Andy Dalton returned to the Cowboys after missing time from a concussion due to the hit from Jon Bostic and missing time from having the Coronavirus. He gave the Dallas offense a boost that they very much needed.
Dalton is a 2005 Katy High School graduate. He only started one full season for Katy. In 2005, he led Katy to the state title game, in which they lost 34-20 to Southlake Carroll. That year, Dalton threw for 2,877 yards and 42 touchdowns.
Dalton got the start for the 2-7 Cowboys against the Minnesota Vikings. 2-7 is a horrible record, but in the NFC East, it put them within a game of first place in the division and a playoff birth. Dalton got Dallas off to a great start, leading them down the field on their first drive and connecting with Ezekiel Elliott for a 6-yard touchdown. After the Vikings took a 7-6 lead, Dalton led the Cowboys on two second-quarter scoring drives. He connected with rookie standout CeeDee Lamb for a 4-yard touchdown, and Greg Zuerlein added a 19-yard field goal to give the Cowboys a 16-7 halftime lead.
The Cowboys offense sputtered in the third and early in the fourth quarter and the Vikings took a 21-16 lead, but Dallas took the lead right back on a 42-yard run from Tony Pollard. The Vikings responded, with a go-ahead touchdown from Kirk Cousins to Justin Jefferson for a 28-24 lead. The Cowboys got the ball back for one last drive, and the Red Rifle led them to the go-ahead score. With 1:37 to go, Dalton hit Dalton Schultz for a 2-yard touchdown and the Cowboys secured a 31-28 win.
Dalton finished 22 of 32 for 203 yards and 3 touchdowns. He was helped by a Dallas running game that totaled 180 yards. The Cowboys are now 3-7, tied with the Giants and Redkins in the division and a half-game behind the Eagles due to a tie the Eagles had against the Bengals earlier in the year. They play each team one more time and also face a Bengals team that will be without Joe Burrow. If Dallas can go 4-2 in their last 6 games, or maybe just 3-3, they could win the division and make the playoffs.