Andy Dalton
AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth

Losing Dak Prescott to an ankle injury for the season last week was devastating for Cowboys fans, coaches, and players. How he went down was heartbreaking, and hope he returns even stronger in 2021. Cheer up Cowboys fans, this won’t be like 2015 when Tony Romo went down, and ugly play ensued from Brandon Weedon, Matt Cassel, and Kellen Moore ruining a promising season. I believe Andy Dalton is the right guy to lead the Dallas Cowboys.

Before coming to the Cowboys, Dalton started at quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals from 2011-2019, went to three Pro-Bowl’s, and led them to five straight playoff appearances. As the Bengals starting quarterback, he was 70-61-2. Although he has never won a playoff game, he has proven success in the league. I think his career in Cincinnati is very underappreciated.

The Cowboys are also a better built than any of Dalton’s Bengals teams. In Dallas, he has one of the best running backs in the NFL in Ezekiel Elliot. With the Bengals, his best backs were Cedric Benson, Ben-Jarvus Green-Ellis, Jeremy Hill, and Joe Mixon. Those guys combined are nowhere near the talent that Elliott possesses. At the wide receiver position, he’ll have Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and promising rookie, CeeDee Lamb, to throw too. In Cincinnati, his best receivers were AJ Green and Tyler Boyd. The Cowboys offensive line is also one of the best in the business; protection won’t be an issue.

When Dak Prescott went down against the Giants, Dalton stepped in immediately and contributed. Despite very little acclimation with his teammates before the season, Dalton led the Cowboys to two touchdowns, a field goal, and eventually a 37-34 win. The starter always gets the most reps, and Dalton was a backup until now. Dalton also completed 75% of his passes in that game, and it makes one wonder if he will be better due to more superior weapons.

The one thing that could impede Dalton from winning in Dallas is the Cowboys defense. Dalton had the same problem with the Bengals as well. Although it looked a little better against New York, the Giants offense is still the worst in the league, and it managed to put up 34 points. This makes it all the more critical that Dallas has a capable backup quarterback.

Although it won’t nearly be as magical as when Dak took over the starting job and led the Cowboys to a 12-4 record, the Cowboys offense is in an excellent position to succeed with the experience Dalton brings to the huddle. Dalton is also no stranger to Dallas, as he once led TCU to an upset win over the Wisconsin Badgers in the Rose Bowl. There is no chance that it’ll be a repeat of what happened in 2015.

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