Just last December Kyle Orton was leading a Dallas Cowboys drive that he hoped would be a game winning drive to put the Cowboys in the playoffs. But a pass behind Miles Austin was intercepted by the Eagles which prompted owner Jerry Jones to turn away and yell in disgust. CLIP
In June there was talk of an Orton retirement and also reminders from Jerry that his attendance was mandatory and Orton could face big fines if he didn’t honor his contract. In July, Jerry cut Orton after Orton didn’t show up at all, didn’t retire, and consequently didn’t pay any fines either.
Recently Orton signed with a quarterback needy Bills team for what is reported will pay him $5 million this season. He sits behind a young and struggling EJ Manuel. And he didn’t even have to show up to a single preseason practice or workout. That’s after walking away with a nice signing bonus from Jerry of $3.4 million he would have lost had he retired. And he did not fulfill his contract either thank you very much.
Orton pump faked Jerry out of his star covered boxer shorts on this one. Orton should write a book called, “Punking NFL Owners for Dummies.” He showed us all how it’s done.
It should be clear to all of us now that Orton never had any intentions of playing another down in Dallas for Jerry and he is not the first player to recently display this kind of rebellious attitude.
Jeremiah was a bull frog named Jay
Last year it was defensive lineman Jay Ratliff (goes by Jeremiah Ratliff in his post Cowboys career) who put the swim move on Jerry by making the most of his groin injury to stay off the field much to Jerry’s frustration. Jerry was talking that same old contract obligation stuff but eventually, Jerry cut him (which clearly Jay wanted) and Ratliff’s groin miraculously healed and now he plays for the Bears. Is there a doubt in anyone’s mind that Ratliff wanted out of Dallas and away from Jerry?
In the off season defensive linemen DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher also signed with other teams it would appear primarily because they were offered bigger contracts than Jerry was willing to offer. Hatcher commented that Jerry didn’t even try to work out a deal and seemed a little miffed about it all.
Player Morale an Issue in Dallas?
After safety Will Allen was cut by the Cowboys in 2013, he described an atmosphere that was very tense with pressure on players and over all not conducive to player success. “It was a very micro-managed atmosphere. You just need a cohesion there that allows players and coaches to really execute and do their jobs and it’s not something hanging over their heads”, Will Allen said.
A case of sour grapes from a cut player? Maybe, but when you put it all together, something seems out of synch in Dallas and that could explain the lackluster results on the field and total lack of player loyalty to the organization at times. Something just doesn’t seem quite right.
Defensive lineman Marcus Spears was a respected voice in the Cowboys locker room as a player from 2005-2012. Spears is not one described as a renegade or problem child by any means. In April, Spears posted a tweet, “RT @mspear96: Wonder if any other players get invited to these events off the cowboys team! Sends the wrong message to me”
His comment was in reference to two players Romo and Witten in a suite with Jerry the owner, Jason the coach, and a couple ex presidents (Bush & Clinton) during a sporting event. Spears explained, ” I raised the question about how that recurring scene — the head coach frequently hanging out with certain guys — could affect the rest of the team. Romo and Garrett have been spotted lately hanging out at SMU basketball games and even a Duke basketball game in Durham, N.C.”
Spears suggest that preferential treatment or the appearance of it, may exist in Dallas and it can potentially interrupt unity on a football team off the field and on it. We can’t dismiss Spear’s observations as completely off base. Romo also attended a George Strait concert at AT&T in June and was observed hanging out with Jones who had just passed on drafting Johnny Manziel in the NFL draft. At the time Romo said of decision to not draft Manziel, “More than anything,” Romo said, “it just shows a lot of people that we’re here to win — not just be a flashy program.” Oh really? Seems like a “good old boy” system in Dallas. Just sayin’.
Romo certainly appears to be a happy Cowboy with his phat contract, luxury box seats at basketball games, and a reduced practice schedule to accommodate his recovering back.
So far Orton is not talking about if he wanted out of Dallas or why. But he appears to be the most recent ex-Cowboy to give Jerry and his contract the middle finger like Johnny Football to a heckling Redskin bench. Back in December if Orton leads the Cowboys to a game winning drive and into the playoffs, things could have turned out differently. Or would they?