It wasn't that big of a surprise the Cincinnati Bengals decided to release Andy Dalton after they drafted former LSU Quarterback Joe Burrow first overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. What was a surprise though was what happened afterwards, Dalton signing with the Dallas Cowboys to become Dak Prescott's backup.
Almost everybody believed Andy Dalton would head to a team where he could land another starting job. To sign with the Dallas Cowboys seemed to come out of nowhere, especially considering they were trying to lock up Dak Prescott long-term. Hardly anybody envisioned Dalton settling for a backup job, yet here we are.
There's no way of knowing why Andy Dalton decided to return to his home state of Texas, but there's no doubt the Dallas Cowboys are better for it. Having an established backup QB behind Prescott – something that hasn't occurred since his rookie season – could prove to be invaluable. Invaluable or not though, he could have a hard time seeing the field much in 2020.
If Andy Dalton came to Dallas with the idea he would see much playing time he's going to be disappointed. Dak Prescott hasn't played less than 99% of the offensive snaps since his rookie season. His ability to remain healthy is uncanny, especially considering how physical he is as a runner. That doesn't bode well for Dalton seeing much playing time.
That has to be something the former Cincinnati Bengals QB thought about before signing with the Dallas Cowboys. He had to know how healthy Prescott has been throughout his career and how little former backup QBs have played since No. 4 took over as the starter. So why? Why did Dalton sign with the Cowboys?
Since it's just a one-year deal, Andy Dalton may just be looking for a chance to recharge. What better place to do it then close to friends and family in the great state of Texas where he was born and raised?
For the first time in his professional career Andy Dalton has little to no pressure on his shoulders now that he's a backup. He can now just mentor from the sidelines without having to worry too much about all of the pressure that comes with being a starting QB in the NFL. That alone should help him recharge before decisions have to be made about his career beyond the 2020 season.
At just 33 years old, Andy Dalton's days as a starting quarterback in the NFL may not be over just yet. But, for the 2020 season at least he will serve in a backup role with the Dallas Cowboys. It's unlikely he will see much playing time, however, that could be the very reason he decided to sign with America's Team.