Dallas Cowboys: Why Garrett Gilbert Should Start Over Andy Dalton

Photo by Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Photo by Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

Garrett Gilbert proved to be a reliable quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys which the team should consider him over Andy Dalton.

Despite the 24-19 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, Garrett Gilbert impressed in his first NFL start. Gilbert finished 21 of 38 for 243 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He also rushed for 28 yards on three carries.

But the performance of Gilbert may not have been enough to earn the starter job for the rest of the season. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones spoke on 105.5 The FAN in Dallas Tuesday morning where he said that when Andy Dalton returns from injury, he will start.

Dalton suffered a concussion in the 25-3 loss to the Washington Football Team. He missed the last two games against the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh due to the injury. There has been no word on when Dalton will return as the Cowboys are currently in a bye week. The expectation is he could return for the November 22 game against the Minnesota Vikings.

The next week and a half will be critical for head coach Mike McCarthy to determine if Dalton truly is the right man for the job. Gilbert will be in the running with rookie Ben DiNucci and Cooper Rush also in the conversation. With Dalton and Gilbert being the most likely choices, Gilbert could make the argument that he is the right man for the job.

Why Gilbert Should Start Over Dalton

The key difference shown between Garrett Gilbert and Andy Dalton has been mobility. Gilbert made some key runs in the loss to Pittsburgh to help keep their offensive drives going. Dalton is more of a pocket passer as is Gilbert. What helps Gilbert is he’s more willing to run the ball when there is an opening than Dalton. That’s an aspect of the game the Cowboys are missing from Dak Prescott.

While the two quarterbacks combined for only three starts, the offense looked more efficient with Gilbert than Dalton. The running game opened up more with Gilbert as they had a season-high 144 yards in the loss to the Steelers. Their offense also scored more points against Pittsburgh (19) than Dallas scored in the Arizona and Washington games combined (13).

Turnovers also is a key difference between the two quarterbacks. Dalton has four turnovers in two starts with three interceptions and one fumble. Gilbert did throw one interception in the Steelers game but was able to prove to protect the football better than Dalton.

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Why the Dallas Cowboys are Sticking With Dalton

Experience seems to be a key reason for Dallas to stick with Dalton. Despite the slow start from Dalton, he has proven over the years to be a winner and led the Cincinnati Bengals to multiple playoff appearances. The lack of training camp and practice time with the starters played a key role in the slow start. Gilbert has only made his first NFL start Sunday and hasn’t been a proven winner yet.

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Dallas still has a chance to win the division and make the playoffs this season. A veteran at quarterback could be what the Cowboys need to make that run. They need stability and confidence with this talented team. McCarthy would rather have someone who knows the offense better like Dalton than Gilbert who wasn’t on the team at the beginning of the season.

Gilbert got fans excited for what the team could do almost beating the only undefeated team in the NFL. The reality is who knows how long Gilbert can keep up the performance. Keeping Dalton in the lineup gives McCarthy and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore more confidence in their playcalling.

Next. Key numbers you need to know from the Cowboys and Steelers game. dark

The next game against the Vikings could go a long way in determining if Dalton is indeed the right guy or if Gilbert should get another shot.

  • Published on 11/12/2020 at 13:01 PM
  • Last updated at 11/12/2020 at 10:52 AM