VALLEY RANCH — After three straight losses, the Cowboys are shaking things up to try to save their season. Head Coach Jason Garrett announced Wednesday Brandon Weeden is being benched. Matt Cassel will be starting quarterback while Tony Romo recovers from a broken collarbone.
“He has a skill set that allows him to do anything that we would ask him to do. He’s big, he’s strong, he’s athletic,” says Garrett.
So, who is Matt Cassel? Well, In 2008, he came off the bench to lead the New England Patriots to an 11-5 record after Tom Brady suffered a season-ending injury. In 2010, he took the Kansas City Chiefs to a division title.
Since then he’s bounced around as a backup and starter between Kansas City, Minnesota, and Buffalo before getting traded to the Cowboys.
“If your opportunity shows up, you’ve got to take advantage of it,” says Cassel. “I’m thinking about one game at a time. I’m not thinking about anything except beating the Giants in two weeks.”
He’s also the only quarterback in history to start in the NFL but not in college. He rode the bench at USC for four years behind Heisman trophy winners Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart.
This means Brandon Weeden’s time as the Cowboys starter is over. He had a strong 72% completion rate, but all three of his starts were losses.
“This position has an impact on how the offense is performing more than any other and on how the team in performing,” says Garrett. “Sometimes that’s fair, sometimes that’s unfair.”
Weeden is not pleased about his demotion.
“How do you think I feel? I’m pissed,” he says. “But I’m a pro. I’m going to handle it the right way. I’m not going to throw a pity party for myself.”
Hopefully, this move pays off and Dallas isn’t throwing a ‘pity party’ for the Cowboys by the time Romo returns.