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Cowboys trade for Bills QB Matt Cassel

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Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says you won't find a more "gifted passer" in the NFL than Brandon Weeden. But the team is going to make sure that they have insurance in case he doesn't work out.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport broke the news Tuesday that Dallas acquired quarterback Matt Cassel from the Bills. The Cowboys later confirmed the move, which didn't cost the team much. The Cowboys sent a 2017 fifth-round pick to the Bills in exchange for a 2017 seventh-round pick, NFL Media's Albert Breer reported according to a Cowboys team source.

The news came just minutes after Rapoport reported that the Cowboys promoted Kellen Moore to the active roster from their practice squad. The Cowboys' plan, according to Rapoport, is for Cassel to act as a backup to Weeden. Cassel will act as the team's third-string quarterback behind Moore until he learns the playbook.

It's a tough personal blow for Cassel. He originally signed with the Bills for big money to compete for the starting job, but was beaten out by Tyrod Taylor. After being released by the team, he decided to return to Buffalo at a vastly reduced salary in part because his wife is eight months pregnant.

Perhaps he'll wind up starting in Dallas, where Weeden doesn't inspire confidence. Weeden knows the Cowboys system, but Cassel seems like a better fit for a short passing, ball control attack. Cassel has far more experience, starting 71 games for the Patriots, Chiefs and Vikings.

Then again, Cassel hasn't had consistent success in a while. He has the fourth lowest QBR since 2012 among players with at least 500 plays. The lowest? Brandon Weeden.

In short: That improved Cowboys front seven is going to need to play even better to keep the team in first place.

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