Cowboys sign Andy Dalton; veteran QB expected to back up Dak Prescott

Sporting News

The Cowboys on Saturday agreed to a one-year contract with free-agent quarterback Andy Dalton, the team announced.

Dalton, a Texas native who played at nearby TCU and lives in Dallas in the offseason, will receive $3 million guaranteed and can make up to $7 million overall, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported.

MORE: Fans flood Dalton's foundation with $14 donations

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NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, citing an unnamed team source, tweeted that the Dalton signing is an insurance plan in case starter Dak Prescott goes down, not a move on from Prescott after protracted negotiations on a long-term contract. The Cowboys placed their exclusive franchise tag on Prescott, which comes with a $31.4 million salary for 2020. The sides have a July 15 deadline to come to terms on a multiyear arrangement.

News of Dalton's signing comes two days after the Bengals released their former starter after nine seasons. Cincinnati is expected to turn its offense over to rookie Joe Burrow, the first overall pick in this year's NFL Draft, immediately.

Last season, Dalton, 32, threw for 16 touchdowns to 14 interceptions in 13 games (seven starts). He completed 59.5 percent of his passes, the second-lowest mark of his career; only his rookie season, in 2011, was worse. He compiled a career-worst 78.3 passer rating.

The Cowboys were lacking an experienced backup before adding Dalton. The team's options were Cooper Rush, Clayton Thorson and 2020 draft pick Ben DiNucci.

This article has been updated.

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