Two years ago, Brandon Weeden's NFL future was in front of him. He was talked about as a likely first-round pick, and in the right situation the 28-year-old former professional baseball player could flourish. Then he was taken by the Browns and, well, you can pretty much figure out the rest of the story.
Weeden stumbled through two erratic seasons, starting 20 games -- 15 as a rookie -- completing 55.9 percent of his passes for 5,116 yards, 23 touchdowns and 26 interceptions. He was also sacked 55 times in that span.
There is no pressure in Dallas, where Weeden will sit behind Tony Romo and possibly Kyle Orton. Still, the 30-year-old quarterback welcomes the change, if for no other reason than it means he's no longer in Cleveland.
“It wasn't an ideal situation," Weeden told SiriusXM's Alex Marvez and Zig Fracassi recently. "The regime that drafted me was out a year after I got there. You never know the plans the group coming in has. I think, as a player, as much as you try not to do too much, try not to put too much pressure on yourself to perform and show you can be the guy for the long haul, sometimes you get caught up in it.
"You try to do much as a player. That's one thing if I could change about myself, I wouldn't try to do too much every Sunday. Just let the game kinda come to you and be more patient.”
We can't imagine there are many Browns fans who would say that the biggest knock against Weeden is that he tried to do too much. Then again, he really was in an untenable situation in Cleveland; President Mike Holmgren and coach Pat Shurmur drafted him and less than a year later they were no longer with the organization. Their replacements -- Joe Banner, Mike Lombardi and Rob Chudzinski -- lasted just the 2013 season, either.
Put another way: The organization's problems extended well beyond the quarterback position.
Now Weeden gets his wish to continue his career for an organization relatively more successful than the Browns. The former Oklahoma State star told the Oklahoman in February that his tenure in Cleveland was one big "roller coaster," and that the constant turnover in the Browns' organization made for a "tough situation."
"I want to play football," he said at the time. "I don't care. I just want to play football and be at a place where it's enjoyable and we can compete and win games. That's really what it's all about."