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Signing QB Andy Dalton to back up Dak Prescott a smart move for Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys haven’t had a viable backup QB behind Dak Prescott in years. With that in mind, the signing of former TCU standout Andy Dalton makes sense.
Credit: AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) and Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, right, greet each other after their NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016, in Arlington, Texas.

DALLAS — The Dallas Cowboys upgraded their quarterback room with a Saturday night signing that brings former Cincinnati Bengals signal caller Andy Dalton to the NFC East.

The Cowboys brought the former TCU Horned Frog and Katy High School product back to the Lone Star State on a one-year, $3 million deal, with $4 million worth of incentives. Dallas is getting a quality backup at about a tenth of the cost that they will pay starter Dak Prescott in 2020.

RELATED: Dallas Cowboys agree to 1-year deal with Andy Dalton

By the way, let's take a peek under the bed and tell Cowboys fans there's no redheaded monster under there waiting to jump out and take Prescott's job. In 2012, with two years remaining on Tony Romo's deal, Dallas signed Kyle Orton to a three-year contract. In other words, that backup had a longer deal than the face of the franchise.

Even though Romo threw three interceptions and cost Dallas the division title in Week 17 of 2012, even though he had one playoff win on his resume at 33 years old, Dallas signed him to another six-year extension.

According to Over The Cap, Prescott would make $28.6 million if he plays under the franchise tag. Dalton would make $3 million. 

Now, there are $4 million worth of incentives in Dalton's contract that include playing time, but even so, Dallas would be paying the former Bengal $7 million. Dalton has the same amount of security at a tenth the price that Prescott has. Dalton isn't coming in to replace a two-time Pro Bowler.

What Dalton, a three-time Pro Bowler and four-time playoff starter, is coming in to do is upgrade the quarterback room. The Cowboys have already waived Cooper Rush, their undrafted free agent backup from 2017. At 32 years old and having played nine seasons in the NFL, Dalton has a plethora of experience that would make for a better position room and give the Cowboys a better emergency option than the underdeveloped Rush.

Even though Prescott has not missed a game in his four seasons with Dallas, Dalton was a starter and played at a high level in the NFL. 

By the way, that isn't uncommon for NFL teams to add starter-level talent behind their franchise quarterbacks. From 1993-97, Dallas had Bernie Kosar, Rodney Peete, and Wade Wilson backing up Troy Aikman — all three of those guys were starters and even led their teams to the playoffs.

In adding Dalton, Dallas gets a solid backup behind their franchise man, Prescott. They get a veteran who can help out in the quarterback room. But they didn't get competition or a replacement for Prescott.

Do you think the Cowboys made a good move bringing in a veteran quarterback to be Dak Prescott’s backup? Share your thoughts with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.

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