It has only been a few days since Andy Dalton joined the Dallas Cowboys and there are already some ripple effects being felt by his presence. On Monday, the Cowboys reaffirmed their belief in both Dalton and recently-drafted Ben DiNucci (who appeared on the BTB podcast feed this week... listen below) by waiving previous backup quarterback Cooper Rush. The team appears to be all-in on Dalton serving as Dak Prescott’s primary backup and DiNucci as the group’s project of the future.
There has been a lot of, we’ll call it spirited debate, since Andy Dalton joined the Cowboys as he has a long history of starting at the NFL level. Dalton has spent the last nine seasons as the top signal-caller for the Cincinnati Bengals, so many are curious as to why he would suddenly want to play for the Cowboys that have an unquestioned starter in Dak Prescott.
Dalton played college football at TCU so he has familiarity with the area. He also played high school football in Katy so Texas is as home to him. It really does seem that wanting to be near his roots is playing a part.
Andy Dalton discussed joining the Cowboys with ESPN’s Adam Schefter
Dalton gave his first interview since joining America’s Team with ESPN’s Adam Schefter. You can listen to it in its entirety right here.
There were a couple of key points that Dalton addressed. We’ve highlighted them for you.
On if he is looking at joining the Cowboys in a long-term type of way or if it is the next step.
“This is just the next step for me. I think, I wanted to join a high-class organization. A team that’s ready to win. And be with Mike McCarthy. His history with quarterbacks, I think it gives me a chance to come to a new place, a chance to learn, to help Dak out any way I can. And just to be an asset for this team. Obviously I bring a lot of experience and can bring a lot to the table. I’m here to help this team win and help in any way I can.”
On if he had any prior relationship with Mike McCarthy or Dak Prescott prior to joining the Cowboys.
“I do not. I talked with Mike just probably right when I got released. That was the first time. I’ve just met Dak playing against him.”
On what his immediate reaction was to the idea of playing in Dallas.
“I had some other options out there. For me just weighing everything. What’s going to set me up best. Just with everything. I felt like going to this organization, this team, like I said earlier this steam is ready to win. I felt like it was the best opportunity for this year and it hopefully will set me up for my future. I think… this was a big picture plan. I’m excited. Obviously for this year I think it’s a good opportunity for me to learn and be around an offensive coach and be around a great organization.”
Dalton mentioned at the end of the interview that he was interested to see what would happen in March 2021 when he is set to become a free agent once again. It is important to note that if the Cowboys are able to play Dalton at any point in 2020, to the point that he shows the rest of the league that he has something, that they could net a 2020 compensatory pick for him if he signs somewhere for notable money in 2021. That is obviously a bit ways down the road.
By all measures it seems like Andy Dalton just really wanted to play for the Dallas Cowboys and realized that doing so could be the best possible way to spend the next year getting his name back into consideration with other teams as a potential starter. It’s a wise move for him and a wise one for the team as they can potentially benefit from his skillset if they really need to.