Most expected veteran Andy Dalton to be serviceable, filling in for Dak Prescott for the rest of the Dallas Cowboys season. One game in, and it isn’t looking good.
The Dallas Cowboys hosted the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football. While Dalton isn’t the same talent that Dak Prescott is, he is in an offense surrounded by the likes of Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, and others. Dalton was decent enough, even late in his Cincinnati Bengals tenure, that you’d assume he could get things done in that offense.
Even with Elliott in the backfield, Dalton threw the ball a ton. He was 34-for-54 for 266 yards, one touchdown (in garbage time) and two interceptions. His 4.9 yards per attempt was extremely pedestrian.
Chase Stuart of Football Perspective says that there are major trade rumors starting to flare up around Dallas. He believes we’re going to hear about the team making a run at young New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold to take over under center, as the Cowboys continue their playoff push in an incredible weak NFC East. He floats a second-round pick in the NFL Draft as potential return.
I expect the Darnold to Dallas rumors to heat up this week. Cowboys are still favorites to win the division and Jerry isn't going to just sit around. Jets are all in on the tank, and Darnold's market value is higher now than in March.
A 2nd should do the trick.
— Football Perspective (@fbgchase) October 20, 2020
If the goal for the Cowboys is just to make the playoffs this year, maybe this makes sense. The NFC East winner may come in at around 7-9 on the season, with how badly every single division team has struggled. However, this kind of trade doesn’t make a ton of sense, assuming the Cowboys are still dedicated to figuring out how to make things work with Prescott long term.
The Jets may very well be willing to deal Darnold for a high pick. The team looks like the worst in the NFL, a position that would allow it to pair a new head coach with Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Darnold is still very young, and the jury is still out on him. Judging his long term career prospects from years in the Adam Gase system isn’t fair. However, if you can get Lawrence, it is hard to turn down that opportunity.
The Dallas Cowboys tend to be aggressive, but giving up a second rounder to rent Darnold in order to grab a playoff spot without true Super Bowl aspirations doesn’t seem like a great use of assets.