Andy Dalton Makes Final Decision on Future, Signs with NFC Foe: Report

Andy Dalton Cowboys

Getty Andy Dalton is headed to the Bears.

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton is signing with the Chicago Bears where he is expected to compete for the starting job, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. It was looking increasingly unlikely that Dalton would re-sign with the Cowboys as the veteran quarterback aimed to find a landing spot with much more uncertainty at the position.

“Former Cowboys’ QB Andy Dalton is signing a one-year, $10 million deal, with the chance to earn another $3 million in incentives, with the Chicago Bears, per sources,” Schefter noted on Twitter.

Dalton became the Cowboys starter last season after Dak Prescott went down with a fractured ankle. The quarterback threw for 2,170 yards, 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions while completing 64.9 percent of his passes in 11 appearances. At the end of the season, Dalton expressed confidence in his ability to be an NFL starter.

“I feel like I can play, and I feel like I can help a team win,” Dalton noted, per ESPN’s Todd Archer. “Hopefully, with the film that I put out this year, people see that and value me in that way. I obviously feel like I still got a lot of good football left, and we’ll see how it all plays out.”

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The Cowboys Still Have 4 Quarterbacks on the Roster

It will be worth watching whether the Cowboys look to sign another backup quarterback with Dalton’s departure. The Cowboys have three quarterbacks on the roster in addition to Prescott: Garrett Gilbert, Cooper Rush and Ben DiNucci.

None of these three players did much to separate themselves as the potential full-time backup, so it would not be a surprise if the Cowboys look for another veteran given Prescott is coming off a significant injury. The Athletic’s Jon Machota mentioned former Washington quarterback Alex Smith as a potential option.

“Smith played in eight games for Washington last season, starting six,” Machota explained. “The 36-year-old is looking to continue playing. Andy Dalton, Dallas’ backup last season, is expected to find better opportunities on the open market. McCarthy was San Francisco’s offensive coordinator when the 49ers drafted Smith in 2005. Smith’s QB coach at Utah was Dan Mullen, who was Prescott’s head coach at Mississippi State. Prescott has spoken very highly of Smith over the years, including at his news conference Wednesday when pointing out how much Smith overcoming his significant leg injury has been an inspiration to Prescott in his recovery process.”

Prescott Describes Himself as ‘Healthy’

Despite being a viable backup quarterback, there were too many holes on the Cowboys roster last season for Dalton to help get the team to the playoffs. During his recent press conference, Prescott described himself as “healthy” adding that he is “getting close” to being back at full strength.

“I thought about jogging out here and jumping up on the stage, but I don’t know if y’all are ready for that,” Prescott noted, via “I’m healthy. I control what I can control, I followed the doctor’s orders the whole time, put in my own work ethic to it. You saw me walking out here. I’ve been on that field back there (rehabbing). I’m healthy and I’m getting close.”

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