Like Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton could emerge from Week 17 with a playoff berth and an opportunity to enhance free-agency value in the wild-card round, and possibly beyond. Unlike Trubisky, Dalton can make plenty of extra money by getting to the postseason — and by thriving there.
As noted by Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, Dalton will earn an extra $1 million if the Cowboys make it to the playoffs. Dalton has satisfied the requirement that he take at least half of the snaps for the season; standing in the way of the payday is a win over the Giants and a Washington loss to Philadelphia, which would give the Cowboys the NFC East title.
That’s just the beginning. According to Dalton’s contract, he gets another $500,000 with a wild-card win (plus 35-percent playing time), another $500,000 with a win in the divisional round (plus 35-percent playing time), another $750,000 for an NFL Championship win (plus 35-percent playing time), and another $1.25 million for winning the Super Bowl (plus 35-percent playing time).
That’s an extra $4 million that Dalton can earn over the next five weeks, on top of the one-year, $3 million base deal he signed as a free agent — and on top of the value of the next contract that Dalton potentially will secure on the open market, if/when another team looks at his work in Dallas this season and decides to give him a chance to return to being a full-time starter in 2021.