Andy Dalton returns to Texas as a replacement for Dak Prescott with the Dallas Cowboys.
Dalton and the Cowboys agreed on a one-year deal on Saturday that guarantees the former Cincinnati starter $ 3 million and could be worth up to $ 7 million. The deal was first reported by ESPN.
The Cowboys reached an agreement with Dalton two days after his release by the Bengals. This paved the way for first choice in the overall draft Joe Burrow, who led LSU to the national championship.
Dalton, born and raised in the Houston area, led TCU to an undefeated season that included a Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin in the 2010 season before the Bengals drafted it in the second round.
The Cowboys have relied on the untested Cooper Rush behind Prescott for the past two seasons. Dalton, 32, marks his biggest investment in veteran back-up since Prescott replaced the injured Tony Romo as a rookie in 2016 and ended up taking his job for good.
Dalton started 133 games with the Bengals and led the franchise’s best playoff streak – five in a row in 2011-15 – but could not get that elusive victory.
Cincinnati lost in the first round each time, setting an NFL record. Dalton had a broken thumb and was sidelined for the last of these playoff appearances, which ended in a last-minute fit and an 18-16 loss to Pittsburgh in the 2015 season.
Dalton’s 70-61-2 record as a starter is the second best by a Bengal quarterback with at least 10 starts, behind Virgil Carter. Dalton holds the club records for touchdown passes (204) and completed passes (2,757).
Coach Zac Taylor marked the end of Dalton’s career in Cincinnati by spreading him out for three games midway through last season’s 2-14 season, a move that shocked Dalton and his long-time teammates. Dalton was upset that the Bengals had not tried to trade him before the deadline.
The Cowboys placed the franchise label on Prescott, which did not sign the approximately $ 31 million one-year tender. The parties have until July 15 to conclude a long-term contract.
Prescott played his four-year rookie contract, becoming one of the NFL’s best deals as the 2016 NFL Rookie of the Year and twice Pro Bowler. The 26-year-old representatives and the Cowboys have been working on a long-term deal for about a year.
After leading Dallas to the NFC seedling as a rookie in 2016 and losing his first playoff game to Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay, Prescott broke through with his first post-season victory two years later.
The Cowboys entered last season with high expectations and started 3-0 before advancing to 8-8 and missing the playoffs. Dallas did not renew coach Jason Garrett’s contract and hired Mike McCarthy.