
"I didn't hear it, but it still doesn't mess with my psyche. I don't worry about those things," Weeden said. "I know Drew is one of the best to play the position. Yeah, I would say there're a lot of things I can't do that Drew Brees can do. At the end of the day, all I care about is finding a way to give our team a chance to win. I don't care what my limitations are or aren't, or what Drew can do or what Tom (Brady) can do or the next guy can do. My job is to find a way to get this team to win a game and do our part offensively. Get in the end zone and score as many points and give our team a chance to win."
Last week, Weeden and the offense got it going late in the game with a 91-yard touchdown drive to tie the score and force overtime. But they never got another chance as the Saints reached the end zone on the second play of overtime to take a 26-20 win.
Through his first two starts, Weeden has been efficient with the ball. Against the Falcons two weeks ago, he was 22-of-26 with no touchdowns and one costly interception. Last week, he added a score and didn't throw a pick, but completed 16-of-26 throws. His 105.8 passer rating was the second highest of his career in games in which he started.
But stats aside, Weeden knows the only thing that matters is getting the win, something that hasn't come too often among his 23 career starts. Weeden is now 5-18 as a starter, which includes a 5-15 mark in his two years with Cleveland.
But if you think he's about to fold the tent, think again. Weeden said he will continue to "fight," just as the message reads on the T-shirts hanging up this week in the Cowboys' lockers.
"I've never known to do it another way," Weeden said. "I've been in Cleveland and we lost several straight. I've had my face beat in, but I'm there Wednesday ready to go. Maybe that goes back to baseball, but I have a pretty short memory. I wasn't blessed with much, but I was blessed with a short memory. I'm able to put things behind me and able to move forward."
What he hasn't blocked from his memory was the final drive against the Saints, something the veteran quarterback said can be a building block.
"You look at that drive and that's the approach we want to take every drive," Weeden said. "It's not going to be like that all the time. Communication, on point, those guys won one-on-one matchups and Terrance (Williams) ran a great route on that little pump. The guys won and I was able to find them. It was how you dial it up. So yeah, it gives us confidence. It definitely gives us confidence moving forward. It tells us what we're capable of."
Obviously, this week's challenge on defense should get tougher, even though the Cowboys return home. Not only are they facing the defending-Super Bowl champion Patriots, but an undefeated New England squad coming off a bye week.
While Weeden is more concerned about the Patriots defense, he understands he gets pitted in a matchup with yet another Hall of Fame quarterback. First it was Brees, and now it'll be Brady.[embeddedad0]
"Two all-time quarterbacks. Two of the best to ever put a jersey on and stand behind center," Weeden said. "Two great players. They make their teams obviously very good. They've been doing it at the highest level for a long time. Tom, before I got in the league, I would study his tape just to kind of watch how he dissects some defenses. He just gets back there and sees it all, gets the ball in his guys' hands and lets them make plays."
And to keep up, Weeden knows he must make a few plays when it's his turn.