He did not miss a play and threw for 229 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
“There’s a pretty big open gash, so I got stitches right after the game,” Dalton said afterward. “I’ll be fine, but I’ve got some stitches in my hand.”
Dalton is all stitched up with nowhere to go after the Cowboys lost to the Giants 23-19, eliminating Dallas from the postseason. So what now?
The Bengals cut Dalton on April 30 after drafting Joe Burrow, and the former TCU product returned home by signing a one-year deal with the Cowboys. He expected to backup Dak Prescott all season, but the Cowboys starting quarterback’s season-ending ankle injury in Week 5 elevated Dalton to the starting role.
Dalton missed one game with a concussion and another with COVID-19, but he started nine games and went 4-5 with 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
The Cowboys almost certainly want Dalton back as Prescott’s backup, but Dalton sounds as if he wants to seek a starting job again.
“There’s a lot to be decided this offseason,” Dalton said. “This is my first time being a free agent when the new league year starts, so I’ll go through the process of everything and weigh all of my options and see what I got.
“Like I said, I’ve really enjoyed my time in Dallas. Just a good chance to play back at home where I’ve had a lot of family and friends that are able to come to games. I’m very thankful for the opportunity that I had this year, with the ability to play and just put some tape out there. We’ll see what happens come March.”
Dalton, 33, started 133 games in nine seasons in Cincinnati and still sees himself as a starter. The question is: Will any team in need of a starting quarterback see Dalton as a starter?
“I feel like I can play, and I feel like I can help a team win,” Dalton said. “Hopefully, with the film that I put out this year, people see that and value me in that way. I obviously feel like I still got a lot of good football left, and we’ll see how it all plays out.”