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May 29, 2014

Weeden's early work in Cowboys' OTAs impresses Witten, Linehan so far

New backup quarterback Brandon Weeden impressed tight end Jason Witten as OTAs began.

“To hop in there and do as well as he did, I’ve been impressed,” Witten said. “You can tell he’s an older guy, very mature, strong arm. Picked up on the offense really quickly. Kind of took charge of the group in there, called the plays. That’s hard to do on your first day, especially when guys are used to one man’s cadence and his voice. Thought he did a really good job.

“I’m excited to work with him. I think he feels like he’s got something to prove. Been a great offseason with him.”

Weeden’s value to the Cowboys is growing as the likelihood increases that Kyle Orton will retire. So these offseason practices are becoming critical to getting Weeden ready as the primary backup to Tony Romo, whose season ended with back surgery last year.

New offensive coordinator Scott Linehan also was pleased.

“He has two good years in the NFL now of experience and playing in a couple of systems. I think it really helped him,” Linehan said. “He’s in his third year. I think third years are really good years for quarterbacks to blossom and develop. He’s doing great. We’ve been really happy with what we’ve seen so far.”

Coach Jason Garrett said that at this stage of OTAs, Romo and the backup quarterbacks are getting equal reps, and Weeden is getting time with the first offense.

“I think it is good that Brandon is getting some work with the 1s,” Garrett said. “We’ll see how he responds to that. He’s started a lot of games over the last couple years at this level. We see him, because of his baseball background, as a developmental guy. He has some experience here. We were excited to get him and have him on our roster. It’s good for him to get some of the work he’s getting.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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