LONDON – For the third straight week, backup quarterback Brandon Weeden either had to start for or fill in for starter Tony Romo. The difference against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Wembley Stadium on Sunday was that Weeden was like a first officer guiding a battle cruiser safely into port as opposed to taking the helm of the flagship amid a broadside assault.
With 6:42 left in the game, Weeden spelled Romo, who had taken a his first sack of the game on the previous series. Up 31-9, the Cowboys were approaching the law of diminishing returns by keeping in the game their $108-million passer with two transverse process fractures in his back.
The way Weeden came in for Romo this week was the way he always wants to sub for the 34-year-old veteran.
"The game’s in hand like that," Weeden said.
"We’ve taken care of business in three and a half quarters, I think. You can get just a couple first downs and drain the clock. So that’s, you know, there’s not a whole lot of action unless you get third-and-long."
The former first-round pick for the Cleveland Browns in 2012 did face a third-and-8 deep in his own territory at the 8-yard line. Weeden found tight end Jason Witten for an eight-yard completion, his only pass and completion on the evening.
After the Jaguars scored on a one-yard Denard Robinson run and successful two-point try to cut the lead to 31-17, Jacksonville attempted an unsuccessful onside kick recovered by Witten. With 1:51 left and all the Jaguars’ timeouts gone, Weeden took three kneel-downs to take the 7-3 record back home to Dallas.
Said Weeden: "You come in and man the situation and do what we did."
Weeden’s appearance in that capacity was the first time Romo had been spelled in a blowout since 11/13/11 when Dallas trounced the Buffalo Bills 44-7 at AT&T Stadium. Backup QB Jon Kitna took two kneel-downs for Romo to secure the win.