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2020 Backup QB Rankings: Where Does Cowboys’ Andy Dalton Land?

The importance of the backup position by fans and even in the NFL is probably a little underrated. The hope is that these players never see the field because they are generally a big step down talent-wise compared to whoever's playing ahead of them. But, a backup QBs value could very well be the difference in a winning or losing season, or making the and not.

It really doesn't matter what team you root for, there's been numerous occasions where a backup QBs value has come into play. A good backup can keep the team afloat, but a bad one can put an end to things pretty quickly. That's why today I thought I'd take a look at all of the projected backup QBs around the NFL and rank them accordingly.

Let's take a look…

32. Seattle Seahawks – Anthony Gordon

31. Los Angeles Rams – John Wolford

30. Tennessee Titans – Logan Woodside

29. Minnesota Vikings – Sean Mannion

28. Arizona Cardinals – Brett Hundley

27. New York Jets – David Fales

26. Buffalo Bills – Matt Barkley

25. Jacksonville Jaguars – Joshua Dobbs

24. Carolina Panthers – Will Grier

23. Cincinnati Bengals – Ryan Finley

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Blaine Gabbert

21. Denver Broncos – Jeff Driskel

20. Houston Texans – AJ McCarron

19. Washington Redskins – Kyle Allen

18. New York Giants – Colt McCoy

17. Atlanta Falcons – Matt Schaub

16. Baltimore Ravens – Robert Griffin III

15. Pittsburgh Steelers – Mason Rudolph

14. Detroit Lions – Chase Daniel

13. New England Patriots – Brian Hoyer

12. Kansas City Chiefs – Chad Henne

11. San Francisco 49ers – Nick Mullens

10. Chicago Bears – Mitchell Trubisky

9. Green Bay Packers – Jordan Love

8. Philadelphia Eagles – Jalen Hurts

7. Los Angeles Chargers – Justin Herbert

6. Cleveland Browns – Case Keenum

5. Indianapolis Colts – Jacoby Brissett

Jacoby Brissett
QB Jacoby Brissett

Jacoby Brissett did everything within his power to convince the Indianapolis Colts he was a starting caliber quarterback in the NFL, but unfortunately it just didn't workout. They decided to aim higher, in the to become their signal caller for the . Brissett's time as a starter might not have lasted as long as he would have liked, but he now becomes one of the better backup QBs in the entire league. Who knows what his future holds though? After all, he's just one snap away from regaining his starting gig. The starting job could very well be his once again if something were to happen to Philip Rivers.

4. Las Vegas Raiders – Marcus Mariota

Marcus Mariota
QB Marcus Mariota

Las Vegas Raiders could very well have a QB battle on their hands to see who becomes their starter for the 2020 season. With the interrupted offseason due to the / pandemic, are Derek Carr remains the starter for now. Marcus Mariota has the talent though to unseat him at some point in the season, if not right away. Mariota wasn't great by any means as the starting QB for the , but a change in venue could be what he needs to resurrect his career. A career in which he has generated a 89.6 QB rating, thrown for 76 TDs to 44 INT's, and a 62.9 completion percentage. If he can remain healthy, his time as a backup QB could be a short one.

3. New Orleans Saints – Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston

It's funny how things work in the NFL sometimes. went from being ' backup to now starting QB and Jameis Winston goes from starting QB to backup now with the New Orleans Saints. You may disagree, but I actually think the Saints upgraded and have a potential long-term solution after Brees finally decides to hang up his cleats. Winston is still just 26 years old and has a long career ahead of himself if he can learn to cut down the interceptions. If not for his 30 INT's last year, seven of which were returned for a touchdown, he likely would have landed a starting gig somewhere this offseason. Throwing for 5,109 passing yards and 33 touchdowns in 2019 is nothing to scoff at. If not for all those INT's, I probably would've ranked him higher.

