Matt Cassel knows his job as a backup, and thus he’s ready to return to the starting job if that’s what the Cowboys need.
“In this situation, you just never know,” Cassel said. “That’s why you’ve always got to be ready in this position as a backup.”
With Tony Romo expected to miss the rest of the season with a fractured left collarbone, Cassel will become the starter.
“That’s part of what you embrace when you become a quarterback is you’ve got to step in, and obviously Tony’s been a leader here for 13 years of his career, and now it’s time,” Cassel said. “If it’s that situation, then I have to step up and try fulfill that role in some way. Obviously, you don’t replace a guy like Tony Romo, but at the same time, you’ve got to be you, and hopefully the guys rally around you, and you move forward.”
Cassel arrived Sept. 23 in a trade with the Bills after Romo fractured his left collarbone in Week 2. He played the part of third-stringer for two weeks while learning the offense, and then Brandon Weeden’s backukp for a week before taking over the starting job.
Cassel went 0-4 as the starter before Romo’s return last week against Miami.
“I have a lot of confidence in myself,” Cassel said. “I have a lot of confidence in this team. It’s about getting back to work.”
Cassel has a personal six-game losing streak, not counting the season opener this year when he lined up at quarterback for the Bills and starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor was split out wide. Cassel’s last victory came in the 2014 season opener for the Vikings.
The Cowboys are 6-16 without Romo since he became the starter in 2006.
“Obviously, Matt’s got some experience in our offense now and did a nice job when he got back in,” offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said of Cassel, who went 13-for-19 for 93 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
The Cowboys waived Weeden last week after Romo returned, and the Texans claimed Weeden off waivers. Dallas placed Kellen Moore back on its practice squad, and he likely becomes Cassel’s backup if Romo’s season is done.
“I’d be all for that,” Linehan said of Moore.