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Stephen Jones Praises Gilbert but Confirms Dalton is Still Starting QB

Garrett Gilbert seemed to have started a quarterback controversy in Dallas with his solid play yesterday in the team’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. But Stephen Jones confirmed this morning that Andy Dalton is still the Cowboys’ starter now and for the remainder of the 2020 season.

In his first start and only significant playing time of his NFL career, Gilbert looked better than Dalton has most of this season. Since coming into the New York game after Dak Prescott’s injury and helping Dallas beat the Giants, Andy hasn’t shown the same level of play.

With Dalton having to sit out due to a potential COVID-19 exposure and Ben DiNucci getting benched after last week, Gilbert threw for 243 yards and a touchdown against one of the NFL’s top defenses. He looked controlled and confident even with the offensive line worries and a mostly ineffective run game.

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Cowboys VP Stephen Jones on @1053thefan said he thought Garrett Gilbert had a “hell of a day” and gave them “every opportunity to win” against the Steelers. But Andy Dalton will be Dallas’ starting QB when he returns from the reserve/COVID-19 list

That return should happen as soon as Week 11 when the Cowboys come off their Week 10 bye and play the Minnesota Vikings. No matter what happens this week in the NFC East, the Cowboys will still be just a few wins out from the division leader.

Even if the front office is shutting down any though of Garrett taking the job away now, that’s based on an assumption of how Dalton will perform once he returns. If Andy keeps struggling as he did before his concussion, they could easily hand the keys over Gilbert.

Talk is cheap and we know how little votes of confidence really mean. What Stephen Jones said today is just statement of the current reality and could change again as soon as Week 12.

For all we know, it’s could even be a smoke screen to keep Minnesota guessing. Nothing is truly certain until either Dalton or Gilbert walk out and take the first snap of the next game.

But it’s reasonable that the Cowboys want to see how Dalton can perform with Zack Martin back up front and helping stabilize the offensive line. Remember, Martin was injured early in the Arizona game (Dalton’s first as starter) and missed the following game against Washington when Dalton was concussed.

Rest assured, this debate isn’t over for the season. Unless Andy Dalton look great in Minnesota and keep that going all year, many will keep asking why Garrett Gilbert isn’t playing.

What do you think?

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Jess Haynie

Written by Jess Haynie

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!


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  1. The Management rides their bad decisions all the way.
    Why is Elliott starting over Pollard?
    Why is J Smith still a starter?
    Dalton was supposed to have been a big deal signing…
    Ego over performance has killed the Boys for 25 years

  2. They are certainly paying Dalton enough to justify him starting against Minnesota….plus, he didn’t get benched, he got hurt….so unless your name is Romo you get your job back….funny, if Dallas can beat Minnesota and then win on Thanksgiving, all of a sudden we will be talking winning the East again…and I have no doubt Dalton will give us the best shot to do that.
    Perhaps this is Stephens thinking as well!

  3. Different Jones, same dump decisions. I thought the coach decided who the best players were. The team showed juice with Gilbert. Plus Dalton is a statue.Top 3 draft pick going to Dallas.

  4. I think we are tanking!! There’s no other reason to start Dalton over Gilbert!! Gilbert done better in one game against one of the best defenses in the NFL than Dalton did in all both of his games he played combined!! So it’s obvious Gilbert is the better option at QB right now!! And if they choose other wise then they must wanna lose the rest of the way!! That’s the only thing that makes sense to me!!

  5. People need to calm down. Gilbert played one game (a good one) and everybody thinks he’s amazing. They still lost, right? Also, the TEAM didn’t do anything to help Dalton the two times he played. The offensive line had him running for his life because of injuries and he eventually got hurt, the defense couldn’t stop ANYBODY, and the special teams was horrendous as well. Gilbert had the luxury of all three units playing the best they’ve played all year. Martin is back in the lineup, the defense got players back as well (Gregory and Vander), and the special teams pulled out all the stops against Pittsburgh. Give Dalton the same and let’s see what he can do. He may not be the same player he once was when he took the Bengals to the playoffs several years in a row, but no reason to think he can’t perform when given a legit chance.

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