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Andy Dalton is riskiest free-agent quarterback

Pro Football Focus identified players considered the riskiest free agents at every position, and former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton - who played last season for the Dallas Cowboys - was the QB.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton (14) runs the ball against the New York Giants in the second half at MetLife Stadium.

An explanation from PFF.com's Anthony Treash:

Dalton is the choice here because he is a candidate to be signed by a team like the New England Patriots, who will want him to compete in 2021. The problem is that Dalton is just good enough to prevent a “tank” season that results in prime draft capital but not good enough to carry the team back to the postseason. That’s what we call quarterback purgatory, and it can set franchises back for years.

Dalton did show the requisite accuracy and took care of the football for the Dallas Cowboys this past season, but the lack of big-time throws hindered the passing offense. He ranked 32nd in big-time throw rate and completed only 10 passes thrown over 20 yards downfield in 10 games. Dak Prescott completed 15 deep passes in just five games and had more big-time throws than Dalton on the year.

The veteran quarterback finished the 2020 NFL season ranked 23rd among quarterbacks in PFF grade, while the Cowboys' passing offense as a whole finished 23rd in expected points added (EPA) per pass play. And Dalton's inability to push the ball downfield with any consistency was a big reason why.


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