Reports are surfacing that the Dallas Cowboys have advised their backup quarterback Kyle Orton that the team plans to release him.

This move is not surprising and comes upon Orton expressing his desire to retire. The Cowboys were optimistic that Orton would return due to the large amount of money he would give up. Obviously this is not going to happen now. Orton will now have to pay back $3.25 million from a prorated signing bonus that he was given, which will free up $2 million in cap space.

Thus far in 2014, Orton’s absence from all of the Cowboys’ offseason activities has been a distraction. We are now faced with the reality of Brandon Weeden possibly taking the field if starter Tony Romo goes down at any point. Anticipating this situation, and because Romo is still healing from his back surgery, Weeden fortunately had the opportunity to take the first-team reps in June’s minicamp.

However, the Cowboys have to be less than thrilled with this turn of events, as Orton was one of the more skilled backup quarterbacks in the NFL. And Weeden is one injury away from taking the field.

Photo: USA Today