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NFL: Making Sense of Andy Dalton to Dallas

The Red Rocket takes off to Dallas!

Dallas Cowboys by Adam Simmons is licensed under CC BY NC ND 2.0

NFL: Making Sense of Andy Dalton to Dallas

Estimated Reading Time: 4 Minutes

Andy Dalton was released from the Cincinnati Bengals, and it didn’t take long for him to find a new home. A home that he is familiar with. Dallas, Texas is where Dalton will be heading to for one-year and $7 million.

A lot of people are shocked by this move and, quite frankly, I was too. But the more I think about it, the more it actually makes a lot of sense to me. Many thought that Dalton would go to New England or Jacksonville (I personally thought Jacksonville). But if you think about it, why would it be New England? You think Bill Belichick’s quarterback post-Brady adhesive was really going to be a 32-year old Dalton? Belichick is better than that, and he wants you and everyone else to know it. Belichick wants to prove that he can move on from Brady and build the Patriots back up from the ground again. And that starts with tutelage invested in Jarrett Stidham, not Andy Dalton.

Meanwhile, the Jaguars seem to be in complete rebuild mode. By looking to trade Leonard Fournette and Yannick Ngakoue, as well as already dumping Calais Campbell, Jalen Ramsey, and A.J. Bouye, it seems the Jaguars are really looking to blow their team up into smithereens. Perhaps the goal here is to get Trevor Lawrence in next year’s draft. And let me ask you this: If you were in complete rebuild mode, would you really go out of your way to sign Andy Dalton?

Now enter the Cowboys, where Dalton will be backup to Dak Prescott and play under new Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy. There are three big reasons why this move makes sense.

1. Cowboys don’t want to overpay Dak

This move to sign Dalton is not really about pushing Dak out the door. Instead, I think this is about insurance for Dallas in case they cannot reach an agreement with Dak.

The Cowboys like Dak, but they don’t LOVE him. And I don’t think the Cowboys are necessarily wrong here. Because I think Dak is a good quarterback but not a GREAT quarterback. I don’t blame Dallas for wanting to play the waiting game with Dak. After all, Dak did already turn down $105 million guaranteed from the Cowboys. So if Dak is frustrated about the Titans giving Ryan Tannehill $91 million guaranteed, he should remember that he was once offered $105 million guaranteed, and Tannehill made it to an AFC Championship game while he and the rest of the Cowboys sat at home this past season.

The bottom line is that the Cowboys should not break the bank for Dak; even if that means moving off of him. And in case a deal is never done or, even more bizarre, if Dak decides to sit out the season or part of it, at least the Cowboys will have a veteran backup who has enough talent and plenty of experience to keep the team afloat. The way I see it, Dalton is not a succession plan; rather he is more a contingency plan for the Cowboys.

2. Dalton is heading home

Andy Dalton is from Texas and played college ball at TCU. It wouldn’t surprise me if A). The Cowboys said, “Hey, if you want to come home, we have a spot for you” and B). Because of the coronavirus and all of its surrounding uncertainty, maybe Dalton decided it would be best to head home. After all, he was released. So I would imagine Dalton didn’t have much choice in the matter. And when in doubt about what your next move will be, why not head home; at least for the time being?

3. Cowboys need to add QB depth anyway

Have you seen Dallas’ QB depth chart? Yeah, not good. After Dak, the depth chart was Ben DiNucci and Cooper Rush. DiNucci has zero playing experience in the NFL, and Cooper Rush, in his three-year career, has just one completion for two yards.

That’s it.

So, I think we can confidently say that the Dallas Cowboys needed to add QB depth anyway. And adding Andy Dalton, while it may seem like a strange move, makes a lot of sense to me.

Matt lives in Newnan, Georgia but was born and raised in Upstate New York. He is a fan of the New York Yankees, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Boston Celtics. At the collegiate level, he is a Notre Dame and Syracuse fan (yeah he can root for both, and what?!) He must, however, find a soccer team to root for. So him out there. All suggestions are welcome. You can catch Matt on the Turf mostly covering NFL, NBA, MLB, College Football and Basketball, and Horse Racing (that is not a typo, he practically grew up on a racetrack). It's nothing's strictly sports.

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