After all of about 48 hours on the free-agency market, former Katy High School and Texas Christian University quarterback Andy Dalton signed a deal with a base salary of $3 million to be the backup …
After all of about 48 hours on the free-agency market, former Katy High School and Texas Christian University quarterback Andy Dalton signed a deal with a base salary of $3 million to be the backup quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday evening.
With the Cincinnati Bengals selecting Louisiana State quarterback Joe Burrow with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Dalton was released on April 30. Dalton finished a nine-year stint with the Bengals as their franchise leader in passing touchdowns (204) and was second in passing yards (31,594), leading Cincinnati to the postseason every year from 2011 to 2015.
Before then, he was running the offense for the Katy Tigers and after splitting time as a junior, Dalton started his senior year and led Katy to the 2005 Class 5A State Championship game following a 2,877-yard, 42-touchdown campaign. Although the Tigers fell to the Southlake Carroll Dragons 34-20, Dalton threw a 66-yard touchdown pass and ran for a 7-yard touchdown in the second half and finished the game completing 18-of-35 pass attempts for 235 yards.
After quarterbacking Katy, Dalton went up to Fort Worth to throw passes for the TCU Horned Frogs and finished his college career on two consecutive Mountain West Conference Player of the Year honors. By the end of his four years, he was responsible for the fourth-most touchdowns produced in MWC history (93) and registered the fifth-most career passing yards (10,314).
Dalton now gets dual homecoming, returning to play football in his home state and close to where he played his college ball. Dalton was a guest on ESPN insider Adam Schefter’s podcast on Monday, May 4, and detailed some reasons why he thought the Cowboys made the most sense not only for this year but for Dalton’s future as well.
"Once I got released, at that point I had to figure out, OK, what's going to be best for me, what's going to be best for my future for the next 10 years for me?’” Dalton posed on The Adam Schefter Podcast. “So, just weighing all the options—I had several options out there, and I had to figure out what was the best situation for me to go into that was going to set me up for this next half of my career. After weighing everything, I felt like going to Dallas was going to be the right fit for me this year.”
Dalton said he was surely enticed to join new head coach Mike McCarthy, who brings plenty of quarterback success with him from his previous head coaching gig in Green Bay, as well as provide Dallas’ starting quarterback Dak Prescott valuable guidance from the backup role.
“I wanted to join a high-class organization and a team that’s ready to win,” Dalton said of his decision to join the Cowboys. “(To be) with Mike McCarthy, with his history with quarterbacks, it gives me a chance to come to a new place, a chance to learn, help Dak out any way I can, and just be an asset for this team.”
The Katy product said he was looking at the big picture when making this decision, envisioning plenty of football in his road ahead.
"This team's ready to win. I felt like it was the best opportunity for this year, and it hopefully set me up for my future. This was a big-picture plan,” Dalton said. “I feel like I have a lot of years left (in the NFL). I feel like there is a lot of good football left for me.”
As of press time, the 2021 NFL schedule had yet to be released as it was announced earlier in the week that it would be released Thursday, May 7, at 7 p.m.