Dalton may open the year as the Bears No. 1 quarterback before eventually turning the job over to Justin Fields
Analysis: Although Dalton was signed in free agency to start under center, once the team spent significant draft capital to move up to the 11th pick, it's likely the Bears will turn to Fields as soon as they feel he's ready to lead the offense. Even before the draft, Dalton was unlikely to be valued inside the top-20 quarterbacks in fantasy drafts, and now it appears his value is little more than early-season depth in leagues that start two quarterbacks.
Apr 30, 2021 10:17 AM EST
General manager Ryan Pace confirmed Friday that he views Dalton as the Bears' starting quarterback, Adam Hoge of NBC Sports Chicago reports.
Analysis: The Bears had already listed Dalton as the "QB1" heading into OTAs, but to see Pace so openly talk of him as the starter would seem to confirm that a competition with Nick Foles isn't being seriously considered. Per Hoge, the general manger discussed Dalton's style of play -- specifically his affinity for play-action, RPOs and ability to drop back -- as being a good fit for coach Matt Nagy's offense. Dalton should certainly offer Chicago more consistency under center than Mitchell Trubisky did in recent years, but it's also fair to question the fantasy ceiling of a 33-year-old quarterback who only managed two 4,000-yard passing seasons in nine years as a starter.
Apr 2, 2021 8:34 AM EST
Dalton is expected to be the Bears' starting quarterback in 2021.
Analysis: Dalton was expected to compete with Nick Foles for the starting job in 2021 after Mitchell Trubisky left for Buffalo in free agency. However, the Bears' social media account indicated Wednesday that Dalton is already considered "QB1" for next season. Perhaps this is a sign that the team will move on from Foles as well. The 33-year-old Dalton was serviceable in place of Dak Prescott (ankle) last season, completing 65 percent of his passes for 2,170 yards (6.5 YPA), 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions. With Allen Robinson sticking around on the franchise tag, Dalton will have at least one elite pass-catcher at his disposal.
Mar 24, 2021 5:27 PM EST
The Bears and Dalton agreed to a one-year, $10 million contract Tuesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Analysis: With Chicago poised to move on from 2017 second overall pick Mitchell Trubisky, the team has brought Dalton into its quarterback room, seemingly to compete with Nick Foles for the starting gig. Dalton filled in for Dak Prescott last season following his season-ending ankle injury, completing 65 percent of his passes for 2,170 yards, 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 11 contests. There are moving parts in the Bears offense, but Dalton at least will have the franchise-tagged Allen Robinson at his disposal in the passing game.
Mar 16, 2021 2:05 PM EST
Dalton completed 29 of 47 pass attempts for 243 yards and one interception while adding 48 yards on seven carries during Sunday's 23-19 loss to the Giants.
Analysis: Dalton, who struggled mightily in the early going, finished averaging just 5.2 yards per attempt while completing 62 percent of his passes. He steadied the ship and led his team into the red zone with a chance to win late, only to throw an interception in the end zone in the face of relentless pressure. Dalton came into this one with an impressive 9:2 TD:INT over the last four games, but he couldn't get the job done in this one with a potential playoff spot on the line. The veteran showed he can still perform at times this season and will now enter free agency perhaps in hopes of earning another chance to start.
Jan 3, 2021 2:03 PM EST
Dalton completed 22 of 30 passes for 377 yards and three touchdowns with one interception in Sunday's 37-17 win over the Eagles.
Analysis: He also gained 15 rushing yards on five carries. In a battle between two of the worst secondaries in the league, Dalton and Jalen Hurts combined for 719 passing yards, but it was the veteran who came out on top with two TD strikes to Michael Gallup and one to Amari Cooper -- both of whom piled up 121 receiving yards on the afternoon. Dalton has tossed multiple touchdowns in four straight games, posting a 9:2 TD:INT over that stretch, while his performance Sunday marked his first 300-yard effort as a Cowboy. He'll look to keep that momentum going in Week 17's clash with the Giants, as both teams remain alive in the hunt for the NFC East title.
Dec 27, 2020 8:29 PM EST
Dalton completed 19 of 33 pass attempts for 209 yards and two touchdowns during Sunday's 41-33 win over the 49ers.
Analysis: Dalton completed just 57 percent of his passes as he struggled to connect with some of his top targets. He did avoid turning the ball over for the second straight game, however, while completing touchdown passes to Michael Gallup and Dalton Schultz. Dalton now has a 10:3 TD:INT over the last five games and has led the Cowboys to three wins in that stretch to climb back into the NFC East playoff picture. He'll look to build on his solid recent play next Sunday against the Eagles.
