Ignoring what the Dallas Cowboys signing Andy Dalton says about Dak Prescott’s future, the move provides great value for America’s Team.
One quick look at the projected depth charts around the NFL entering into the 2020 regular season reveals a tremendous lack of quality at the backup quarterback position. And coming off a draft where the Dallas Cowboys found great value in nearly every round, that trend continued for America’s Team with the signing of former Cincinnati Bengals starting quarterback, Andy Dalton.
The Cowboys caused quite a stir over the weekend after agreeing to sign Dalton, especially considering starter Dak Prescott is in the midst of long-term contract negotiations. Dallas used their exclusive franchise tag back in March to retain Prescott for another season. The move also extended the deadline to get a new deal done to July 15.
As that new deadline inched closer, the Cowboys likely felt pretty uneasy about their quarterback room without their four-year starter having signed his tag yet. Prior to the addition of Dalton, the depth chart beyond Prescott included Cooper Rush, Clayton Thorson, and seventh-round rookie, Ben DiNucci.
On Monday, the Cowboys made the signing official, inking Dalton to a one-year contract worth a base salary of $3 million. The 32-year old passer can earn up to $7 million through incentives. Dallas also waived Rush in a corresponding move.
Browsing through a list of NFL backup quarterbacks, it’s clear the Cowboys found great value in signing Dalton, a nine-year veteran with 133 starts under his belt. Some of the most notable backups in the league other than Dalton include Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, Taysom Hill, and Nick Foles.
Mariota signed with the Las Vegas Raiders in March to back up starter Derek Carr. He reportedly inked a two-year, $17.6 million deal with a 2020 base salary of $7.5 million fully guaranteed.
Winston agreed to join the New Orleans Saints late last month to back up both Drew Brees and Hill. The former Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ starter reportedly signed a one-year deal worth a base salary of $1.1 million with the potential to earn another $4.7 million in incentives. Hill agreed to a two-year, $21 million extension in April as well.
Finally, Foles, the MVP of Super Bowl LII, was traded by the Jacksonville Jaguars to the Chicago Bears for a fourth-round draft pick in late March. The 31-year old figures to become the eventual starter in the Windy City, although he’s currently listed behind Mitch Trubisky on the depth chart by Ourlads.com.
Foles inked a massive four-year, $88 million contract with the Jaguars just last year. In order to make the trade to Chicago work, his deal had to be restructured. The Bears will now reportedly pay Foles a base salary of $50 million over the next three years.
The combination of Nick Foles, Jameis Winston, Taysom Hill, and Marcus Mariota currently represent some of the best backup passers in the NFL. Between them, they have two Pro Bowl appearances. Andy Dalton, alone, has been to three Pro Bowls and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with him to Big D. Dalton’s $3 million base salary undoubtedly represents tremendous value for the Dallas Cowboys.