The Cincinnati Bengals selected Joe Burrow, quarterback from LSU, with the first overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft, essentially ending the Andy Dalton era in the Queen City.
“With the 35th pick of the 2011 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals select Andy Dalton.” After the addition of A.J. Green in the first round, Anthony Munoz announced the Bengals’ selection of their future franchise quarterback to usher in a new hope for all Bengals’ fans.
Coming to a team that ended the previous season at a dismal 4-12 added to the pressure of being a rookie quarterback in the NFL. Dalton didn’t falter and was brought in as the starting quarterback following the departure of Carson Palmer. In his first season, Dalton hit his stride and threw over 3,300 yards, 20 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, and was selected to his first Pro Bowl. The Bengals finished the season at 9-7, clinching a playoff berth for the first time since 2009.
Dalton would push the Bengals to the playoffs over each of the next four seasons. During the 2015 season, Dalton was considered to be one of the leading players in the MVP race until he broke his thumb before the playoffs. Had Dalton been able to finish the playoffs, who knows what that special team would have accomplished.
While Dalton’s future in Cincinnati is still in limbo, it is important to recognize all that he has done for the Bengals and the city of Cincinnati. Over his nine-year tenure, Dalton finished with a 70-61-2 record in Cincinnati. During the 2019 season, Andy Dalton hit Tyler Boyd to put his name atop the Bengals’ All-Time Passing Touchdown list. In total, he threw for almost 32,000 yards, 204 touchdowns, and 118 interceptions in the orange and black.
Most importantly, Andy and his wife JJ created the Andy and JJ Dalton Foundation to help various pediatric patients in Cincinnati hospitals and the surrounding areas. In 2019 alone, the foundation was able to help out 1,149,723 children in Cincinnati. The Daltons have been incredibly active in Cincinnati and have given back more to the community than anyone could have expected.
Andy Dalton may not have been able to push the Bengals over the playoff hump, but he was much more than a quarterback to our city. He was the face of the franchise, one of the most respected athletes in the sporting world, and an overall incredible human. As Cincinnati enters a new phase with Joe Burrow, the Queen City will never forget the contributions of Andy Dalton, both as an athlete and a man.
I speak for all Cincinnati Bengals’ fans when I say Thank You, Andy.