Even while the Cowboys remain adamant that Prescott is the starter and Andy Dalton will be the backup, the doubt around the situation only seems to heighten. So, now even Andy Dalton himself has verbalized what his role with the Cowboys is expected to be.
Dalton spoke to the media earlier this week, telling them that “Dak is the starter on this team” and that he understood the situation he was signing into with the Cowboys.
Andy Dalton: "Dak has played really well. I knew the situation I was coming into. … Dak is the starter on this team. If for some reason he was to go down I will be able to step in and help this team."
Dalton went on to add that while he understands his role with the Cowboys is to be Prescott's backup, he still believes he can start in this league, stating that the quarterback market will look “a little bit different next offseason.”
“I'm going to try to be the biggest asset to this team, try to help out this offense, help out Dak, help out everybody as much as I can” – Andy Dalton
Of course, the longtime quarterback of the Cincinnati Bengals was forced to the open market due to a lackluster 2019 season which landed the team the first overall pick – and LSU Tigers standout quarterback Joe Burrow.
2020 with be Andy Dalton's tenth year in the NFL, and while that makes him a veteran it doesn't necessarily make him washed up. We're now seeing quarterbacks play well into their late thirties (and even forties) across the NFL.
Still, his play over the last couple of seasons has certainly dropped and a year as a backup could easily reset the public perception around him. Especially if he's asked to start a game due to injury, and gets to play with the plethora of weapons this Cowboys offense will deploy.
Overall this remains a smart career move for an aging Dalton, looking to take a gap year of sorts with a talented Cowboys unit. This is not someone who the franchise expects to handle the reigns for 16 games.