A season shy of a decade with the Cincinnati Bengals saw Andy Dalton start 133 games.
Should everything go as planned for the Dallas Cowboys this year, Dalton won't be starting No. 134.
With Dak Prescott firmly entrenched as the Cowboys starter, Dalton is getting acclimated to a novel role with Dallas as a back-up QB. Odd as it may be for the former second-round pick and three-time Pro Bowler, Dalton is embracing the clipboard and a new set of tasks.
"This is definitely a transition for me. I've started the last nine years of my career, but for me, I'm excited for the opportunity to be in here," Dalton told the media Wednesday, via KTSM.com's Andy Morgan. "Dak [Prescott] has been great ever since I signed here. I feel like our relationship has just gotten better and better. We have gotten to know each other really well and it's been a fun working relationship."
For so many years, Dalton was the franchise quarterback in Cincinnati and now he's backing up the franchise (or at least franchised) quarterback in Dallas. He was briefly the No. 2 signal-caller in Cincy last season behind Ryan Finley, but returned to the starting 11 after only three games away from it. Thus far, Dalton's leaned on what he learned from those who were backing him up with the Bengals.
"I've learned from those guys what it takes to be a backup and what it's like to support the starter," Dalton, 32, said. "I think that's the biggest thing is you have to be his number one supporter and making sure that you're helping him from the sideline on gameday. You have to be able to give him tips on anything you can see from the sideline that he might not be able to see from the field. I think that's biggest thing — you have to be so supportive of the starter."
The 27-year-old Prescott's never provided much use for a second-stringer as he's started 64 consecutive games to begin his career. He also seems to be hitting his stride as he hit career-highs of 4,902 yards and 30 touchdowns a season ago. With Dalton, though, Prescott can find the kind of experience that nine seasons in the NFL can offer up.
"I've told him I'm here to help him and serve him in any way that I can," Dalton said. "I just want to bring my experience to the quarterback room and I'm excited about the opportunities that we are going to have this year."
Now a homegrown product coming home, Dalton went to Katy High and played at Texas Christian University before the Bengals drafted him. It's a different situation for Dalton, but one that beckoned him and that he's happy he made.
"To sign a one-year deal here in Dallas, to be a part of a good organization, a team that is very talented and to be around a great coach, and to be able to stay at home," Dalton said via the team website. "I think that all those factors played into it, and I'm excited."