Jason Garrett: Matt Cassel with Cowboys as insurance

IRVING, Texas – With Tony Romo out for the next eight weeks, the Dallas Cowboys’ acquisition of Matt Cassel from the Buffalo Bills is all about insurance.

What it’s not is a quarterback competition between Brandon Weeden and Cassel once he gets caught up in the playbook.

“We felt it was good to bring a veteran quarterback in,” coach Jason Garrett said. “We felt like we could get a guy who learned our system quickly, has played in games in the NFL … At this position it’s a very important position on the football team and it’s a long season, so having all hands on deck we felt was important.”

The Cowboys also called up Kellen Moore from the practice squad and he will be the backup Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons, but Garrett did not rule out the team dressing three quarterbacks for the game.

Before Cassel can learn the playbook, he has to arrive in town. He is expected to join the Cowboys in the middle of practice after flying out of Buffalo on Wednesday morning.

Weeden, who completed all seven passes for 73 yards --including a 42-yard touchdown to Terrance Williams -- after filling in for Romo against the Philadelphia Eagles, is the clear starter. As he has the last two years with Romo resting his back, he took the first-team snaps in Wednesday’s practice.

Cassel, who is 33-38 as a starter in his career with 96 touchdowns and 70 interceptions, has experience in a similar system as the Cowboys, having played for Norv Turner last year with the Minnesota Vikings. Garrett spoke with Turner about Cassel before the Cowboys finished the deal on Tuesday.

Garrett doesn’t want Weeden looking over his shoulder.

“Every player on this team is competing each and every day for their spot on the team, for their role on the team. That’s starters, that’s backup guys, that’s everybody. He knows that,” Garrett said. “Everybody knows that. Having said that, 100 percent support behind Brandon as our starting quarterback. You know, we’re always trying to make our team better. 365 days out of the year we’re looking at who’s available to help us make our team better.”