Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told media after a 26-20 overtime loss to the New Orleans Saints that he thought quarterback Brandon Weeden played well for the team, but said the difference was that the opposing team had a quarterback like Drew Brees.
Weeden completed 16-of-26 passes for 246 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown pass to Terrance Williams in the final minutes of regulation to tie the game and force overtime. That was enough for Weeden to deflect most of the blame for the final result; however, it was his 10th consecutive loss as a starter and 20 points is an underwhelming amount against a Saints' defense that allowed 26 or more in each of the first three weeks.
While Jones was mostly complimentary of Weeden's play, he also described the quarterback as "limited." Via the Fort Worth Star Telegram:
"I thought he did real good," owner Jerry Jones said. "He did good all night long. He took his initial look and threw it. He does some real good things, though it's not quite apples and oranges when the guy on the other side of the deal is Brees and you're dealing with a guy who is as limited as Weeden. We got in it even running out of time, or short-handed, in 2-minute or what have you, then these quarterbacks like Brees make a difference."
Jones previously said that a concussion for Weeden in training camp "limited him for a period of time," but Weeden was a full participant in practice all week and didn't appear to get injured during the game, so "limited" instead looks like Jones changing his tune from previous comments when he described Weeden as anything but limited.
Just one week earlier, Jones told the 105.3 The Fan's Shan and RJ show that Weeden is as gifted of a passer as any. Via The Dallas Morning News:
"This quarterback Weeden can drive the ball down field," Jones said. "He's a thing of beauty on throwing a football. His passing motion and his arm, frankly, you won't see a more gifted passer, power, accuracy, the entire aspect of it. If he can basically prepare, be the starting quarterback, come in and execute and keep his head right, then I feel good about Weeden."
Weeden executed for the Cowboys, but hasn't driven the ball down the field much at all, with the exception of a 67-yard pass to Brice Butler. While his game-tying touchdown drive was admirable, it was overshadowed by Brees leading the Saints on a drive that should've won the game at the end of regulation and following it with a quick strike in overtime to win the game.
After the loss, the Cowboys are 2-2 and face a tall task with a road trip to play the New England Patriots in Week 5 before a bye week. With Matt Cassel breathing down Weeden's neck and pushing for the starting job, it's possible the Cowboys won't be okay with the efficient, mistake-free performances of Weeden that just aren't yielding enough points to win.
But with Dez Bryant out and the recent loss of Lance Dunbar, it's also not just the quarterback position that is holding the Cowboys' offense back from being the group that finished No. 5 in points in each of the last two seasons.