Next thing to look at is record. Dalton is proving he is a winner, with a stout 19-15 record as a starting quarterback. Yes, this does factor in his first game vs Cleveland, and the last game of the regular season in 2012 against Baltimore, but, this record does includes a win at Pittsburgh and one at home vs the defending Super Bowl champ Giants. Dalton also proved to be a winner in college, where at TCU he posted a record of 42-9, and beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.
What do elite quarterbacks have in common? Playoff wins and Super Bowl rings. This is what separates the list into elite quarterbacks and everyone else. In the two playoff games,Dalton has not exactly shined, and needs to play better. Continuity with the coaching staff and a consistent wide receiver core should help Dalton take that next step in the playoffs. Dalton has the intangibles of what it takes to be elite, but he is the one who has to do it. In 2013, look for the Bengals to live up to their expectations of winning in the playoffs and if Dalton can hoist the Lombardi trophy, look at him to be considered in the conversation of elite quarterbacks.