Kyle Orton absent for Dallas Cowboys' workouts


Tony Romo's return to the practice field was overshadowed by the absence of another Dallas Cowboys quarterback for the start of offseason workouts.

A month after executive vice president Stephen Jones acknowledged that Kyle Orton is mulling retirement, the top backup was a no-show Monday.

Since the workouts are voluntary, the Cowboys remain hopeful that Orton eventually will drift back into the picture, a team source told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

One reason to believe the 31-year-old will do so is that he would have to return $3 million of his $5 million signing bonus if he hangs up his spikes. Orton is also scheduled to earn $3.25 million in base salary, which is on the high side for clipboard holders.

The Cowboys signed former Cleveland Browns draft bust Brandon Weeden as insurance while Orton plays Hamlet this offseason.

Although the No. 2 spot is a question mark, coach Jason Garrett received a positive sign from his QB1 Monday.

Returning from back surgery, Romo celebrated his 34th birthday by joining teammates in "some" on-field conditioning drills, the Star-Telegram reports.

Troy Aikman's alarm notwithstanding, the Cowboys expect Romo to be fully recovered once the bell rings.

In the latest edition of the "Around The League Podcast," the guys talk Geno Smith's future in New York and pick the winners and losers of free agency.