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May 28, 2014

Cowboys still hopeful Kyle Orton shows up for the mandatory minicamp with a desire to play this season

The Cowboys continue to maintain they expect Kyle Orton back for the mandatory minicamp next month. But they expected him for the voluntary work, too, and he didn't show up.

The backup quarterback continues to be a no-show for the team's offseason work.

"It’s always good for quarterbacks, really for any player to be here and get the reps and go through meetings, be out on the practice field and compete against your teammates," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Tuesday. "That’s a good thing. When guys aren’t here, those are missed opportunities. Kyle’s a smart football player. He’s played for a long time in this league. I think he understands our system of football. He’s more able to handle not being here than maybe some are. Having said that, we want all our football players here practicing with their teammates and trying to get better."

The Cowboys want Orton to return as Tony Romo's primary backup. He would have to repay $3 million of his $5 million signing bonus if he retires. The Cowboys have no plans to release him.

Garrett was asked Tuesday if it's hard to trust a player who contemplates retirement: “I don’t want to get into the specifics of that. I think all situations are different. Certainly, we’ll talk to our players and get a feel for what their mindset is. We had a situation a couple of years ago with Cole Beasley. In training camp, he came into my office and said, ‘I don’t want to play anymore.’ We talked it through, had a conversation and laid out some parameters and tried to help him through that situation, because the track record of Cole Beasley in a short period of time spoke to us and spoke for itself. Sometimes things happen in someone’s life, and they get off line a little bit, and sometimes you’ve got to help them get back on line. We did that with him (Beasley), and a couple days later he comes back and he’s really done a good job for us since then. You take each situation individually and understand what the circumstances are and try to make your best decisions – for the football team, first and foremost, but for the player as well.”

-- Charean Williams

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