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PFF Ranks Andy Dalton As 3rd Best Backup QB In The NFL

For years it seemed that if the Cowboys lost their starting quarterback, their season was over.

Back in 2015 when Tony Romo missed just about the whole season, the Cowboys couldn’t piece together a backup plan to win games, ultimately finishing 4-12. In 2016 Romo got hurt again, but luckily then-rookie quarterback Dak Prescott was there to save the season.

A backup quarterback can make or break your entire season, and the Cowboys addressed their situation with former Bengals starter Andy Dalton this offseason.

Pro Football Focus ranked each backup quarterback in the NFL heading into the 2020 season, with the Cowboys’ Andy Dalton slotting at number three.

“Dalton would probably end up playing with his best supporting cast since 2015 if he were to play meaningful snaps for the Dallas Cowboys, so we could expect him to lead a solid offense.”

The only backup quarterbacks ranked above Dalton were Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, the top two picks of the 2015 NFL Draft. It’s hard to argue against those two considering both were recently considered top prospects and future franchise quarterbacks. It didn’t work out, obviously, but Dalton brings a different skillset to the table than those two.

Dalton himself as fallen off a bit in recent years, but as PFF mentioned, this supporting cast is nothing like he’s seen before. If he was forced into games this season he would be surrounded with three potential number one receivers and one of the league’s best running backs. That surrounding talent combined with his veteran presence would likely be enough to keep the Cowboys afloat for a few weeks.

As a backup option Andy Dalton is as good as the Cowboys have had in years, but he’s certainly not challenging Dak Prescott for the starting job any time soon.

This offense is put in place to go crazy in 2020, and even their backup quarterback is considered at the top in the league at his role.

What do you think?

Kevin Brady

Written by Kevin Brady

Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.


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    • Not getting carried away, just like him better than you do. I’d even suggest that by the end of 2021, your tune will change and you’ll be on board with him (wink, wink).

  1. I have to disagree with PFF…. I do think that Jameis Winston is better than Dalton, put aside all the interceptions he throws, he’s good!! But Marcus Mariota…. I can’t agree with that!!

    • Seems only fair to me that if you can put aside Winston’s interceptions (a huge aside to ask for!), then you should be able to put aside the fact that Dalton played for an offensively challenged organization, or whatever his issue is that you aren’t willing to overlook, as you are for Winston. Winston has been throwing interceptions since he entered the league, not just last year.

      That said, I’d be okay with Winston as my backup too. But if I had to hand the team to a backup for a season or more, I would trust Dalton much more.

  2. I agree and we are very lucky to have Dalton as a back up. If Dak misses time……Dalton could turn out to be our biggest pick up of the off season.

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