""Special"" Breakdown: Kyle Orton


Who is Kyle Orton? Orton has a record of 35-34. He has been a starter for the Chicago Bears, Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos. He has also lost his job to Tim Tebow and Matt Cassel.


Kyle has experience leading the offense and threw for more than 3,800 yards (21 touchdowns) in 2009 and 3,600 (20 touchdowns) in 2010 with Denver (In only 13 games). The Cowboys needed Orton to throw just 10 passes in the regular season last year and he completed nine of the ten. 

Orton had a QB rating of 137.1 with 89 yards, 1 touchdown which gave him a QBR of 99.3 last season.  He's tossed 81 touchdowns against 57 interceptions (career), but has thrown just 15 passes over the last two seasons. Orton's big achievement was leading the Bears to the Super Bowl in 2005 (OK he didn't lead them he was just on the roster).


Kyle Orton vs the Chicago Bears; Orton threw his first touchdown pass as a Cowboy against the Bears last year. This year Orton went 3 for 5 gaining 40 passing yards. He had a 60% completion rate and passer rating of 85.4. 


What Orton is good at? Orton has a quick release. He throws a very catch-able ball. In the Chicago Bears game (this season), Orton has gotten rid of the ball within :04 seconds or less. He some power on it but he is one of those quarterbacks that doesn't make his receivers have to work for it. Orton hits receivers stationary or on the move. Knows how to throw them open. He does a good job of identifying the defense pre-snap and can get rid of the ball quickly to the 'hot' receiver vs. blitzes. Ball will arrive on time, not the type to throw it late. Does a nice job of reading coverage and going the right direction. Has really nice touch for screens and check down passes.

Orton also has good footwork and mechanics, which help him be an accurate thrower when he has a clean pocket and room to stride into his throw. He has a strong enough arm to make every NFL throw when he has a clean pocket. Orton does not panic in the pocket and will not throw the ball up for grabs. He does a good job of going through progressions and shows no hesitation to check down to a safety-valve receiver. 


Orton like Romo, is just as willing to take a chance on a tight window throw. Orton does play with a great deal of confidence in his ability to put the ball right on the receiver. I have seen him make throws where the receiver is completely covered, but he somehow managed to fit the ball right in there. Not afraid to rip the ball down the middle of the field.


In the times that I have seen Orton work, I have always been impressed with his smarts when it came to reading the defense and getting rid of the ball. Orton has to be smart in setting the protection and making the right reads because of his lack of foot quickness. He is more likely to hang in there and deliver the ball but you know it is coming out of there. Does a really nice job of keeping his eyes down the field.

What Orton is bad at? Orton is not a mobile quarterback. Not going to completely sell the fake but more likely to hit it quick, then get the ball down the field. Orton is not nearly as effective when the play goes awry. If his primary receiver is not open, he is more likely to throw the ball away than to stick with play and create something out of nothing. While he will not force passes into bad spots to avoid sacks, he struggles with accuracy when he can't make a full throw. Orton is an adequate athlete who struggles to consistently avoid sacks to buy second chances. He is inconsistent throwing on the move. More than anything, Orton struggles to create good things when plays break down.


What should be the game plan for having Kyle play his best? He does a good job of making throws within the design of the offense. Last season, against Chicago, Orton threw to 5 different receivers on one drive. This shows that he knows the offense well (he's been here for 2 years so he should). The coaches trust him and he progresses through his reads and the play isn't done if his first receiver isn't open.

I do not see the offense changing much with him at quarterback. We still can run our scheme because he has the experience and ability to make plays. We do not have to hold things back because of him. 

Take our shots down the field. Orton's deep ball is significantly better than Romo's (at least this season) look for Orton to be looking for Terrance Williams down field a few times during the game.


Orton is possibly in the best spot of his life. For really the first time in years, the Cowboys have nothing to lose. Nobody expects them to beat the Eagles without Romo, and nobody will blame them for falling short considering the amount of key players missing from the lineup. 

Nobody expects Orton to succeed, which could take the edge off. Hell, maybe it'll even force head coach Jason Garrett and play-caller Bill Callahan to focus more on DeMarco Murray, who is the only back in the NFL averaging more than 5.1 yards per carry on at least 150 attempts.
""Special"" Breakdown: Kyle Orton ""Special"" Breakdown: Kyle Orton Reviewed by Mr. DCStands4 on 9:45:00 PM Rating: 5

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