The inside story of the Cowboys trade for Matt Cassel to back up QB Weeden while Tony Romo is out

The inside story of the Cowboys trade for Matt Cassel to back up QB Weeden while Tony Romo is out? It's about a change in plan ... and Dallas' quick reaction to the change.

IRVING - The original Tuesday path: Tony Romo to IR/DTR. Brandon Weeden as the temp No. 1. Kellen Moore promoted from the practice squad, but not for long, because Christian Ponder was going to emerge from a four-man street-free-agent QB trial with a job.

And then Ponder and company didn't impress, causing the Cowboys to turn to the idea of a trade for veteran quarterback they wanted in Matt Cassel of the Buffalo Bills.


The deal? Dallas will swap its 2017 fifth-round pick for Buffalo’s seventh-round in the 2017 draft.

The eventuality? The starting quarterback job remains Weeden’s. He will start Sunday against the Falcons. Cassel is unlikely to gobble up the playbook in time to be his backup. That's where elevated practice-squander Moore can come in.

“If I’m wearing pads and a helmet on game day, then I’ll be ready to go if needed,” said Moore, the ex Lions QB and Scott Linehan favorite who has never taken a regular-season snap. 


But the real issue is getting Weeden ready to placehold until Romo (broken collarbone) is eligible to return for the Nov. 22 game at Miami.

“This quarterback Weeden," a hyperbolic owner Jerry Jones gushed  on 105.3 The Fan, "is a thing of beauty on throwing a football. His passing motion and his arm, frankly, you won’t see a more gifted passer, power, accuracy, the entire aspect of it. ... I feel good about Weeden.”

The reality is that Dallas believes Weeden, 31, can keep the offense afloat for two months, and that with Cassel, 33, they now employ two bus drivers. (Dallas also made a handful of other moves on Tuesday, with Terrell McClain going to season-ending IR and running back Gus Johnson coming back to the p-squad.)

Cassel is a journeyman who made the Pro Bowl in 2010 and is on a $2 mil contract this year. Ponder or one of the other tryout guys (Matt Flynn, Josh Johnson and MacLeod Bethel-Thompson) would've been cheaper in every way.

But the original path was altered. Now Dallas has another bus driver to help keep this thing on the path and out of the ditch.

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