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June 03, 2014

Brandon Weeden is making a new start with the Cowboys

Brandon Weeden is happy to be here.

Weeden isn't a sure bet to make the Cowboys' 53-player roster, considering the team hasn't kept three quarterbacks on their roster since 2011. But with Tony Romo recovering from back surgery, and Kyle Orton sitting out the voluntary organized team activities while considering his future, Weeden is getting work with the Cowboys' first team.

"I think it’s huge," Weeden said. "That was one of things I talked to coach [Jason] Garrett about when I came in before I signed. I said, 'I want an opportunity to come in and compete and get some reps and show that I can play.’ He assured me that I was going to. So coming in Day 1, I think it’s kind of what I expected. I think it’s my job now to take advantage of each rep, especially going with the ones. I’m out there with guys who are perennial Pro Bowlers like Jason Witten and Dez [Bryant], and all these guys who are just the best at what they do. It’s made it nice. It’s been a good transition. Tony has been helping me a lot."

Weeden, the 22nd overall pick of the Browns in 2012, was 5-15 as a starter in Cleveland. The Browns released him even before making Johnny Manziel the 22nd overall pick this year, and Dallas quickly signed Weeden to a $1.23 million deal with no signing bonus.

It is a new start for Weeden.

"It’s definitely a breath of fresh air," Weeden said. "I’m excited to be here. I love coming to work every day. It’s a fun environment. Coach Garrett does a great job of making this fun. If you want to call it a second chance or whatever you want to call it, I just look at it as another opportunity to get better and be in a situation where we can go out and compete and win a lot of football games."

The Cowboys have not carried three quarterbacks on their 53-player roster since 2011, when Stephen McGee served as a developmental prospect after the Cowboys made him a fourth-round pick in the 2009 draft. But the Cowboys do not know for sure whether Orton will play in 2014.

"It definitely benefits a player to be here," new passing-game coordinator Scott Linehan said. "I can't see any benefit for not being here. But you know, it's just the way things work, the way the business is. I just think it's a great opportunity for the guys who are here. I think everybody for the most part sees it that way. We're getting a lot done with the guys we have, it seems like. There's a couple of exceptions, but everybody's here working hard and getting better."

-- Charean Williams



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