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Bills trade Cassel to Cowboys

The Buffalo Bills traded veteran backup quarterback Matt Cassel to the Dallas Cowboys Tuesday.

The Bills didn't reveal the terms, but a team source confirmed that they will get a fifth-round choice in the 2017 NFL Draft and give the Cowboys a seventh-round pick in the same draft.

Cassel, in his 11th NFL season, was the Bills' No. 2 quarterback behind Tyrod Taylor the past two weeks. EJ Manuel is now expected to assume that role. It is unclear what the Bills' plans are for a third quarterback.

The Cowboys became desperate for quarterback help after Tony Romo suffered a broken collarbone in Sunday's game against Philadelphia and was placed on the injured reserve/designated to return list.

Last March, the Bills acquired Cassel, along with a sixth-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, for a 2015 fifth-round choice and a seventh-rounder next year.

He was part of a three-way battle, with Taylor and Manuel, for the starting job that ran through offseason and training camp. Cassel took the fewest snaps in the preseason, appearing briefly in only two games. Quarterbacks coach David Lee said it was a tight competition and that Cassel was a serious consideration for the starting job.

The Bills released Cassel on Sept. 5, then re-signed him three days later. The move allowed them to significantly reduce his salary-cap hit, from $4.75 million to $1.8 million, via a new contract, although Buffalo did pay him a $500,000 bonus.

After rejoining the Bills, Cassel said he chose to return to Buffalo because his wife was eight months pregnant and he wanted stability for his family.

"... while football's something I do for a living, you know, they're No. 1 in my life," he told reporters at the time. "Obviously, there were opportunities to go other places and everything like that, but at the same time when you look at this situation, the hard work that went in throughout this entire offseason, I thought it was the best place for me."

Cassel actually took the first snap from scrimmage in the Bills' Sept. 13 season-opener against Indianapolis while Taylor lined up as a slot receiver. He has not played a down since.

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