The slumping Dallas Cowboys are poised to make a change at quarterback.
NFL Media’s Albert Breer reported Tuesday that the Cowboys plan to start Matt Cassel in Week 7 when they return from their bye against the New York Giants, according to a team source. Jason Garrett contacted both quarterbacks to let them know Cassel will start, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport added. ESPN first reported the news.
Cassel’s experience in multiple-check systems, and his background having played in a similar offense under Norv Turner in Minnesota, will allow Jason Garrett and Scott Linehan to open up the offense. While Weeden did fine in spot duty, he’s still very much a spread-offense quarterback that struggles with progressions and full-field reads, Breer added.
Weeden didn’t play terribly in his three starts. He posted an 85.7 passer rating and completed 71 percent of his passes (64-for-91) with one touchdown and two interceptions. But Weeden averaged just 6.55 yards per attempt while piloting a Dallas offense that has been significantly less explosive without Romo and Dez Bryant on the field.
Cassel has become a prototypical journeyman, but the Cowboys hope the veteran can spark an offense that could have Bryant back in the lineup against the Giants. The Cowboys acquired Cassel from the Bills in a September trade involving late draft picks.
Weeden hasn’t won a start since he was a 29-year-old rookie with the Browns in 2012. Cassel is just 6-12 as a starter since 2012 and was beaten out by Tyrod Taylor after being the early favorite to win the Bills starting job this offseason.
Weeden and Cassel are different quarterbacks, but they’re both the same thing: A shaky bridge to Romo, whose return remains weeks off. If Cassel can keep the 2-3 Cowboys around .500 until Romo returns, he will have done his job.