Dec 20, 2020 1:57 PM EST
Dalton completed 16 of 23 pass attempts for 185 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in Week 14 against the Bengals.
Analysis: Dalton returned to Cincinnati to face his former team and took advantage of a mistake-prone performance by the Bengals. He tallied multiple touchdowns for the third time in his last four starts, connecting with Amari Cooper and Tony Pollard for 11 and seven-yard touchdown tosses respectively. After the Cowboys jumped out to a multiple score lead as early as the second quarter, Dalton was asked to take to the air only 23 times, but had 25 team rushing attempts. Dalton will likely need to take to the air more if Dallas hopes to earn a win in Week 15 against San Francisco.
Dec 13, 2020 5:53 PM EST
Dalton completed 31 of 48 passes for 285 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in the Cowboys' 34-17 loss to the Ravens on Tuesday night. He also gained two yards on his one rush.
Analysis: The veteran quarterback has looked increasingly comfortable helming the Cowboys offense as the season has unfolded, with Tuesday night's effort qualifying as one of Dalton's most productive yet this season. The 33-year-old threw a pair of impressive touchdown passes to Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper in the second and fourth quarter, respectively, giving him multiple scoring tosses in two of his last three games. Dalton's yardage tally was also a season high, with his one blemish coming in the second quarter on an interception by Ravens star rookie Patrick Queen on a pass intended for Amari Cooper that was immediately followed by a 38-yard touchdown reception by Myles Boykin that gave Baltimore a lead it wouldn't relinquish. Dalton's play of late does offer some optimism for fantasy managers as playoffs begin, and those holding the former Bengal on their rosters could benefit from what should be an extra level of motivation for the Dallas signal-caller in a Week 14 matchup that will mark his return to Cincinnati.
Dec 8, 2020 8:12 PM EST
Dalton completed 25 of 35 passes for 215 yards and a touchdown with an interception in Thursday's 41-16 loss to Washington. He also gained 17 rushing yards on three carries.
Analysis: The veteran QB hit Amari Cooper for a 54-yard touchdown early in the second quarter to give Dallas a 10-7 lead, but it proved to be the team's last lead of the afternoon as Washington's pass rush and ground attack took control. Dalton's INT was actually a pick-six, as Montez Sweat leaped to bring down an attempted screen pass and took it 15 yards for a score, but the game was already well out of hand at that point. The Cowboys remain in the hunt in the feeble NFC East despite the loss, but Dalton will need to step up his game in Week 13 if they're going to pull an upset in Baltimore.
Nov 26, 2020 5:28 PM EST
Dalton completed 22 of 32 passes for 203 yards and three touchdowns with an interception in Sunday's 31-28 win over the Vikings.
Analysis: All three TD passes went for six yards or less, as the Dallas offense rode Ezekiel Elliott and the running game between the 20s before Dalton finished the job in the red zone. It was an impressive return to action for the veteran QB, who'd missed the last two games due to a concussion and a COVID-19 diagnosis, and Dalton will get a chance for some revenge against the defense that knocked him out of action in Week 7 when Dallas faces Washington on Thanksgiving in an unlikely battle for the NFC East lead.
Nov 22, 2020 6:08 PM EST
Dalton is expected to start Sunday's game against the Vikings after being activated from the reserve/COVID-19 earlier this week, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Analysis: Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy never officially named a Week 11 starter, but Dalton should take back the reins of the Dallas offense from Garrett Gilbert now that he's made a full recovery from the coronavirus in addition to clearing the NFL's concussion protocol. The veteran signal-caller was a full participant in practice throughout the week, clearing up any concern about his readiness for game action. While Dalton will have his full complement of skill-position players available Sunday, he'll have to continuing making do with a patchwork offensive line that has three starters on injured reserve (left tackles Tyron Smith, right tackle La'el Collins and center Tyler Biadasz).
Nov 22, 2020 5:37 AM EST
The Cowboys activated Dalton (concussion/illness) from the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday.
Analysis: A report from the Cowboys' official site Monday relayed Dalton cleared the concussion protocol and the necessary testing to come off the COVID-19 list, but the second one was a premature assessment. Now officially cleared from the COVID-19 list, he can gear up for Sunday's visit to Minnesota, where he'll likely retake the reins of the offense. Expect the Cowboys to confirm as much in the near future.
Nov 18, 2020 10:38 AM EST
Updating a previous report, Dalton (concussion) wasn't activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, but the quarterback remains on track to return to action in the Cowboys' Week 11 game at Minnesota, Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News reports.
