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Cowboys QB Andy Dalton: COVID-19 'hit me hard'

It's been an intense three weeks for Andy Dalton, who returns under center for the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.

First, he suffered a concussion after an illegal hit by Washington linebacker Jon Bostic. Then, COVID-19 sideswiped the Dalton family.

The veteran signal-caller said he doesn't recall everything that took place after the big hit, but the entire coronavirus experience stuck with him.

"The COVID, it hit me hard the first day I had it, then it gradually started feeling better," Dalton said, via ESPN. "By the end of it, I was ready to get out of quarantine and get back up here."

The concussion, then COVID-19 knocked Dalton out of two games and the Cowboys bye week. He's back on the practice field this week as he prepares to start Sunday against the Vikings.

The QB added he is still trying to get his senses of smell and taste back.

"It was a crazy three weeks for me, but I'm glad to be on the other side of it," Dalton said. "I'm glad to be back with everybody and through those three weeks."

Dalton is unsure how he contracted the virus and added his wife and one of his sons also tested positive. The 33-year-old said everyone in the family is "healthy and back to normal."

"It was a little frustrating," Dalton said. "You miss the one game because of the concussion, first time dealing with that, and then the COVID. It's like, it all kind of hit at once. I wish I could have been out there. I wish I could have played in the two games that I missed."

The past cannot be changed, but the future sits to be written.

Losers of four straight, the Cowboys sit at 2-7, but in the woeful NFC East, they're not out of the race.

"Everything is out in front of us," Dalton said. "That's the crazy thing with how this season has gone. Some games we feel like we have had chances in. All of that stuff doesn't matter at this point. Now we have to move forward. We have to think about these next seven games, and that is all our focus is -- what we have in front of us."

The Cowboys need better QB play than what they've gotten since Dak Prescott went down with a gruesome ankle injury, and they need it in a hurry. After New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton returned after contracting COVID-19, he admitted it took him a few weeks to get back into the swing. Dallas needs Dalton to jump right back in and lead a winning streak if the dimming hopes of winning the division are to stay alive.

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