Cowboys taking patient approach with Matt Cassel

The Cowboys acquired Matt Cassel in part to give them insurance if Brandon Weeden does not work out. Brandon Wade/AP

IRVING, Texas -- Matt Cassel begins his first full week of practice with the Dallas Cowboys today, eight days after he was traded from the Buffalo Bills.

The plan going forward for Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints is to keep Kellen Moore as the backup to Brandon Weeden, however, Jason Garrett said he will keep an open mind.

"We'll see how those guys play out this week," Garrett said. "We feel real good about both of them. Kellen is a few weeks ahead of Matt in terms of understanding our system. That's one of the reasons why he was the No. 2 last week, but Matt's learning quickly. We'll give those guys opportunities this week, and we'll make those determinations at week's end."

The Cowboys acquired Cassel in part to give them insurance if Weeden does not work out, but also in case he suffers another concussion. He suffered a concussion in the preseason and missed a game.

"Obviously, once you’ve had one you’re subject to another," executive vice president Stephen Jones said, "and if you’ve had another then it’s a longer period of time."

Weeden completed 22 of 26 passes for 234 yards and an interception in the Cowboys’ loss to the Atlanta Falcons, but he did not complete a pass to an outside receiver.

"We coached him to be very conservative, especially when we started with a good first half," Jones said "You didn’t want to go out and make a mistake that would hand the game to them."

Jones said Weeden played well vs. the Falcons, but expects more throws outside. If that doesn’t happen, then Cassel is waiting.

"There’s always a competition," Jones said. "It's different when you’re Tony Romo, Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. Everybody knows it’s their team. Brandon knows Cassel is in here, and if he doesn’t play well there’s a competition there. Jason (Garrett) has been pretty clear about that."