Andy Dalton will miss another start, but it won't be because of the concussion he suffered late last month. On Tuesday, the Dallas Cowboys announced Dalton has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list and will miss this Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Dalton also missed last Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles after suffering a concussion against the Washington Football Team on Oct. 25. The Cowboys didn't announce if Dalton tested positive for COVID-19 or came in close contact with someone with the coronavirus.
The loss of Dalton likely means rookie Ben DiNucci will get the start again. During this past Sunday's game against the Eagles, DiNucci completed 21 of 40 passes for 180 yards in a 23-9 loss. He was also sacked four times and lost two fumbles, including one that was returned for a touchdown. Garrett Gilbert was the team's backup QB while the team added Cooper Rush to the practice squad. It has been reported the Cowboys could go with Rush since he has been with the team since 2017 in some capacity.
The news of Dalton comes after head coach Mike McCarthy talking about not having players on the reserve/COVID-19 list during the regular season. "It's part of the team meeting messaging," McCarthy said as reported by ESPN. "Pretty much almost every day or definitely a couple times a week there's always feedback that our football operations is giving us as far as what the new emphasis is and how we can continue to improve on it, and I think our players and staff have done a very good job, the best they can, as far as the social distancing and the tracking and all the components that go into it. So hopefully we can keep it going."
Dalton took over for Dak Prescott when he suffered a season-ending ankle injury last month against the New York Giants. In the four games Dalton has played in this season, he has completed 61 percent of his passes and thrown for 452 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. This one of the many challenges the Cowboys have health with this year. After having high expectations before the start of the season, the Cowboys struggle to find wins as they have a 2-6 record and just one game away from having the worst record in the NFC.