Cowboys' Andy Dalton Diagnosed with Concussion; WFT's Jon Bostic Ejected for Hit

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistOctober 25, 2020

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton stands on the field with his right hand in a cast before an NFL football game between the Bengals and the Denver Broncos in Cincinnati, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. The Broncos won the game 24-10. (Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)
Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton has been diagnosed with a concussion after leaving Sunday's game against the Washington Football Team with a head injury on an illegal hit from linebacker Jon Bostic, who was ejected from the contest.

The Cowboys announced after the 25-3 loss that Dalton was in "good spirits" and will fly with the team back to Dallas.

Washington head coach Ron Rivera made it clear after the game he wasn't happy with Bostic's hit.

"I told him, Jon, you're a veteran guy, you should know better," Rivera told ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio after the game. "I didn't see it and I was really kind of asking everyone what happened. They said, 'He hit him, Coach.' And then when he got ejected, that really surprised me."

Rivera added that he apologized to Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy for the hit.

"I went up to him and apologized to him for it," Rivera said. "I wanted him to know that we don't play that way, and it's unfortunate that it happened."

Dalton spent his first nine seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, but his time there ended after a series of injuries in recent years, fairly mediocre numbers, being benched in favor of Ryan Finlay in 2019, and the team's drafting LSU superstar Joe Burrow No. 1 overall this year.

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There were glimpses of promise in the past. In 2013, the three-time Pro Bowler threw for career highs in yards (4,293) and touchdowns (33), though he also threw a career-high 20 interceptions that season. And in 2015, he was having an excellent season—3,250 yards, 25 touchdowns and just seven interceptions through 13 games—but a broken thumb cut his season short and kept him out of the postseason.

Such has been the theme of the 32-year-old's career: occasional flashes of excellence tempered by injuries and overall inconsistency.

Still, his starting experience made him a savvy pickup by Dallas to serve as Dak Prescott's backup, at least for 2020. But this latest injury means rookie Ben DiNucci, the team's seventh-rounder out of James Madison, is currently the quarterback for the Cowboys. Dallas could also choose to sign a more experienced option in free agency if Dalton is forced to miss games going forward.