Andy Dalton will regain starting job when he returns

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No one was asking if Andy Dalton would remain the Cowboys’ starter after rookie Ben DiNucci‘s performance against the Eagles in Week 8. It was, however, a legitimate question after what Garrett Gilbert did Sunday against the Steelers in his first career start.

Both Stephen Jones and Mike McCarthy confirmed Monday that Dalton will regain the starting job when he returns.

“I think that’s a fair and accurate statement,” McCarthy said. “I don’t want to take anything away from Garrett and what he accomplished yesterday. I thought he played a fine game. He did some really good things, particularly in the command of the offense. There were a number of adjustments that were made throughout the game, and I thought he picked them up seamlessly, frankly. I feel really good about what he’s accomplished for only being here three weeks, but you know, Andy has been here with us from Day One. I hope to get him back next week sometime, and hopefully he can pick up where he left off.”

Dalton missed the loss to the Eagles with a concussion after a cheap shot from Washington linebacker Jon Bostic. He sat out the loss to the Steelers after going on the COVID-19 reserve list.

The Cowboys are on their off week this week.

“Obviously, Andy had to clear everything as far as concussion and virus protocols,” Jones, the team’s executive vice president, said. “Once he is cleared, we fully expect him to step back in as our starter. But we don’t know that at this point.”

Dak Prescott is out for the season after requiring surgery for a compound fracture dislocation of his right ankle in Week 5. Dalton started losses to Arizona and Washington before DiNucci and then Gilbert each started a game.

Gilbert went 21-of-38 for 243 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He had the Cowboys on the brink of the upset of the season on the final play against the undefeated Steelers.