NFL

Andy Dalton May Have Saved the Dallas Cowboys Season With One Throw

He came in and did exactly what he was supposed to do. Backup quarterback Andy Dalton wasn’t flashy. He didn’t put up big numbers. He simply put the Dallas Cowboys in a position to win. The Cowboys rallied to defeat the woeful New York Giants and vaulted into first place despite their less-than-impressive 2-3 record.

Dak Prescott goes down with gruesome injury

RELATED: Andy Dalton a Good Fit to Back up Dak Prescott With the Dallas Cowboys

If the Dallas Cowboys 2020 season wasn’t going poorly enough, things got much worse Sunday. The Cowboys came into Sunday’s game with the New York Giants at 1-3 and found themselves locked in a battle with the winless Giants. Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott then went down with a severe ankle injury and was carted off the field.

Prescott has been the epitome of durability. He was drafted in the fourth round by the Cowboys in the 2016 NFL draft. Prescott entered training camp as the third-string quarterback, but was forced into the starting role after Kellen Moore and Tony Romo were injured.

He started the first game of the 2016 season and hasn’t missed a game since. Prescott’s injury Sunday triggered flashbacks of injuries to quarterbacks Alex Smith and Joe Theismann. Prescott was immediately taken to a local hospital and was scheduled for surgery Sunday night.

Andy Dalton provides veteran leadership for Cowboys

Andy Dalton’s big knock is that he’s never won a playoff game. If Dalton can get the Dallas Cowboys into the playoffs in 2020, Dallas fans will be thrilled. The Cowboys began the season at 1-3 and needed a miraculous onside-kick recovery to get that one victory.

Dalton is forced to step into action for the injured Dak Prescott. Dalton will likely be the main man for the rest of the season and he has shown he can lead a team. He was selected in the second round of the 2011 NFL draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. He guided the Bengals to winning seasons in each of his first five seasons.

Dalton is a three-time Pro Bowler and is the Bengals’ all-time leader in touchdown passes. He went 70-61-2 for his career in Cincinnati. He was signed to a one-year deal by the Cowboys in the offseason.

Dalton may have just saved the Cowboys’ season

Things were looking very bleak for the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. Their star quarterback, Dak Prescott, suffered a gruesome ankle injury that will likely sideline him for at least the season. They were also trailing the winless New York Giants with less than two minutes remaining,

A loss to the Giants would be bad enough, but heading into Week 6 with a 1-4 record would be disheartening. Backup quarterback Andy Dalton drove them down the field for a game-tying field goal with 1:56 left. After the much-maligned Cowboys defense forced a quick three-and-out, Dalton and the Cowboys took over at their own 12 with 52 seconds remaining.

After an incomplete pass, Dalton hit two straight passes to put the ball at the Dallas 46 with 31 seconds left. Dalton then lofted a beautiful pass and wide receiver Michael Gallup made an incredible catch over a defender for a 38-yard gain that set up Greg Zuerlein’s game-winning field goal as time expired. Dalton’s 38-yard completion was the difference between the Cowboys being 2-3 instead of 1-4. The victory not only gives Dallas a much-needed confidence boost, but it puts them in first place in the woeful NFC East.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.