Andy Dalton To Sign With Cowboys

Just a couple of days after the Bengals released QB Andy Dalton, the Cowboys are bringing him back home. Per Adam Schefter of, Dallas is signing the Texas native to a one-year, $3MM deal that can reach $7MM with incentives (Twitter link).

One immediate response to the signing is that it could be a leverage play for the Cowboys in their continuing negotiations with Dak Prescott. But according to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, that is not the case (Twitter link). Rather, Dallas believes it has a legitimate chance to win the Super Bowl this year, and it’s not often that a team can add a quality, highly-experienced backup this late in the offseason.

And while Jelani Scott of writes that Dalton is happy to be returning to his home state, the fact that he is signing with the Cowboys knowing that he will be the backup is telling. We heard immediately after Dalton’s release that the Patriots and Jaguars were interested in his services, and the three-time Pro Bowler would have theoretically had an opportunity to compete for the starting job with those clubs. So as Albert Breer of observes, perhaps New England’s and Jacksonville’s reported interest amounted to little more than due diligence (Twitter link).

On the other hand, Todd Archer of says Dalton’s decision to sign with the Cowboys was at least partially motivated by the coronavirus. Given the uncertainty created by the pandemic, Dalton — who lives in Dallas — was eager to stay at home even if that meant eschewing a better opportunity elsewhere (though since teams’ offseason programs look like they will remain virtual for the foreseeable future, it seems as if a better opportunity simply wasn’t presenting itself).

The last report concerning Prescott and the Cowboys suggested that negotiations between the two sides were going very well. Prescott has his detractors — just like Dalton — but he has not missed a game in his four-year career, and Dallas certainly hopes that trend will continue in 2020. But if Prescott does miss time, Dallas will have the luxury of inserting a capable signal-caller who has guided his team to the playoffs and who has a winning record over 133 games as a starting QB.

And Dalton, who expressed disappointment that the Bengals did not release him early enough for him to have a chance to catch on with a team that had not already addressed its quarterback position, will have the opportunity to truly explore unrestricted free agency in 2021, when the market will presumably be much less robust than it was this year.

The Cowboys are also rostering Cooper Rush, who has served as Prescott’s backup in each of the past three seasons. Rush is set to earn a non-guaranteed $2.1MM in 2020, but while the team doesn’t have a ton of cap space, it probably has enough to sign its draft class and get through the season (especially if Prescott signs a multi-year deal, which should lower his 2020 number). So even though Rush will be demoted to QB3, he still has a good chance of making the team.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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60 comments on “Andy Dalton To Sign With Cowboys

    • Jimmy Johnson’s Ghost

      My top 2 current Cowboys QB’s:
      1. Andy Dalton
      2. Dak Prescott

      • Jcool90

        I’m Ravens fan, but bet and believe Dak is either
        1. Get hurt and be out rest of season. I hope nobody gets hurt. Not cool, just predictions.
        2. Get benched.
        3. After the season leaves and sign somewheres else.
        4. Or Play all season and have a career year, BUT wont ever win a SB for the cowgirls.

    • Coal tender

      With the kind of receiving corps signed doesn’t matter which QB is the man under – both should excel.

  1. KingTiger

    The Cowgirls won’t even make the playoffs this year.
    Prescott can’t beat a good team.

  2. kjwillis121

    Trade Rumors must still be looking for a weekend writer. This news broke by almost every other sports site when it happened.
    I’m still open to writing for you guys if you need someone to stay on top of stories.

    • dynamite drop in monty

      Is the signing of a backup quarterback really that important to you? There’s other media for that. I look at this site as a great resource for rumors [amazing, I know], ideas, rumblings, original content [MLBTR has produced some really great introspectives lately]. I can live without Andy Dalton’s signing on a Saturday night for a few extra hours.

    • B-Minus21

      Lol then don’t come to the website. Stick to your other sources. Not everyone demands a backup qb signing the second it happens. What a douche of a comment. Use their site for free and complain about the content.

      • crosseyedlemon

        @B-Minus. I’m 100% with you on this. I’m getting just a little annoyed with these people who think the world should revolve around them. They whine and complain but never once offer anything in the way of positive suggestions on how to make things better. These nitwits never consider that others have family matters to take care of or problems to resolve. I’ts always ME ME ME for these A-hats.

    • hOsEbEeLiOn

      I’d rather they post a story with details than just post a story saying more details to come. Especially for a back up QB.

