Andy Dalton is now back to being a starting NFL quarterback.
After a nine-year career as the main signal-caller for the Bengals, Dalton was cut this offseason as the franchise ushered in the Joe Burrow era in Cincinnati. That left Dalton to find a new home for the first time in his pro career, and that turned out to be a backup role with the Cowboys.
Dalton, a Texas native, was set to spend 2020 on the bench as Dak Prescott put up absurd numbers in Dallas’ loaded offense. But this is the NFL, and if there’s one sure thing about this league, it’s that there’s no such thing as a sure thing.
In the third quarter of today’s game vs. the Giants, Prescott suffered a compound fracture and dislocated ankle, ending his 2020 season after just five weeks.
Enter The Red Rifle.
With Prescott out, Dalton entered the game and would ultimately lead Dallas on a game-winning drive in the final minutes to give the Cowboys a 37-34 win. The final drive saw Dalton at his best, as he made several big-time throws to put his team in near-chip shot range for a game-winning field goal.
Andy Dalton making plays what a snag by Michael Gallup #DallasCowboys pic.twitter.com/j6ZO6yxCCV— Roto Street Journal (RSJ) (@RotoStJournal) October 11, 2020
MICHAEL GALLUP! Holy shit#DallasCowboys pic.twitter.com/TkvXbBnY9b— Roto Street Journal (RSJ) (@RotoStJournal) October 11, 2020
Dalton would finish the game 9/11 passing for 111 yards and a 108.7 passer rating in what could be the beginning of a special season under center, as he’s about to take over a Cowboys offense that’s absolutely loaded, perhaps more than any Bengals offense he ever ran.
In addition, we can’t forget about that Week 14 game when Dallas comes to Cincinnati, which is now shaping up to be Dalton’s first game back in the Queen City, where he enjoyed five-straight playoff berths.
And with the NFC East being so bad this year, Dalton has a very good shot at getting back to the postseason for a sixth time, where he’d also look to win his first playoff game.