Andy Dalton is on the verge of significant incentives, and maybe a nice payday in free agency

Dallas Cowboys v Cincinnati Bengals
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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, 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.

17 responses to “Andy Dalton is on the verge of significant incentives, and maybe a nice payday in free agency

  1. Some team may talk themselves into believing that Andy Dalton will be a good starting quarterback. By the end of the season they will be sorely disappointed.

  2. Hard to see him landing a starting gig. How many openings, factored against premier rookies and Fitzmagic types. Best bet is a similar contract to what he has now. Largely incentives.

  3. cowboys are roughly a 4,000,000:1 longshot to win the SB, so anyone with a dollar and a dream will be rich if the ‘boys win the SB.

  4. The Patriots need a QB. Dalton is way better than Cam Newton at this point of their careers. So — why not?

  5. Dalton is one of those guys who is hard not to like. Aka, doesn’t belong on Dallas.

  6. Back during the off season when teams were signing free agents and NE simply had Hoyer and Stidham, I thought Andy Dalton was likely the best available QB for the Pats at that time.
    But, I assume NE didn’t have enough money to sign him…
    That said, I could not see them making the playoffs with him, simply not enough offense, but I could see them being 8-7.
    Pats would likely have won week 2 against Seattle.
    And New England would likely have triumphed in their first matchup with Buffalo this season.

  7. Unless Alex Smith is playing tonight, Philly is going to beat Washington. Cowboys have a very good shot at making the playoffs and getting blown out by Tampa Bay.

  8. Andy has managed to play well despite losing every starting offensive lineman but one plus a backup who had need pressed to start. The last 3 games he has played really well, with the same linemen in the game for that time. Would love to see Dallas keep Andy, but some team will offer him a chance to compete for the starting job.

  9. Dalton is definitely going to have some interest from teams. He still has some years left. The problem with me is I can’t get over him playing so poorly on every nationally televised game when he played for the Bengals.

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