Analysis: Dalton was ruled out ahead of the Cowboys' Week 9 loss to the Eagles while recovering from a concussion before he was moved to the reserve/COVID-19 list on Nov. 3 after contracting the coronavirus. The quarterback has since cleared the NFL's five-step concussion protocol, and he's believed to be fully recovered from COVID-19 after being asymptomatic following his positive test. That said, Dalton's continued presence on the list suggests he still has to pass a few more phases of the NFLs COVID-19 protocol, though it shouldn't prevent him from suiting up Sunday. Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy has yet to name a Week 11 starter, but Dalton is expected to get the nod over Garrett Gilbert if he gains clearance to practice within the next few days.
Nov 18, 2020 8:47 AM EST
Dalton (concussion/illness) has cleared the concussion protocol, and the Cowboys activated him from the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday, Nick Eatman of the team's official site reports.
Analysis: Dalton picked up a concussion Oct. 25 when he took a massive hit while sliding at Washington. A little more than a week later, he was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on the Tuesday before a Sunday, Nov. 8 matchup with the Steelers. The result was back-to-back DNPs before the Cowboys' Week 10 bye, a span in which Ben DiNucci and then Garrett Gilbert acted as the team's starting QB. On Monday, coach Mike McCarthy said, "He was cleared to participate in practice. ... We had a mock game type of practice. And he was a full participant." While McCarthy wouldn't name a starter, Cowboys COO Stephen Jones previously noted Dalton will be under center when he's healthy. It only seems a matter of time before Jones, McCarthy or owner/GM Jerry Jones makes it official.
Nov 16, 2020 4:47 PM EST
Dalton (concussion/illness) practiced fully Monday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Analysis: With that, the QB is on track to come off the reserve/COVID-19 list in advance of Sunday's game against the Vikings. With regard to Dalton starting that game, coach Mike McCarthy noted Monday that Dalton "looked good today. We'll take it one day at a time," Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News reports. Dalton last suited up in Week 7.
Nov 16, 2020 3:07 PM EST
Coach Mike McCarthy isn't optimistic that Dalton (concussion/illness) will be cleared for action by the end of this week, Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News reports.
Analysis: That said, the Cowboys are on bye in Week 10, so the QB will look to gain medical clearance next week as the team's preparations for a Nov. 22 matchup against the Vikings begin. Once he's back on the field, Dalton will be reinstated as the team's starting QB.
Nov 9, 2020 3:01 PM EST
Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said Monday that Dalton (concussion) will start under center when cleared to return, Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
Analysis: Dalton has missed back-to-back contests, sitting out Week 8 due to a concussion and then landing on the reserve/COVID-19 list Week 9. In relief action, Garrett Gilbert provided Dallas' offense with a legitimate spark during Sunday's narrow 24-19 loss to the Steelers, nearly paving the way for an upset win while racking up 243 yards with a touchdown and one interception. In comparison, Dalton only has a 1:3 TD:INT ratio on the year, but it doesn't appear that the Cowboys are willing to entertain a quarterback competition. Dalton will need to gain clearance from both the five-step concussion protocol and the COVID-19 list before retaking the field, but he'll get the benefit of extra time during a Week 10 bye while working to make his return Nov. 22 in Minnesota.
Nov 9, 2020 12:47 PM EST
The Cowboys placed Dalton (concussion) on the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, meaning he'll miss Sunday's game versus the Steelers, Todd Archer of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: Regardless of Dalton's progress through the NFL's five-step concussion protocol, he won't be able to clear the league's COVID-19 protocols by Sunday. This means Ben DiNucci will start a second straight game under center while Garrett Gilbert serves as the backup quarterback. The Cowboys have a Week 10 bye, so Dalton will aim to return Week 11 against the Vikings.
Nov 3, 2020 10:56 AM EST
Dalton hasn't cleared all the steps of the concussion protocol, but there's hope the quarterback will return Sunday against the Steelers, Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News reports.
Analysis: After Sunday's loss at Philadelphia, McCarthy told Jon Machota of The Athletic that Dalton was improving, indicating some measure of progress through the protocol. There's an expectation that Dalton completes them in advance of Sunday's game, but recoveries from head injuries are notoriously difficult to predict. He also didn't practice last week prior to being inactive this past weekend, so getting back on the field Wednesday and beyond will give a sense of whether the veteran QB may retake the reins of the Cowboys offense Week 9.
Nov 2, 2020 3:19 PM EST
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