Much to the chagrin of Dallas Cowboys fans and fantasy football owners everywhere, Week 6 will kick off the Andy Dalton era in Big D. With Dak Prescott done for the season, it’s the Red Rifle’s time to shine. While that might seem like a step-down in terms of quality, Jimmy Johnson isn’t too concerned about the quarterback change.
In a recent conversation with Colin Cowherd, Johnson was asked about potential adjustments that the Dallas Cowboys would make with Andy Dalton under center. Although the Fox analyst said that he would make some tweaks, he also said that the quarterback will be “a perfect fit” once he takes the field.
Dak Prescott’s injury makes the Dallas Cowboys tough start even worse
As any long-time sports fan can tell you, injuries are simply part of the game. For the Dallas Cowboys, however, Dak Prescott got hurt at the worst imaginable time.
Despite entering the 2020 season with high expectations, the Cowboys got off to a tough start. While Prescott and their offense looked to be in midseason form, the defense was another story; thanks to some truly abysmal performances, the club stumbled out of the gate, limping to a 2-3 record.
During Week 5, however, things got even worse. While the Cowboys did defeat the New York Giants, that victory came at a massive cost; Dak Prescott left the game with a compound ankle fracture, ending his season. That elevates Andy Dalton to the top spot on the depth chart and, for better or worse, places the fate of the 2020 campaign in his hands.
Jimmy Johnson believes that Andy Dalton is ‘a perfect fit’ for the Dallas Cowboys offense
With all due respect to Andy Dalton, no team wants to play more than half the season with their backup quarterback under center. According to Jimmy Johnson, though, things might actually work out for the Dallas Cowboys.
During an interview with Colin Cowherd, the former coach and current Fox analyst was asked how he would adjust the playbook with Dalton under center.
“I think you adjust it a little bit,” Johnson explained, “but I felt like they needed to adjust even when Dak was in there. They needed to do some things to protect the defense. That defense was really struggling.”
Andy Dalton, by Jimmy Johnson’s estimation, can help the Cowboys make those changes and, to some extent, keep things simple.
“How you protect the defense is you eliminate the negative plays, and you increase your time of possession by running the football with Ezekiel Elliott,” the Fox analyst continued. “And I think Dalton will be a perfect fit. In fact, he will help that defense. As long as he manages the game and utilizes that supporting cast, they shouldn’t miss a beat.”
Andy Dalton will get his chance to prove Jimmy Johnson right on Monday Night Football
At the end of the day, raw talent is pretty important to sporting success; in that category, Dak Prescott has Andy Dalton beat. On Monday Night Football, however, the current starter will get the chance to prove that he’s more than just a backup.
While Dalton isn’t a terrible player—it may seem like an eternity ago, but he posted some solid seasons in Cincinnati—his presence may force the Dallas Cowboys to keep things simple. That, however, could be beneficial.
As Jimmy Johnson suggested, there’s some value to going back to basics; run the ball, keep the chains moving, and let Dalton get into a rhythm. Grinding out a game and slowly marching down the field might not be as exciting as watching Dak Prescott throwing bombs to Amari Cooper in a desperate attempt to play catch-up, but it might be more effective in the short-term. I
Is Jimmy Johnson onto something about Andy Dalton and the Dallas Cowboys offense? We’ll all find out on Monday Night Football.