FRISCO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – New Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton said he had “several options” to choose from after being released by his former team. He, ultimately, decided the Cowboys were the “right fit” for him now and for his future.
Dalton was released by the Cincinnati Bengals last week but was quickly scooped up by Dallas on Saturday. After spending nine years with the Bengals, he is expected to become the backup to Dak Prescott under his one-year, $3 million deal, which could be worth up to $7 million.
Dalton spoke on The Adam Schefter Podcast, which was released Monday, about his decision to join the Cowboys despite other NFL teams reportedly needing a quarterback like him.
“Once I got released, at that point, I had to figure what’s going to be best for me, be best for my future, for the next 10 years for me,” Dalton said. “… I had several options out there and I had to figure out what was the best situation for me to go into that was going to set me up for this next half of my career… after weighing everything I felt like going to Dallas was going to be the right fit for me this year… I think it’s going to be a great opportunity.”
Dalton said this signing is the “next step” for his future as he sees the first nine years with the Bengals as only half of his career. He saw the Cowboys as an opportunity to further his career.
“I wanted to join a high-class organization, a team that’s ready to win. And be with Mike McCarthy, his history with quarterbacks. I think it gives me a chance to come to a new place, a chance to learn, to help Dak out in any way I can and be an asset to this team. I bring a lot of experience and could bring a lot to the table. I’m here to help this team win,” he said.
Another factor that appeared to play a part in Dalton’s decision was the fact that he’s from Texas and has a home in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He also played college football at Texas Christian University (TCU).
He was asked about having a home in the area while the coronavirus pandemic is still going on and how that affected his decision to return to Texas.
“That was definitely a part of it. Obviously that wasn’t the only deciding factor. But for us to stay close to home, we already have a house here. Not have to move, not have to figure out the whole logistics of that transition, especially during a time like this where there’s a lot of unknown of what’s going to happen, when things are going to start up and stuff,” Dalton said.
Dalton is expected to be the de facto backup to Prescott after the team released former backup Cooper Rush.
However, the issue of Prescott’s contract remains as he has not yet signed his franchise tender worth about $31 million. The Cowboys front office and Prescott continue to work on a long-term deal but, so far, to no avail.