Andy Dalton landed with a team whose quarterback has made 64 straight starts since coming into the NFL, but before signing with the Cowboys, the nine-year Bengals starter drew interest from a few other teams.
In addition to the Cowboys, four other teams pursued Dalton, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes. None of them, however, were teams that featured a viable path to a starting job, Florio notes, adding that Dalton decided on the suitor best-equipped to compete for a Super Bowl title.
Employing ex-Bengals OC Jay Gruden, the Jaguars were believed to be in the Dalton mix. The Jets were as well. Dalton has certainly proven more than both those teams’ starters, but each will move ahead with Gardner Minshew and Sam Darnold, respectively. Aside from those two, the other Dalton suitors will have to look elsewhere to bolster their backup jobs.
The Bears may have come closest to landing Dalton, being reported to have been near a trade — to the point Dalton expected to be Chicago-bound. But those talks broke down, leading the Bears to acquire Nick Foles from the Jaguars. Having bypassed low-cost veterans in Dalton and Jameis Winston, after not drafting a quarterback, the Patriots continue to trend toward a legitimate Jarrett Stidham–Brian Hoyer QB competition.
Dak Prescott has never missed a start, but Dalton obviously provides a tremendous upgrade over former UDFA Cooper Rush — Dallas’ backup for the past three seasons. Dalton could conceivably create leverage for the Cowboys in their enduring negotiations with Prescott, but that is not believed to be behind Dallas’ decision to sign the Texas native. Dalton is signed to a one-year, $3MM deal — a steep drop from his previous Bengals salary — while Prescott is tethered to a $31.5MM franchise tag.
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