Everyone laughed when Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboysowner, heaped praise upon Brandon Weeden. The backup quarterback was forced into a starting position last week when Tony Romo broke his left clavicle, and many assumed all hope was lost for the season despite a 2-0 record.
After Weeden set a franchise record for consecutive completions on Sunday, his critics may have to take the week off.
Weeden came on in relief of Romo last week and finished the game 7 for 7 for 73 yards a touchdown. This week he started even better, completing his first 9 passes against the Atlanta Falcons. Combined with five consecutive passes he threw to end last season, Weeden had completed 21 consecutive passes, which was a Cowboys record and just three short of the N.F.L. record, which Donovan McNabb set in 2004.
Weeden’s streak of complete passes was broken up by an interception in the second quarter, but he continued to show incredible accuracy and finished the game 22 for 26 with 232 yards. His record-setting day ended with a 39-28 loss, however, as the Cowboys defense could not do anything to stop Devonta Freeman, the Falcons’ running back. Freeman finished the day with 141 yards and three touchdowns.
Weeden’s final pass of the day hit Terrance Williams in the chest, but the wide receiver let it fall to the ground, turning the ball over on downs and ending any chance of a Dallas comeback.
Weeden had been considered a draft bust after he was selected in the first round by the Cleveland Browns in 2012, but Jones was adamant that the team was in good hands while Romo recovered.
“He’s a thing of beauty on throwing a football,” Jones said in a radio interview last week. “His passing motion and his arm, frankly, you won’t see a more gifted passer, power, accuracy, the entire aspect of it.”
Romo’s injury left Weeden as the only healthy quarterback on the team’s roster, so Jones made a trade with Buffalo for Matt Cassel, but heading into the game there did not appear to be a quarterback controversy. After the loss, and with Cassel getting a chance to practice with the team, Weeden’s status going forward is unknown.