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NFC East news: Cowboys quarterback Kyle Orton skips mandatory minicamp practice

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Is the division's best backup quarterback really going to retire?

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The drama continues in Dallas. Backup quarterback Kyle Orton has missed the start of mandatory minicamp, according to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport. It has already been reported several times that Orton, 31, is considering retirement and his absence from the Cowboys offseason activities proves that he may want to move on.

Orton was the starting quarterback in the Eagles division-clinching win against Dallas in Week 17 of last season. He threw the game-clinching interception to cornerback Brandon Boykin in the fourth quarter. Orton has only played in four games (one start) since signing a large three-year deal in 2012 to backup Tony Romo.

The former Bears and Broncos starter has completed 42-of-61 passes for 487 passing yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions while in Dallas. If he retires without the team releasing him, he will have to pay back $3 million of the $5 million signing bonus that he received in 2012.

With Orton holding out of the minicamp and Romo recovering from offseason back surgery, former Browns first round pick Brandon Weeden is handling all of the first-team repetitions for the Cowboys. The team also has Caleb Hanie and rookie Dustin Vaughan on the roster.