The Norman Transcript

Sports

December 26, 2013

Looking like Orton, not Romo, will take snaps

(Continued)

IRVING, Texas —

The 31-year-old Orton has a 35-34 record in 69 starts in nine NFL seasons.

For Dallas, Orton has appeared in three games, completing 12 of 15 passes for 129 yards.

Garrett said even that limited experience was valuable.

“Any time, at any position, it’s good to play,” Garrett said

Romo has been an active participant in preparing game plans, and Garrett said Orton’s input would be welcomed.

“We always want our players to communicate with us,” Garrett said. “We have a lot of ideas as coaches. We want our players to be comfortable with us, and we want their feedback.”

Orton said until this week he hadn’t taken any in-season snaps with the first-team offense, but he believes the starters are comfortable with him.

“I was fortunate to get a lot of reps during OTAs (when Romo was recovering from back surgery),” Orton said. “I’ve been here a couple of years, so I’ve had plenty of experience with these guys.”

Kitna arrived back at Valley Ranch on Wednesday, also for the first time in two years, as the No. 3 quarterback or as Orton’s backup.

Garrett said Kitna’s job would be to run the scout team, simulating the Eagles’ offense.

He’s familiar with that role, because for the last two years he has been running the scout team for Lincoln High School in Tacoma, Wash., where he is head coach.

The 41-year-old Kitna had retired from the Cowboys after going on injured reserve because of a back injury.

The 15-year veteran also missed most of the 2008 season because of a herniated disc.

Though he seemed skeptical that Romo could play Sunday, Kitna said, “There are varying levels (of herniated discs).”

Quarterbacks David Carr, Tyler Thigpen, John Skelton, Caleb Hanie and Richard Bartel worked out for the Cowboys on Tuesday, but Garrett said the deciding factor was Kitna’s experience and familiarity with Dallas’ offensive system.

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