Cowboys QB Andy Dalton Leaves Game After Illegal Hit to Head [WATCH]

Andy Dalton vs. Washington

Getty Andy Dalton vs. Washington

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton was forced to leave Sunday’s game at Washington following a vicious helmet-to-helmet shot that warranted an ejection and, potentially, an NFL suspension.

Football Team linebacker Jon Bostic was tossed from the Week 7 rivalry tilt for launching head-first at a scrambling — but sliding — Dalton, who laid crumpled on the FedEx Field turf, seemingly if momentarily unconscious. A cart was called and then waved off as Dalton walked slowly to the locker room with the assistance of the Cowboys’ medical staff.

He was later ruled out while being evaluated for a concussion, the team announced.

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Making his second start in relief of franchise QB Dak Prescott, who’s out for the season, Dalton completed 9-of-19 passes for 75 yards and one interception, absorbing seven hits and five sacks behind a patchwork offensive line missing its starting tackles, center, and right guard.

Seventh-round rookie Ben DiNucci replaced Dalton and completed his first NFL pass attempt, a 32-yard strike to wide receiver Amari Cooper. It was a rare highlight in yet another poor showing for the 2-4 Cowboys, who trail Washington, 22-3, as of this writing, in danger of dropping their fourth game in five opportunities.

Because third-string QB Garrett Gilbert is inactive, the team’s emergency quarterback is tight end Blake Bell.

Head coach Mike McCarthy will update Dalton’s status at the conclusion of the contest.

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An Unrecognizable OL Partly to Blame

As Dalton sadly can now attest, this is the absolute furthest cry from the impenetrable front-five Dallas boasted in years past, featuring All-Pros (Tyron Smith, Zack Martin), Pro Bowlers (Travis Frederick), and stud prospects (La’el Collins). Frederick’s offseason retirement was the first domino to drop in what’s been a nightmarish 2020 campaign for Joe Philbin’s group.

Smith (neck) and Collins were lost to season-ending injuries. Frederick’s replacement, Joe Looney, is on short-term injured reserve, and Martin is sidelined after suffering a concussion in Monday’s loss to Arizona. The injury bug even reached fill-in LT Brandon Knight, who was moved to short-term IR on Saturday following recent knee surgery.

So here’s what Philbin trotted out Sunday: Cam Erving at left tackle, Connor Williams at left guard, Tyler Biadasz at center, Connor McGovern at right guard, and Terence Steele at right tackle. Erving was just activated off injured reserve; Biadasz is a rookie; McGovern is making his first career start; Steele is an undrafted rookie.

To nobody’s surprise, the MASH unit struggled immediately against Washington, who boasts first-round pick Chase Young among its lethal group of pass-rushers. Young has five solo tackles as of this writing. The Football Team’s sacks have come via defensive end Montez Sweat (two) and one apiece from defensive tackle Tim Settle, safety Landon Collins (strip-sack), and linebacker Cole Holcomb.

Washington entered the game with 16 sacks across six games, tied for ninth-most in the NFL. The Cowboys came in having surrendered 11 QB takedowns in five games with Prescott, and three with Dalton under center.

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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL

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