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Brandon Weeden is Cowboys' most improved player?

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If offseason hype and preseason production augured well for NFL success, Brandon Weeden would be entrenched as a franchise quarterback by now.

The subject of breathless accolades every May through August, Weeden has inspired hope in yet another coaching staff.

"I think he's probably the most improved player," quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson said recently, via The Dallas Morning News. "He has a greater understanding of the concepts, the protections, calling the plays, all those kinds of things. He's made a big jump this year.

"His confidence and his demeanor, his complete understanding and grasping exactly where he's supposed to go with the ball, handling blitzes and things like that, he's been very improved."

As a prototypical pocket passer with ideal size and a strong arm, Weeden often shines in non-contact practices and preseason action versus vanilla defensive schemes.

When the games count, though, Weeden's flaws are too much to overcome.

The Browns cut ties with the No. 22 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft after just two years. Weeden struggled with pocket movement, field vision, decision making, touch and ball placement in 23 regular-season starts.

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When Weeden was forced into action as an emergency starter with Tony Romo injured early last November, the Cowboys did everything possible to limit his exposure. In that loss to the Cardinals, Gregg Rosenthal noted that Weeden lacked touch, was not on the same page with his receivers and generally wasn't accurate.

"The Cowboys will struggle to win any games with Weeden behind center," Rosenthal surmised.

Regardless of Weeden's improvement in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills this offseason, we have a hard time believing Rosenthal's evaluation will change in any measurable way by the end of the 2015 season.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast welcomes Jeff Darlington to discuss minicamp stories, and Conor Orr calls in for the debut of a new segment. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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