EDMOND — For former Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden, the past few months have been all about learning and adjusting.
Weeden signed a two-year, $1.23 million deal with the Dallas Cowboys on March 17 after his rocky two-year stint with the Cleveland Browns ended when the organization released him.
With Cowboys starter Tony Romo recovering from back surgery and backup Kyle Orton skipping camp and possibly retiring, Weeden spent all of OTAs and last week’s minicamp taking reps with the starters in Dallas.
Minicamp ended Thursday, giving Weeden a four-week break before preseason training camp begins July 22. Friday, Weeden hosted his third annual Swing from the Heart charity golf tournament at Oak Tree National in Edmond, and it turns out even with a break from football, he’s still learning and adjusting.
Weeden and his wife Melanie are expecting their first child, likely a boy, any day.
“I haven’t learned how to change a diaper yet,” Weeden said. “That’s one thing I’m really not looking forward to.”
Joking aside, Weeden said he’s thrilled to become a father — one of few experiences better than getting first team reps with the Dallas Cowboys.
With Romo coming back and Weeden looking to keep his NFL career afloat, he tried to take full advantage of his time running the offense.
“It’s exactly what I wanted and exactly what I needed to show that I could play,” Weeden said. “Being a backup quarterback is a challenge because you don’t normally get a ton of reps ... But if something happens to Tony I’m going to be thrown into the fire.”
Weeden said the biggest difference from playing in Cleveland is the stability and structure, and he’s been eager to learn from coach Jason Garrett, quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson and, of course, Romo.
“I pick Tony’s brain all the time, just about odds and ends or little stuff throughout the offense,” Weeden said. “He’s been doing it for so long he knows what works for him. I have to take what works for me and throw the rest out the window because he does some things like running around the pocket — that’s not my cup of tea.”
Garrett spent the majority of his career as a backup with the Cowboys, making him well aware of how important this opportunity was for Weeden.
“He gets in the huddle and handles himself like an NFL quarterback,” Garrett told the Dallas Morning News. “He’s getting all the first reps, and it’s great for him. When Troy Aikman was hurt I got the first reps, and it was the greatest thing that ever happened in my life. You’re playing, you’re learning, you’re making mistakes and you’re growing, and when you kind of go back into your role you’re better for it.”
For now, Weeden said he’s focused on spending these precious few weeks with Melanie and, soon, the couple’s first child. After that, he can put his mind back on football.
He can only hope his timing with receivers works out as well.
“It’s perfect,” Weeden said. “We couldn’t have drawn it up any better. We’re very lucky. Me and my wife talk about it all the time.”