FRISCO – While he’s probably not going to be considered one of the worst busts in NFL history, and his story may still continue with another NFL team, he is the first first-round quarterback in the last 20 years to be released before the end of his 2nd season. As the Washington Football Team and Head Coach Ron Rivera part ways with the 2019 15th overall pick Dwayne Haskins, it leaves a hole in not only the offensive roster, but also the team’s future.
After Alex Smith’s gruesome near career-ending injury occurred in 2018, Washington needed a quarterback and had the opportunity to draft Haskins.
But what has been cited as “lack of maturity and preparation” by Haskins since 2019 has derailed those plans, and it leaves ‘Football Team’ and Ron Rivera with names like Taylor Heinicke and Steven Montez as quarterback options, along with the injured Kyle Allen and the still healing Alex Smith.
On the other side of the NFC East landscape, the Cowboys, last off-season, for the first time in a long time put some value to the backup quarterback position. Starter and franchise signal-caller Dak Prescott showed to be an iron man since 2016, but Jerry and Stephen thought they needed insurance. In a move that was totally out of character for this club, they signed the recent ex-Bengal Andy Dalton to a one-year deal, hoping they’d never have to use him.
But as the football Gods fell in line with all of the rest of 2020, Dak Prescott went down in week 5 with his own gruesome injury, breaking his leg and dislocating his ankle. And just like that, the team was Andy Dalton’s. Things started out rough for Dalton and the offense as he took over, but not all of that was Dalton’s fault, as other injuries to the offensive squad can be attributed to the poor play early. But after Dalton’s dealt with his own injury situation with a concussion and then COVID-19 diagnosis, he came back to football life.
His signing with Dallas as a backup was presumed to be kind of a “tryout” for other teams in 2021 should he ever get the chance to play behind Prescott. Obviously, the Cowboys would prefer he never did, but again, it’s 2020. Nothing is as it seems or as we all want.
Andy Dalton has played well since taking back over as the starter. And the current 3-game winning streak by the Cowboys, along with the play of Dalton has put them back squarely in the middle of the NFC East race going into Sunday’s game in New York.
I’m sure Washington Football Team along with others who will be looking for a starter in 2021 have taken note, knowing not only that Dalton is a free-agent next season, but also that he wants to be back in a starting role. And who better to work with young talent like Kyle Allen than Dalton, who’s experienced many of the ups and downs of the NFL? Not to mention a quality starter who is this familiar with the offense of a division rival.
Other teams will need a quarterback in 2021, but how many have a legitimate chance of winning their division with a quality starting quarterback? That’s going to matter to Dalton, and it’s going to matter to Washington Football Team. It just makes sense.