When the Dallas Cowboys signed Andy Dalton over the offseason it was widely assumed that he would never see the field as the team’s starting quarterback. Football can be cruel sometimes, and as you know, Dak Prescott suffered a devastating ankle injury last week which has led us to this point. It’s Red Rifle time.
There are 11 games left for the Cowboys this season (unless they win the NFC East which they are actually favored to do) which means there is a lot of time for Andy Dalton to work. He is taking over a first-place team (with a super impressive 2-3 record!) and has arguably the best wide receiver group in the NFL to work with.
Of course, Dalton will also have to play behind an offensive line that is down its starting tackles. He will also have a defense that has played among the worst in the NFL which will, like Dak Prescott before him, likely put him in situations where he is going to have to score a lot for the Cowboys to have a chance.
Ideally Dalton will be able to help the Cowboys win a lot of games, and if he does pile up a bunch of statistics he will benefit himself by way of a few contract incentives.
Andy Dalton has a number of contract incentives that he can reach with the Dallas Cowboys
NFL contracts generally carry with them a number of incentives for players and if they reach them they trigger clauses that net them more money. Again, this is a fairly common thing throughout sports as a whole.
It is always interesting when someone like Andy Dalton has incentives in their deal because he was not predicted to play at all for the team. Nevertheless, he does have a number of ways that he can earn himself some more money this season as NFL Network noted on Sunday morning.
50% regular-season playtime and the Cowboys make the playoffs: $1 million.
35% regular-season playtime and 50% playtime in a wild-card playoff win: $500,000.
35% regular-season playtime and 50% playtime in a divisional playoff win: $500,000.
35% regular-season playtime and 50% playtime in a conference championship win: $750,000.
35% regular-season playtime and 50% playtime in a Super Bowl win: $1.25 million.
Barring injury, Dalton is easily going to play over 50% of the season and a trip to the postseason would see his bank account increase by an extra million dollars as a result of it. Anything else beyond that from a practicality standpoint doesn’t exactly seem feasible, but this is of course football where weird things happen.
It seems like Cowboys fans have a legitimate level of belief in Dalton, and it should be said that this report from NFL Network noted that other teams agreed with that. There were a handful of squads throughout the league that were interested in Dalton’s services. The Colts, Bears, Buccaneers, Jaguars, and Jets are all listed among them.
Yahoo’s Charles Robinson reported over the offseason about interest from all of those teams except for Tampa Bay, and according to him the New England Patriots were interested in Dalton as well. Hopefully they were all right in wanting to see him play for their team.
For what it’s worth, NFL Network also reported on Sunday morning that Dak Prescott believes that he can beat the 4-6 month timeframe that has been given to his recovery process.