2. Miami Dolphins – Tua Tagovailoa

Tua Tagovailoa
QB Tua Tagovailoa

Tua Tagovailoa's time as the Miami Dolphins should be short-lived. He is expected to be their franchise QB in the not-too-distant future, however, they should be in no rush to name him the starter anytime soon. Tua's current and long-term health needs to be figured out first before the Dolphins even consider moving him up the . It wouldn't be completely surprising if 2020 is a red shirt kind of year for him. Let him sit behind for season to learn and continue to improve his health, both mentally and physically. There's absolutely no reason to throw him to the wolves right away and risk further , especially considering Miami is a team who looks to be rebuilding at the moment. For now though, he's one heck of a backup.

1. Dallas Cowboys – Andy Dalton

Andy Dalton

Upgrading from to Andy Dalton was not only a brilliant move by the Dallas Cowboys, but it also landed them the best backup quarterback in the NFL in my . Granted, Dalton wasn't great in 2019 with the Bengals and was even benched for a while in favor of Ryan Finley, but he was playing behind a terrible and had very few weapons at his disposal to succeed. That won't be the case in Dallas. The Cowboys have the best WR trio in the league, a Top 5 offensive line, and a Top 5 . Dalton hasn't been surrounded by this kind of talent at any point in his career. All in all, this was an excellent move by the Dallas Cowboys. They landed a QB who currently ranks ninth in passing yards, 10th in touchdown passes, and eighth in QB wins since he entered the league in 2011. They are now in excellent hands if had to miss any time for whatever reason.

Do you think Andy Dalton is the best backup QB in the NFL?

Brian Martin
Brian Martin
Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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Malik ahmad grayson


Terry Smith

Couldn’t ask for a better situation, sitting behind Dak as a backup or a starter.

Mark Stapleton

I’d like to see him as the starter. The cap hit Dallas will take if they do resign Prescott isn’t worth it for a quarterback that can’t win the game that matters the most. Every year the playoff appearance depends on beating the Eagles and Prescott can’t get it done!!!


Prescott has a winning precentage against every single team in the NFC East.


Dak has a winning record against the Eagles . He beat Russell Wilson in a playoff game.

Cowboy Fan Ed

Good article! And yes I believe that AD is the best backup in the League! I honestly believe that if given the chance AD will be a pleasant surprise!! I sure would like for Dak to take less money and help this team but it is what it is!!


Never has there been a more perfect example of Cowboy Hype.
Dalton is a truly terrible and limited player who is unbelievably, totally wrong as the Boys backup. That is not opinion. That is the facts according to stats.
First , Dalton has been terrible for the last 3 years as he completed 59%, 61% and 59% the last 3 years eeven though he had good to very good receivers during most of that time. 59% in the current NFL is just horrid.
Second, he did that horrid passing while simply running a straight drop back offense with no other responsibilities. By contrast, Dak completed 71% of his straight drop back passes in 2019 and was #1 in the league most accurate as a straight drop back passer.
But it gets worse.
Dalton ran for 70 yards TOTAL in 2019, There is no evidence he can even run 2/3 of the Boys offense plays that involves the QB moving with the ball and either running or passing or rolling out.
Bottom line is Dalton is a 1995 type drop back statue as a QB who cannot throw accurately even standing still.
So, no, Dalton is not the #1 anything for 2020. Dallas hype and Jerry’s love of a name player strikes again.

John Dixon

Surprising with your poor grasp on logic and obvious thought that you alone are right you could free up so much of your time to write such an ignorant comment. Anyone who thinks Dalton played with good receivers and had any type of a winning team around him or even a coach who was better than average knows little to nothing about football. And while playing on bad teams he managed to go the the Pro bowl multiple times.

Piece of advice for you… Usually when the majority of people see something one way and you see it completely different you are probably wrong.


Until the Boys signed Dalton” everybody” was writing that the Bengals should just cut Dalton and pick a new QB in the draft…which is exactly what happened. No One said Dalton was underrated or held back by the team. . In fact, writers in Cincy talk of how the rookie can use all the tools Dalton could not use.
And, the stats are the stats. But, NFL Gamepass is free so go watch Dalton and then tell us you saw someone who can run the Dallas offense.
So, no, this Dalton hype is 100% created after his signing due to Dallas Hype disease.

