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.
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.