    • Rory Parks

      The Trade Rumors family is a small business. Advertising revenue is down, so hours are down. We continue to strive to bring relevant, legitimate content as quickly as possible, and we thank you for following us. We hope you stick with us, as we fully expect to emerge from this and return to the usual schedule sooner rather than later.

      • crosseyedlemon

        I’d be more than willing to make a donation to this site if that would help. I hope others would do so also.

      • Ironman_4life

        Ive said it many times. Charge a small fee and you get rid of most trash.

        • crosseyedlemon

          The motivation here should be to help the staff through a tough financial period not to carry out a vendetta. Your implying that people of limited financial means are “trash” while the more affluent aren’t. A lot of people would consider that thinking absurd.

        • crosseyedlemon

          I agree, but a little fundraiser could actually be a fun event. Could Packers fans match donation pledges from Bears fans? Even if we all donated just one dollar for every win our favorite team got last season that would help the staff a little.

          • Tankittothelimit

            I’d certainly be up for something like that, I’d hate to see this place disappear. Where would we go? PFT? My thoughts on Florio mirror yours my friend.
            I can’t speak for other Packer fans of course, especially that one nut job who pops up now and then.

    • kjwillis121

      Wow. That exploded beyond any of my comments warranted. I never trashed the site or any writer. I simply said they must be short staffed because stuff is breaking and it’s not up here as it has been in the past. You trolls need to get a life. I’ve been following trade rumors from almost the beginning, when it was mlb trade rumors.
      I will however say I would voluntarily donate as well to contribute to the writers out there. This is the first place I look for info on sports news. Just noticed a drop off lately on the content and expediency in posting. Just willing to help.

      • crosseyedlemon

        I’m glad you posted this. I think we are all guilty of having brain cramps from time to time and not acting as well as we should have. The negative reaction to your comment was, I agree, too extreme and I was part of that so I’d like to apologize. Covid is putting us all under heavy stress and unfortunately we are getting more short tempered as a result. I hope the staff setup a donation fund. Making a positive contribution can make us all feel better and is a great way to counter the Covid blues.

  3. 13Morgs13

    It’s a smart move by Dallas. Solid backup who can play if needed and help win games.

  4. cant_teach_speed

    Last line seems unnecessary. Seems reasonable that Dalton, having earned plenty, might chose prioritizing his family for a season

  5. JJB0811

    Dallas should talk w/ Cam’s team. I bet he’d sign for roughly $25m/season. They could save $6m annually and still have a good starting QB. Cam has the charm & arm Jerry loves.

    • phillyballers

      If you were going to go that route, you need to pull the trigger on the Adam’s trade and extend him.

    • DTD_ATL

      Can has charm? That’s a new one. Also, that arm isn’t exactly accurate and isn’t worth much considering he has trouble staying healthy now.

  6. Still remember years ago when almost every team had a good and experienced #2 quarterback to be available in case of injury or ineffective play.

  7. playicy

    What a shocker never seen this coming at all! Jets and patriots I seen more likely than the cowgirls

    • Coal tender

      Question – why did the Cowboys sign this nobody Ben DiNucci with their final pick? A throw away pick in my opinion. Jones always running the draft does more damage than most people realize. More capable people are there, but once Jones takes their opinion he goes his own way to draft “his” guy. No wonder they haven’t seen the playoffs in 25 years.

  8. ashaly2

    How much longer do we have put up with Dez, who gives a crap what what he thinks, Dalton had a chance to play at home he did it and Dak still has to prove himself, he does not deserve 40 mil

  9. Simmons>Russ

    Dak will get start the year 3-3 and then Dalton will take over leading them to a 9-7 record going on a 6-4 run, to take them to the playoffs.
    Dak will be on the trade market after 2 months and Dalton will resign for 27mil

  10. seth3120

    I thought Dalton to the Pats would be a lock. Hoyer has had so many opportunities and flames out why not put Dalton up against Stidham.

  11. bobbyt17

    This should make Dak get back to the table and sign a realistic offer. He wants to walk the walk of the hightest paid qb in history, and plays very average. Has arguably the best O-line in football, stud running back, above average 2 receivers, good tight ends, and shows his talent in his CONTRACT year last year by NOT making the playoffs in maybe the weakest division in football last year.

    He choked near the end against a bad Bears team AND again against a flailing Eagles team for the division. THAT is what Dak offered his team and his fans. Now he wants top money for average. He is still POTENTIAL talent, not PROVEN talent. That’s not how you thump your chest and demand to be paid.

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