Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott will miss the remainder of the 2020 season after suffering a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle in Dallas' 37-34 win over the New York Giants last Sunday.
On Friday, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said his team must "adjust expectations" following the injury to Prescott, who has gone 42-27 and completed 66.0 percent of his passes for 106 touchdowns and 40 interceptions in his career.
"We should adjust expectations. [It's] different than optimism. But we should adjust our expectations. Dak is a very incremental part of the potential success of this football team. On the other hand, if we don't reach where we want to go ultimately—and the ultimate success is to win the championship—it will not be because of Andy Dalton. It will not be because of our play at quarterback. He is capable of stepping in and playing at that level."
Former Cincinnati Bengals starting quarterback Andy Dalton, who signed a one-year deal this offseason to back up Prescott, is now the starter in Dallas.
It's probably too much to ask him to replicate the individual success of Prescott, a two-time Pro Bowler and the 2016 Offensive Rookie of the Year, who's excelled behind center in Dallas.
However, Dalton shined in relief Sunday, completing nine of 11 passes for 111 yards. With less than a minute left in the game, he moved the Cowboys from their 12-yard line to the Giants' 16-yard line with three completions. He found Amari Cooper for 15 before tossing a pair of pinpoint passes to Michael Gallup down the sideline for 19 yards and 38 yards. Dallas then knocked home a game-winning field goal as time expired.
Dalton is one of the best backup options in the league with a resume that includes three Pro Bowl appearances and five straight postseason berths from 2011 to 2015.
The latter portion of his Bengals tenure did not go as well, as the team failed to reach the playoffs from 2016 through 2019. Now, though, Dalton is working with the most talent he's ever had with Cooper, Gallup, electric rookie wideout CeeDee Lamb and star running back Ezekiel Elliott.
Dalton, who was born and raised in Katy, Texas, will make his first start for the Cowboys on Monday against the Arizona Cardinals. Dallas is just 2-3, but that's good enough to lead the poor NFC East, which is a combined 2-12-1 outside of the Cowboys.