Can Andy Dalton keep up with Dak Prescott’s pace with the Dallas Cowboys?
When you think about the Dallas Cowboys, you think of two players. It’s either star running back Ezekiel Elliott of quarterback Dak Prescott. After Prescott’s season-ending injury, backup quarterback Andy Dalton has taken over the starting role.
Usually, when your starting quarterback is injured, your team is in trouble until he returns. Dak was playing great, and now Dalton will need to keep up with Dak’s historic pace. Will the former Cincinnati Bengal be able to do it?
First of all, let’s talk about the pace that Dak was on. Well, he was on pace to throw for 5,939 yards and 29 touchdowns. The current NFL record for passing yards in one season is 5,477. That is held by future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning.
In Dalton’s nine seasons with the Bengals, he has never eclipsed 4,500 passing yards. Then again, he never had the supporting cast in Cincinnati that he now has with the Dallas Cowboys.
While Dalton had good receivers, they had a hard time remaining healthy. More specifically, you look at tight end Tyler Eifert and wide receiver A.J. Green. Eifert missed 53 games over seven seasons, while Green missed 33 games over nine seasons, including all of 2019.
His offensive line was solid up until the 2016 season. That was when multiple players left the team in free agency, leaving the line very thin.
He joins the Cowboys, who did have a top offensive line, but multiple linemen will miss the remainder of the season due to injuries. That may cause a problem for him, but at least he has success while dealing with it.
In his time taking over for Dak in Week 5, he played well. Of his 22 offensive snaps, he threw the ball 11 times and completed nine of them. That gave him 111 passing yards, but he did not throw a touchdown.
While he impressed in Week 5, you can’t say the same about Week 6. As usual, Dallas was playing from behind all game. That led to Dalton completing 34 of 54 passes for 266 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions.
Dalton could have thrown another interception, which was dropped, but then again, one that he did throw shouldn’t have counted. Overall, you saw he didn’t throw the ball well and got hit if he waited for his wideouts to run their routes. While he doesn’t deserve all the blame, he sure deserves his share.
You can make an argument that it was just one bad game, but I wouldn’t say that. I don’t see any chance of Dalton being able to keep up with what Dak was doing.
You can’t replace the intangibles that Dak Prescott has. It is what keeps the team poised and what keeps them moving forward despite being down by a ton of points.
Personally, I don’t think Dalton can lead this team to success. I hope he proves me wrong because the Dallas Cowboys have a high percentage chance to make the playoffs, even with a losing record.
If Dalton doesn’t pull it together and Dallas doesn’t make the playoffs, it’s not a big deal. It was an injury-plagued season, and we can use this opportunity to get a higher draft pick. With this pick, we can hopefully grab a nice defensive tackle. That’s better in the long run anyway.