Dallas Cowboys

June 16, 2014

Kyle Orton a no-show for physical Monday

The veteran backup quarterback is contemplating retirement.

The Cowboys don’t expect Kyle Orton to attend their three-day mandatory minicamp after the backup quarterback was a no-show for Monday’s physical, according to a source.

Orton cannot practice without taking a physical.

Orton stayed away from the team’s off-season program, including organized team activities, and has had no communication with the Cowboys. Coach Jason Garrett said last week he anticipated talking to Orton before the minicamp with an expectation that the veteran quarterback would attend the three days of practices.

Garrett and Orton share the same agent, David Dunn.

Orton is subject to $69,455 in fines if he misses all of the minicamp, which begins Tuesday. He already has lost $75,000 for missing too many workouts, part of a de-escalator in his contract. Orton was scheduled to make $3.25 million this season before any fines and the de-escalator. He would have to repay the Cowboys $3 million of his signing bonus if he retires.

He would be subject to fines of $30,000 per day for missing training camp.

The Cowboys have no plans to release Orton, according to a source.

Orton, 32, signed a three-year, $10.5 million deal with the Cowboys before the 2012 season to back up Tony Romo. He started the regular-season finale against the Eagles last season, completing 30 of 46 passes for 358 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in the 24-22 loss.

Dallas signed former first-round pick Brandon Weeden in March while Orton supposedly was contemplating retirement. Weeden has taken first-team reps in the wake of Romo’s rehab from back surgery.

The Cowboys signed veteran Caleb Hanie in April after Orton failed to show up for the start of the off-season conditioning. Rookie free agent Dustin Vaughan signed after the draft.

Martin signs

First-round pick Zack Martin agreed to terms with the Cowboys on a four-year, $8.967 million contract, according to sources.

The offensive lineman receives a $4.8 million signing bonus as part of the deal.

Second-round choice DeMarcus Lawrence is the team’s only unsigned draft choice. Anthony Hitchens, Devin Street, Ken Bishop, Ben Gardner, Will Smith, Ahmad Dixon and Terrance Mitchell already signed their rookie deals.

The Cowboys made Martin the 16th overall pick after he started 52 games, mostly at left tackle, at Notre Dame. In organized team activities, the Cowboys had Martin taking first-team snaps at right guard, where he is expected to start this season. He took backup center snaps last week.

Martin becomes the third first-round draft pick for the Cowboys in the starting offensive line. They drafted left tackle Tyron Smith ninth overall in 2011 and center Travis Frederick 31st overall in 2013.

Crediting Pollack

Frederick said it’s going to be a benefit this season to have Bill Callahan and Frank Pollack both working with the offensive line.

Last season, Callahan’s play-calling duties took him away from close work with the line. Pollack took over on the sideline for Callahan, and Pollack’s influence is credited for the improvement in the running game and zone-blocking scheme over the last half of the season.

“I don’t know how much credit he’s gotten, but I certainly think that he deserves a lot of credit for what he’s done,” Frederick said. “Obviously, with coach Callahan being in the offensive coordinator role and stuff last year, coach Pollack spent a lot more time with us in a more direct role. So I think that he was very responsible for a lot of things that happened last year. Coach Callahan was certainly still very involved. It’s extremely nice this year to have them both around all the time.”

Frederick said he learned a lot from Pollack about what it takes for longevity in the league. Pollack played nine years, starting with the San Francisco 49ers, who drafted him in 1990, then the Denver Broncos and then the 49ers again. He won Super Bowl XXIX with the 49ers.

Beasley watch

The Cowboys have made it a point to grow Cole Beasley’s “route inventory” this off-season, receivers coach Derek Dooley said.

“We’re moving him around a little bit. He’s going to have to play some outside,” Dooley said. “But he’s really expanded his route inventory, so because of that, he’s going to be a much better player than he was last year. And he was really valuable to us last year.”

Beasley, undrafted out of SMU two years ago, has played in 24 games and caught 54 passes for the Cowboys, despite being only 5-foot-8 and 180 pounds. His size appears to leave him mainly a slot receiver, but Dooley said if Beasley can play some on the outside, it will free Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams to play inside, too.

“Sometimes you want a little longer, rangier guy in the slot, and sometimes you want a guy with a little more quickness in short areas in the slot,” Dooley said. “It’s just good to be versatile. I think one of the things that helped Dez last year was moving him around, and when they don’t know where you are, it starts putting pressure on their coverages. It’s no different with Cole.”

Staff writer Carlos Mendez contributed to this report.

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