In yet another shocking move of this NFL off-season, the Dallas Cowboys have signed former Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton.
The decision has baffled fans and pundits alike as contract negotiations rumble on with starting QB Dak Prescott.
Dalton has signed a one-year deal for $7 million which includes $3 million in guaranteed cash.
In comparison, former Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston signed a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints worth $1.1 million but with $3.4 million in incentives.
So it seems the Cowboys were more than keen to get Andy Dalton on board and it’s easy to understand why.
While he may have put his best starting QB years behind him, he is still a talented player and will make a solid back-up should the team sort the Prescott situation.
Andy Dalton has been selected to the Pro-Bowl three times and was 70-61-2 as the Bengals’ nine year starter from 2011 to 2019.
He completed 62 per cent of his passes for 31,594 yards and 204 touchdowns with 118 interceptions.
Talks between Dak and the Cowboys have been at a standstill for months with both sides barely shifting to meet the other’s demands.
Reports suggested the Dallas Cowboys had offered Prescott a contract worth $105 million but the quarterback turned that down.
They then offered to make him the highest-paid player in the league, rewarding him with $35 million a year over a five-year contract but that was rejected too, according to CBS Sports.
Dak is skipping the club’s voluntary virtual off-season programme and every day that stays the case, the longer he is not learning McCarthy’s system.
But what does the signing of Andy Dalton mean for their negotiations?
Well, firstly, it means the Dallas Cowboys now have taken the pressure off their talks as they’ve acquired some pretty effective insurance in the form of a seasoned NFL starter.
Dak Prescott shouldn’t feel pressured as Dalton is definitely back-up material in comparison and, obviously, the Cowboys stuck the franchise tag on him.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound quarterback went 2-11 last season, only completing 59 per cent of his passes for 3,494 yards and 16 touchdowns with 14 interceptions.
He will make a safe pair of hands, though, should anything happen to the Dallas Cowboys’ starter whenever the next season gets underway.
In a league which saw Patrick Mahomes, Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger miss games last season, this is an important point to remember.
Should the worst case scenario happen for the team and they fail to keep Prescott then Dalton would help bridge the gap.
Expect the Cowboys to throw their support behind Prescott vocally and say this signing has nothing to do with their negotiations.
Many have come out and said that the move is disrespectful to Dak – most notably Dez Bryant who took to Twitter and slammed the Cowboys’ decision.
He said: “Nothing against Andy Dalton because I think he’s a great player but the Cowboys are extremely out of line.
“Pay Dak. I watched the Cowboys pay Tony Romo. Twice. Once without a winning rec.
“I guess the Cowboys viewing the QB position a plug in piece because of the dominant offence.”
He went on to add that he had never seen a QB have to hold out for what was “rightfully owed to him”.
While it may put emphasis on the Dak Prescott situation and the need to find a solution, it shouldn’t be seen as disrespectful to Dak.
It is merely the Cowboys making sure they aren’t left short-handed. You can’t expect them to not be prepared for every eventuality.
Andy Dalton has signed for back-up money and only for a one-year deal so it should not be seen as a challenge to Dak’s role as the starter.
What do you think of the Cowboy’s signing? Should they have paid Dak Prescott first?
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