Cowboys fan

And here again with that garbage…. In case you didn’t notice, Dalton got benched for a rookie QB that was drafted last season and look what happened….. Nothing…. They still sucked!! And they still got the number 1 overall pick in this year’s draft!! And Joe Burrow will prove everybody right too…. Cincy hasn’t had a good team since back in the day when they had Terrell Owens and Chad Johnson!! So you and these so called writers have no idea what your talking about!!


This is from a Bengals fan so I admit my bias. The Bengals were actually very good for several years. They had a great O line and weapons around Dalton. They had surpassed the Ravens and were standing toe to toe with Pittsburgh. They went back to being the Bungles the moment burfict was NOT immediately cut after (once again) selfishly costing them a game. They very likely hold off the Steelers and win that playoff game without his dangerous and idiotic head hunting and accompanying penalties. The next season you could see that the entire locker room had been lost. The O line that came back was never the same and the team had no fight.

Andy was always a class act and had problems when he tried to take on too much and win the game by himself. I think you guys got a steal, even if he never plays a down. You can never have too many class guys in the locker room!

Cowboys fan

It’s funny how your the only person that thinks Andy Dalton is all hype!! And it’s funnier how you think that Andy Dalton actually had a good team to play behind!! Dalton hasn’t had a good team since he came into the league, but he some how managed to make the playoffs 4 or 5 years in a row even though the teams he played behind were garbage!! And he’s made the pro bowl multiple times playing behind a team that was again garbage!! And the stats you pulled up about him for the last 3 years are again garbage…. The team he’s played behind in those 3 years are worse than the teams he played for before those 3 years!! And what’s even more garbage is that your gonna sit there and try to compare his stats to Daks when Dak has been playing behind a top 5 offensive line, a top 5 running back and a top 10 receiving core, all while Andy Dalton has been playing with a team that ranks close to if not all the way at the bottom of the league!! So to me, and obviously everybody else…. Your logic is garbage and you have no idea what your talking about!!

Chuck Wright

Amazing to go down that list saying “who” “who”????

But don’t think there is any question if Dak goes down Dalton can handle himself in games.

Dallas has done really well this off season, now lets see if we can at least make the NFC title game.

Would love it to be vs Green Bay (even though I think Seattle and SF are far more likely) and see Coach Mike deliver some payback.

Euless Paul

Top 3 for sure. Maybe #1.

So my question: Would Cooper Rush have been #32, or are some of the lower echelon even less than him? Nobody snapped him up as their #2 (I assume the NYG will have Colt McCoy higner on the depth chart).

Gary b

Well Dak did have his best yr by far when the cowboys had best oline in league and arguably best RB Zeke. Some people even go as far as to call that a fluke yr he has been living off since then. Cant underestimate how much an elite running attack benefits a QB. Pretty sure Dalton never had close to an elite running game with Bengals. That said I would still take Dak over Dalton though they might be closer then u think. Plus Dak has room to improve whereas Dalton at 32 will only go downhill. At least I’m hoping Dak improves if he doesn’t he isn’t worth the contract he will be getting. And by improve I mean he has to win key important games. The further this contract fiasco goes the better Dalton will start looking.


Of course he is the best back up. He holds multiple franchise records with the bengals passing two quarterbacks who had made the super bowl in boomer and Kenny Anderson, Also there was Carson Palmer. He lead the bengals to 5 consecutive playoff runs his first 5 years in the league. His rookie year when he was drafted every expert said the bengals wouldn’t win more than 3-4 games. He has a lot of come back wins and everyone wants to say how bad his last 3 years were. Well without playmakers and a good healthy o line it’s kind of hard to do. Look at his first 5 years in the league when he had a good o line and good players around him. Not to mention his experience and knowledge of the game being a groomed veteran. Imagine what he could do with the cowboys. I really would let dad walk and give Andy a deal for 4 years. It would be much cheaper and in my opinion more valuable overall to the team. Dak looks better than he really is because of Zek and his o line!!!!

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