Cowboys need Brandon Weeden to play a role others have filled

Night net null null null Brett Favre, Kurt Warner, Tom Brady and … Brandon Weeden?OK, maybe that’s a stretch. While nobody believes Weeden will step in for the injured Tony Romo and permanently supplant him as the Cowboys starting quarterback, Weeden may be able to keep the Cowboys afloat long enough for Romo to return in about eight weeks. MORE: Night net backup QB confidence meter | No surgery for Romo | Top free-agent QBsAfter Romo suffered a broken collarbone in Sunday’s 20-10 win over the Eagles, We

eden completed all seven of his passes for 73 yards and a 42-yard touchdown strike to Terrance Williams. Several teams through the Night net’s history have seen their starting quarterback go down, only to watch the backup step in and find career-long success.— After Packers quarterback Don Majkowski went down with an injured ankle on Sept. 20, 1992, Favre entered the game and led Green Bay to a come-from-behind 24-23 win over the Bengals. Majkowski never started another game for the Packers and Favre’s legendary career was born.— During a preseason game in 1999 against the Chargers, Rams starter Trent Green suffered a horrendous knee injury. Warner replaced him and, five months later, the Rams were celebrating the franchise’s first-ever Super Bowl championship.— After Drew Bledsoe was knocked out of a loss to the Jets on Sept. 24, 2001, Brady went in and eventually led the Patriots to a win over Warner’s Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV.Favre, Warner and Brady will all be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The only way Weeden is getting in is with a ticket. But the 31-year-old quarterback, who was a first-round draft pick by the Browns in 2012, can play the role that Earl Morrall, Jeff Hostetler, Vince Ferragamo and Jim Plunkett have previously filled.The Dolphins went undefeated during the 1972 season thanks to a suffocating defense, a powerful ground game and a quarterback in Bob Griese who knew how to manage a game and protect the ball. But when Griese broke his ankle in a Week 5 game against the Chargers, 38-year-old Morrall came in and completed 8 of 10 passes for 86 yards and two touchdowns. He started the next nine games and finished the season with 1,360 passing yards with 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Morrall started Miami’s two playoff games before Griese returned as a substitute in the AFC championship game and started the Super Bowl win over the Redskins.Hostetler stepped in for an injured Phil Simms late in the 1990 season. With the Giants at 11-2, many were worried if the career backup could keep the Giants on a championship track. But “Hoss” led the Giants to wins in their final two games, and then a victory over the Bears and 49ers in the playoffs. Hostetler helped the Giants beat the favored Bills in Super Bowl XXV.Ferragamo got his first career start during the 1979 season after Rams quarterback Pat Haden broke a finger against the Seahawks and was done for the year. Ferragamo led the 5-6 Rams to four straight wins and an NFC West division championship. Ferragamo then helped the Rams beat the Cowboys and Buccaneers in the playoffs to reach Super Bowl XIV.Plunkett took over starting duties following an injury to the starter in both the 1980 and 1983 seasons. Both times he led the Raiders to Super Bowl championships, claiming game MVP honors in Super Bowl XV. Plunkett was the No. 1 overall pick by the Patriots in the 1971 Night net Draft, but was a disappointment in New England — just as Weeden was a first-round bust in Cleveland.Plunkett was traded to the 49ers in 1976 and eventually signed with the Raiders in 1978. After starting quarterback Dan Pastorini broke his leg against the Chiefs five weeks into the 1980 season, Plunkett stepped in and the Raiders won nine of 11 to end the season. The Raiders then became the first wild card team to win the Super Bowl. Three seasons later, Plunkett once more came off the bench after Marc Wilson was injured and the Raiders again finished the season as Super Bowl champions.If the Cowboys, who are 2-0, are going to make the playoffs, they don’t need Weeden to suddenly become a Pro Bowler. All they need him to do is steer the ship and not sink until the captain can again take over.