IRVING -- Former TCU quarterback Andy Dalton has started 28 games for the Bengals. On Sunday, he will make his first start against the Cowboys.
"I followed them," Dalton said. "Growing up, I didn't really have a team that was my team, so I definitely followed them some."
At 7-5, the Bengals have a better record than the Cowboys right now. Dalton has thrown 24 touchdowns this season, that's fifth most in the league.
"I think the guy is outstanding," said Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. "He looks great, he looks comfortable, looks like he makes real smart decisions with the football, and he takes care of the ball. This is one of the better teams in the league right now."
Dalton has been putting up some good numbers lately and if he can maintain his current quarterback rating of 91.3, he will be highest rated quarterback in Cincinnati since Carson Palmer back in 2006.
Cowboys defensive tackle Marcus Spears said Dalton is coming into his own.
"He played last year," Spears said. "He's not young any more. He should pretty much have a handle on what he's doing by now. He's been the offense, their offensive system for two years, the offseason and all that kind of stuff. So as far as saying he's young, that's not the case."
Romo said he's impressed with Dalton's work.
"He's done a good job," said Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. "I've talked to Andy a few times in the offseason. He comes back. He's around here. He's a nice guy and he definitely has some ability. He's doing a really good job for them."
Dalton was featured recently on ESPN Sports Science for his throwing accuracy, achieving nearly 90 percent in their science lab. In the fourth quarter this year, Dalton's has the second-highest passer rating in the AFC and he's got the Bengals on a four-game winning streak.
"We've won four in a row because we had to win four in a row to be where we are now," Dalton said. "Hopefully we can keep the same attitude and I think we will."