Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton is about to embark on the biggest challenge of his career.
Spending the first decade of his career facing the hard-hitting Ravens and Steelers defenses twice a year was difficult enough. Now, Dalton is tasked with replacing the injured Dak Prescott and salvaging the Dallas Cowboys’ season.
This new task provides excellent opportunities for Dalton. Not only can the 32-year-old boost his resume ahead of free agency next spring, but Dalton can raise his charity’s profile.
Andy Dalton is in his 10th NFL season
RELATED: What Is Andy Dalton’s Net Worth?
Andy Dalton is a Texas boy, born and raised.
Dalton was born in Katy, Texas, and attended TCU, where he played his way into a second-round selection with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Arguably the best quarterback in Bengals history, Dalton completed 62% of his passes in nine seasons with the Bengals for 31,594 yards, 204 touchdowns, and 118 interceptions.
Dalton made three Pro Bowls and led the Bengals to five playoff appearances, although he missed the final one — the 2015 AFC wild-card round — with an injury.
Cincinnati lost every game, and Dalton threw just one touchdown to six interceptions across his four losses.
Cincinnati, of course, drafted LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, with the No. 1 overall pick in April’s NFL draft. The Bengals released Dalton a week later.
Dalton signed with the Dallas Cowboys, where he’d sit behind star quarterback Dak Prescott for a year and fill in if needed. That opportunity came in Week 5, when Prescott left a victory over the Giants with an ankle injury in the third quarter.
Dalton completed nine of his 11 passes for 111 yards, including a 38-hookup to Michael Gallup with 31 seconds left. Gallup’s catch set up Greg Zuerlein‘s game-winning 34-yard field goal.
Dalton and his wife have raised millions for pediatric patients
Not long after he entered the NFL in 2011, Andy Dalton and his wife, JJ, formed the Andy & JJ Foundation.
The charity worked with Cincinnati hospitals to help those suffering from pediatric illnesses.
According to the charity’s official website, the Daltons launched five separate community outreach programs — Date Night, King for a Day, the Hub, A Gift of Christmas and the Pass It On Fund – to “directly and impactfully address these issues facing families of seriously ill and physically challenged children.”
The Andy & JJ Foundation has raised millions of dollars over the last decade. Bills fans donated more than $415,000 in 2018 after Dalton knocked Baltimore out of playoff contention with a 49-yard touchdown.
Cincinnati’s victory helped Buffalo clinch its first postseason berth since 1999.
Bengals fans raised more than $25,000 immediately after the Bengals cut Dalton earlier this year. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, some fans donated $14 to honor Dalton’s jersey number.
Andy Dalton can raise the charity’s profile with a strong 2020
With Dak Prescott out for the season, Andy Dalton is now in charge of the Dallas Cowboys.
Such a role, especially in the wake of Prescott’s injury, could be extremely beneficial to the Andy & JJ Foundation. If Dalton takes Dallas (2-3) to an NFC East Division title, the charity may just receive some extra donations come the holiday season.
And if Dalton leads Dallas to a Super Bowl appearance? Operators will be standing by all night.
Dalton’s first test is against Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football. Dallas then travels to Washington and Philadelphia, two teams that have had 2020 seasons to forget.
If Dallas can win two of those three games and enter the Week 9 matchup with Pittsburgh at 4-4, the Cowboys should be in great shape going forward.