Seven months ago, Andy Dalton was the perennial bridesmaid.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had interest, but only if their Tom Brady pitch fell through. The Indianapolis Colts called, but a deal was back-burnered in favor of Philip Rivers. And just when the Cincinnati Bengals thought Chicago was ready to consummate a deal, the Bears took a left turn for Nick Foles.
This is how Dalton became a Dallas Cowboy. He was a near-miss starting option for a handful of other teams, then got released and was left to choose between backup options that included Dallas, the New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Now a horrible turn of fate has granted him a chance to reclaim a reputation as a starter, while rebooting a career that has never gotten the respect it probably deserves.
This is why Cowboys owner Jerry Jones signed Dalton in May, because Jones has been through the Brandon Weeden, Kyle Orton and Matt Cassel experience. And even though Dak Prescott didn’t miss a single game in the previous four seasons, the Cowboys owner learned the hard way that guys like Troy Aikman and Tony Romo sometimes didn’t walk through that door. The resulting backup slump (aside from, say, the Jon Kitna experience) taught a valuable lesson: A quality starter on the second rung of the quarterback depth chart can be the difference between fighting through the remainder of a season or simply killing time before the NFL draft.
That’s what Jones is banking on with Dalton. That this is a guy who can help salvage a season that has gone off the rails with injuries.
Lamb caught eight of 11 targets for a career-high 124 yards in Sunday’s 37-34 win over the Giants.
The rookie was Dak Prescott’s favorite target through the early part of the game, and no other Cowboys’ receiver ended the afternoon with more than four targets. However, after Prescott left in the third quarter with a likely season-ending ankle injury and Andy Dalton took over under center, it was Michael Gallup who was on the end of two huge completions to set up the game-winning field goal. It remains to be seen what the Dallas passing game will look like with Dalton taking the reins, but Lamb should remain heavily involved heading into a Week 6 clash with Arizona.
Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones joined the K&C Masterpiece on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM] recently to talk about Tyron Smith’s injury and more. Here are some of the highlights.
On Tyron Smith being done for the year…
Jones: “Let me just say this. Tyron has done any and everything he could possibly do with his condition to play. And as witnessed by the fact he had 88 snaps last week. So, he’s doing everything he can do. The facts are that he’s a 10-year veteran, and this surgery at this time, not after the season, but at this particular time is important for the rest of his career. And that’s paramount to the fact that he’s obviously playing because it’s nerve type sensitivity that is involved here, gets, creates — stinger type, if you remember the term of nerve in your neck and shoulder area and that’s the area we’re talking about. But the bottom line is we all agree that he should have the surgery, which will put him out for the rest of the year. I have said over the last two or three weeks that my biggest concern I have as a position group with all the things that we can critique and look to improve upon with our team, and we certainly have many of them that we can, of all the concerns is the offensive line. It’s always the challenge relative to continuity when you start shuffling it around or losing key players within the offensive line. Position flex, the ability to move a player and have the ability to move around. Some of them like [Zack] Martin or Larry Allen or people like that, they go anywhere you want to put them and do an All-Pro job. But you can’t have all
Diggs posted eight tackles (four solo) and a sack in Sunday’s 49-38 loss to the Browns.
Diggs battled a shoulder injury throughout the practice week but still played all 75 defensive snaps and finished second on the team in tackles. He now has 26 tackels, a sack, two pass breakups and a forced fumble through four games. The rookie second-rounder has shown some intriguing flashes so far, but he’s allowed an overall 113.2 passer rating when targeted.
Wilson caught five of seven targets for 107 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday’s 38-31 loss to the Seahawks.
The 25-year-old came into the game with only five catches for 46 yards in his career, but Wilson blew those numbers out of the water while scoring his first two TDs in the NFL. Both scores came on similar routes, as Wilson caught slants from Dak Prescott in the second and third quarters and took them to the house, with the receptions going for 40 and 42 yards, respectively. Despite the huge performance, he’s still the No. 4 man on the depth chart, and Prescott won’t attempt more than 50 passes or throw for over 400 yards every week. However, Wilson has at least demonstrated that if injuries ever allow him to move into a more prominent role, he may be able to take advantage.