Andy Dalton signed with the Dallas Cowboys. Dalton signed a one-year deal with the Cowboys that will be worth between $3 million and $7 million. This could complicate Dak Prescott's life and contract negotiations.
Dalton spent the first nine years of his career in Cincinnati before the Bengals drafted Joe Burrow and released the Red Rifle. It was assumed he would go somewhere he would either be the obvious starter or at least compete for a starting job. And maybe he did.
The Cowboys placed the exclusive franchise tag on Prescott way back in March, but have still not been able to agree to a new contract. The latest rumor is that the length of a new deal is an issue. By signing Dalton, the Cowboys have insurance no matter what. If Prescott ends up holding out because he can't get what he wants in a contract, they have a quarterback. If Prescott signs a contract and gets hurt, they have a cheap, proven quarterback. Plus, Dalton could be used to force Prescott to cave just a little bit.
It's obvious that Prescott and the Cowboys want to be together. Prescott is young and good and it's always nice to be the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. It makes sense for both sides to ride this one out.
Having said that... Andy Dalton on a cheap contract this year and going forward might be better for Dallas. Dalton has been to the playoffs multiple times, without any luck, but he's a proven starter. If Mike McCarthy gets Dalton in the building next season and he's three-quarters as good as Dak at a tenth of the price, the Cowboys need to seriously consider it. Dalton has been stuck on a bad team and he probably didn't sign with Dallas for the same reasons Jameis Winston signed with the Saints.
And through all of this, Cowboys fans have to feel pretty good. The Cowboys currently have two legitimate NFL quarterbacks under contract for next season. After that, who knows, but it's pretty likely they will lock down one of these guys.