Can Kyle Orton Direct the Cowboys into the Playoffs?
You know it's bad in Dallas when Terrell Owens gives you a ringing endorsement.
That's precisely what happened when the flamboyant former receiver openly stated that he believes Kyle Orton gives the Cowboys a better chance to win than Tony Romo during Sunday's pivotal match-up against the Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC East title.
For, Dallas, it couldn't be more simple. Win and they're in the playoffs.
That task became a little more daunting once news surfaced that Tony Romo had season-ending surgery on his injured back.
But can Kyle Orton deliver and drive the Cowboys into the playoffs?
Not only does Terrell Owens think he can but so does Jerry Jones. Orton was exactly what Jones sought in a back-up, signed specifically for a situation similar to this one. Given his 3-year, $10.5million contract, Orton's deal may actually make the favorably self-critiqued owner/general manager look good if the 'Boys pull off the victory. Jones believed that, given the opportunity to play -- if Romo was injured, of course -- Orton could easily slide in and take command of the offense.
Remember, Orton has played in over 70 games for several NFL teams. He not only has a clear comprehension of the Dallas offense but he has the confidence of his teammates, as well. At the peak of his career, Orton was a solid NFL QB and still has the tools necessary to play the position at a high level. He isn't as elusive as Romo, but he can still be effective and certainly has the experience to propel this team into the playoffs.
However, with so much pressure surrounding this game and the way the Eagles are dominating opponents, the former Purdue Boilermaker is facing one of the toughest challenges of his career. The Eagles possess one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL with their dual running and passing attack. LeSean McCoy and Nick Foles are putting up huge numbers and have the Eagles on the right track leading into the playoffs.
Their only barrier is the Dallas defense, which is putrid at best.
This only adds more pressure on Orton to deliver, because he's going to have to make play after play to pull off the upset. But he's been here before and is well-accustomed to performing in poor weather.
There is a downside if it happens. Jones may never allow us to hear the end of how his shrewdness was the key.