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Cowboys make release of Kyle Orton official

Kyle Orton

Kyle Orton

Tony Gutierrez

It’s official: Kyle Orton is no longer a Dallas Cowboy.

The Cowboys announced this morning that they have officially released Orton, the quarterback who started for them in Week 17 last year and had been under contract to back up Tony Romo again this year.

Orton has stayed away from the Cowboys throughout the offseason, and it was thought that he and the team were due for a standoff over whether he would retire and have to pay back $3 million from his signing bonus, or whether he would begrudgingly show up to training camp. Instead, the Cowboys gave Orton what he wanted and cut him.

The move frees up some cap space for the Cowboys, but it also leaves them with Brandon Weeden as their No. 2 quarterback. If Romo goes down, the Cowboys will have to hope Weeden can be a lot better than he looked in Cleveland the last two years.

The 31-year-old Orton is now a free agent who could sign with any team, but from all indications he has decided to call it quits.