It was a depressing week in Dallas-Fort Worth. The Cowboys entered the season with high expectations with the addition of Super Bowl-winning coach Mike McCarthy, but now, after Dak Prescott‘s season-ending surgery, the sky has fallen.
It apparently has fallen for the ever-optimistic Jerry Jones, too.
“We should adjust expectations; different than optimism,” the Cowboys owner said on 105.3 The Fan on Friday. “But we should adjust our expectation. Dak is a very, very integral part of the 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 where our play at quarterback. He is capable of stepping in and playing at that level.”
Prescott’s 1,856 yards in five games put him on pace for an NFL-record 5,939.
Andy Dalton has never passed for more than 4,293 yards in a season, but he also hasn’t had the weapons the Cowboys have. He has started 133 career games, winning 70 of those, and has more experience than Prescott.
Prescott had started 69 games in a row, with now offensive coordinator Kellen Moore the last quarterback not named Dak Prescott to start at quarterback in a game for the Cowboys.
The Cowboys signed Dalton as an insurance policy, and they now are cashing in. So why the long face?
“I really haven’t been real aggressive in terms of us getting a backup quarterback to these outstanding quarterbacks that we’ve been fortunate to have such as [Troy] Aikman, [Tony] Romo, and for that matter, most others,” Jones said. “Andy was an opportunity for us. We are well aware of Dak’s durability, but he was an opportunity for us that we just couldn’t pass up. But certainly knew that with Dak’s durability that it would take a set of circumstances that were pretty — one that we really didn’t want to have to address — but as it turns out we have him. He is a starting quarterback, and I don’t mean just a starting quarterback. He’s legitimate, go get ’em, designed, starting quarterback in the NFL, and I’m proud that we have him under these circumstances to be starting for the Dallas Cowboys. We couldn’t be in better shape, if you take into consideration we lost Dak, than to have Andy Dalton step in.”