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Andy Dalton Ready for the “Next Step” with the Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys made a splash Saturday night when they signed free agent Quarterback Andy Dalton to a one-year deal to be the backup quarterback. Dalton, speaking to Adam Schefter, should clear up any misconceptions about the role he’ll play in Dallas following the signing.

Andy Dalton joined Schefter for his Podcast and spoke about what this means for Dalton and his future.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Andy Dalton on the @AdamSchefter podcast on joining the Cowboys: “This team is ready to win. I felt like it was the best opportunity for this year and hopefully it will set me up for my future. … I feel like there is a lot of good football left for me.

A quarterback with Andy Dalton’s experience doesn’t come around very often, so it’s no surprise that he had options available to him. Aside from the New England Patriots and perhaps the Jacksonville Jaguars, there isn’t a team that has an immediate need at quarterback. Almost every organization is tied down to their franchise quarterback or has a young guy that they’re still trying to figure out if he’s the guy.

New England seems pretty set on going with Jarrett Stidham, and the Jaguars have Gardner Minshew, who played well for them last year.

Most of Dalton’s options were likely of the backup quarterback variety, and as he mentions, the Dallas Cowboys are in really good shape to contend in 2020.

In addition to living in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, Dalton cited new Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Mike McCarthy as one of the reasons for coming to the Cowboys. McCarthy is one of the better quarterbacks coaches in the NFL, and Dalton will get a good education under McCarthy over the next year.

The former Cinncinati Bengals quarterback is eyeing the second act of his career and hopes a year in Dallas could create an opportunity for him to start somewhere else in the future.

RJ Ochoa on Twitter

Dallas Cowboys QB Andy Dalton told @AdamSchefter that he believes joining the Cowboys is part of the next step for him. He also specifically cited Mike McCarthy’s ability to develop quarterbacks.

Having a backup quarterback with the talent and experience that Andy Dalton brings to the table is going to help everyone from Dak Prescott to the depth on the roster. Dalton’s presence in the quarterback room will help with game planning and giving Dak another set of eyes in-game, similar to what Mark Sanchez provided during Dak’s rookie season.

When the second-team gets their reps in training camp practices and the preseason, that offense will get the most out of their reps with Andy Dalton leading them. While Rush showed improvement during his time in Dallas, Dalton will help the guys down the depth chart develop.

Even if he never takes a snap during the regular season, Andy Dalton’s 133 career starts, and a career passer rating of 87.5 is going to be quite useful to a team that hasn’t had a veteran backup quarterback since 2016.

While Dak Prescott has gotten through the first four years of his career without missing a game, the Dallas Cowboys bought a high-quality insurance policy in the event Prescott is forced to miss games in 2020. Just having his presence in the meeting room, on the practice field, and on the sideline on gamedays is going to help everyone on the offense to be better in 2020.

What do you think?

John Williams

Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.


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  1. Only time will tell what Dalton’s role will be with the Cowboys. We can all speculate and give our best guess. Dalton, himself, does not really know, as there are factors that can change this picture.

    My hope is for Jerry Jones to stop negotiating with Prescott and/or his agent. He made a very generous offer way back in September of LAST YEAR. $33 to $34 MILLION per year, $105 MILLION GUANTANTEED. Of course, this would be on top of all the endorsements worth probably TENS OF MILLIONS of $$$ for being a DALLAS COWBOY. The ball is in Prescott’s court. Let him come to the table. Jones has ALWAYS been willing to overpay his players. I don’t think a player could be happier than to have Jerry Jones as the owner of their team. Prescott is probably asking for some ridiculous terms that even Jerry Jones has a problem with. Remember there is a salary cap, and other players on the team beside his highness, Prescott.

    So Mr Jones, please proceed with your team as having Dalton as our starting QB, until and if Prescott comes to his senses in a time frame that does not at all disrupt the TEAM. Because of the pandemic, timeframes are being compressed, so keep the continuity as constant as possible. PLEASE DO NOT HURT THE TEAM FOR THE FANTASY DREAMS OF ONE PLAYER.

    Dalton says “I’m here to help the team WIN”. GREAT, LOVE THAT ADDITUDE. He is more than capable of going better than 8-8. I actually don’t think there is a big drop off in the talent. With this talented offense, Dalton will do great, IMHO. Don’t discount Dalton.

    Prescott is NOT IRREPLACEABLE!

  2. I’m sick as crap of dak,s bullshit contract talk ! DAK is being a greedy prick and not thinking or caring about the rest of the team! I like the way DAK plays but am sick of waiting and hearing about his contract! They’ve offered him really good money!

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