Cowboys sign QB Kyle Orton

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com
Eight months ago, Orton was the Broncos' starting QB. Now he'll serve as Tony Romo's backup in Dallas.(Getty Images)

Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli hinted during the combine last month that quarterback Kyle Orton could return to Kansas City. On Wednesday, CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman has confirmed that Orton signed with the Cowboys. ESPN was the first to report that the former Chiefs quarterback had signed a three-year deal after meeting with Dallas Tuesday.

2012 NFL free agency coverage
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Orton ranked seventh on our list of 2012 free-agent quarterbacks, but the Cowboys weren't looking for a starter, just a capable backup behind Tony Romo. And in Orton that's exactly what they'll get.

The fourth-round pick out of Purdue began his career with the Bears, helping lead them to the playoffs as a rookie in 2005. He was traded to the Broncos before the '09 season as part of the deal that brought Jay Cutler to Chicago, and he flourished under then-head coach Josh McDaniels. Orton threw for 7,455 yards and 41 touchdowns from 2009-10 but lost his job to Tim Tebow five games into 2011. He was cut midseason and signed with the Chiefs where he started the final three games.

The Cowboys also met with Chiefs cornerback Brandon Carr and there's a good chance they'll lock him up in the coming days. The team released veteran corner Terence Newman Tuesday. His productivity has slipped in recent years and Dallas couldn't justify his $8 million salary.

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