DALLAS — Quarterback Brandon Weeden has heard your jokes, about his age and about his bumpy career start as an unsuccessful centerpiece of the Browns. But he’s excited about his clean slate with the Dallas Cowboys, with whom he signed a two-year vet’s-minimum deal this week.
"I had some good times in Cleveland and I had some times where I just wasn’t very good," Weeden told 105.3 The Fan. "Even though I am 30 years old, I still feel like I got a lot of football ahead of me. I’m excited about the opportunity of a fresh start.
"I feel like I have something to prove."
Drafted in the first round out of Oklahoma State at the age of 28, Weeden was thrown into the starting lineup in Cleveland, where as a rookie he started 15 games, throwing for 3,385 yards with 14 TDs and 17 interceptions as the Browns stumbled to a 5-10 record.
"One thing I haven’t really had in Cleveland is a veteran guy that has been playing the position for a long time to sit back and learn from," said Weeden, cut from the Browns and now under contract in Dallas at a no-risk total of $1.23 million for the two seasons. "I’ve got two, with Tony and Kyle. Sit back, be a sponge, really dive in, and try to become a better player."
Tony Romo is the Dallas starter and is coming off back surgery. Kyle Orton is the No. 2 QB and amid retirement talk is expected back — but Weeden provides insurance there while also not precluding Dallas from looking at QBs on draft day.
Weeden — the No. 22 overall pick in the 2012 draft and ranked as a second-round prospect at the time by the Cowboys — has a number of connections with Dallas, including a relationship with fellow OSU product Dez Bryant.
"I’ve always had a tremendous amount of respect for the entire organization," Weeden said. "Coach [Jason] Garrett, dating back to when he was a player and as a head coach, I’ve always had a lot of respect for him. After talking to him a little bit last week, and on Monday, I thought it was a great fit."