Cowboys release backup QB Kyle Orton

Kyle Orton is done in Dallas. (USATSI)
Kyle Orton is done in Dallas. (USATSI)

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If Kyle Orton wants to retire, it looks like he's going to be able to do it and he's going to be able to do it with a full bank account. The Cowboys have released Orton, meaning he won't have to pay back any of his $5 million signing bonus that he received after signing with the team in 2012

The Cowboys and Orton had been at a standoff since April when the backup quarterback didn't show up for the team's voluntary workouts. Orton also skipped May's OTA sessions and June's mandatory minicamp. By skipping minicamp, Orton racked up $70,000 in fines.  

With Orton out in Dallas, that means the backup job will now belong to Brandon Weeden, whom the Cowboys signed to a two-year deal in March. The backup job in Dallas is a big one, especially with Tony Romo coming off of a back surgery that kept him out of the Cowboys' season finale against the Eagles in December. 

The Week 17 loss to Philadelphia could now go down as the final game of the 31-year-old's career. In the 24-22 loss, Orton threw for 358 and two touchdowns, along with two interceptions. 

If Orton had retired -- instead of being cut by Dallas -- he would have had to payback $3.4 million of his signing bonus. However, since the Cowboys dumped him, he'll get to keep it all. The move will add $1.1275 million in dead money to the Cowboys 2014 salary cap and $2.255 million in dead money to the 2015 cap. 

If Orton decides he doesn't want to retire, NFL Insider Pat Kirwan has a few potential landing spots for the backup quarterback. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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