Player Profile #75 – QB Andy Dalton

If the number one statistic that matters for a quarterback is winning, then Andy Dalton got the job done at both the high school and college levels.

Playing for Katy High School in Texas, Dalton took the Tigers to a 14-1 record in his only season as full-time starting quarterback. In four seasons as the starting QB at Texas Christian University, he was 42-7, the most career wins by an active college quarterback last season.

That’s a combined 56-8 over his last six seasons as a starting quarterback.

Here’s the rest of his story.

FAMILY AFFAIRS

Andrew Gregory Dalton

Born – October 29, 1987 in Katy, Texas.

Family – Parents are Greg and Tina Dalton, with older sister Ashley and younger brother Avery (younger). Dad is an attorney specializing in property tax disputes. Mom graduated from the University of Houston. Ashley is a Texas A&M graduate and Avery is a high school senior.

BODY OF WORK

  • Height – 6-feet, 2 inches.
  • Weight – 215 pounds.
  • Arm – 31¾ inches.
  • Hand – 9¼ inches.
  • 40-yard dash – 4.82 seconds.
  • 20-yard dash – 2.75 seconds.
  • 10-yard dash – 1.65 seconds.
  • Vertical jump – 29½ inches.
  • Broad jump – 8-feet, 10 inches.

HIGH SCHOOL

Dalton graduated with the Class of 2006 from Katy High School, part of the Katy Independent School District. Katy is a suburb of Houston, located to the northwest with a population of just less than 15,000. The town’s name comes from the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad that ran through the area in the 1800s.

The Katy H.S. Tigers are known for their football program, which has won four Texas state titles since 1997 and made eight appearances in the championship game. Katy went to state finals in Dalton’s senior year, losing the title game to Southlake Carroll. That was the year Dalton was named the Houston Chronicle’s Offensive Player of the Year for Greater Houston. He was also named third-team All-Texas 5A offense.

FOOTBALL

2005 – He led Katy to a 14-1 record and state finals appearance. He threw for 2,877 yards with 42 TDs and 15 INTs. The Tigers lost to Southlake Carroll in the title game, as Dalton threw four interceptions.

2004 – The Tigers went 12-2 and reached 5A quarterfinals. Dalton completed 38 of 67 for 678 yards with 10 TD passes and 2 INTs. He split time at QB with senior Jared Gayhart, who is a reliever in the Detroit Tigers minor league system.

2003 – A starter on the sophomore team. The varsity squad at Katy won the state title.

2002 – Dalton was the backup QB on freshman team.

RECRUITING

He was barely noticed by most of the big schools in the SEC or Big 12. TCU showed an interest only when Dalton and his parents showed up unannounced on campus for a visit. They ended up getting a meeting with head coach Gary Patterson, who had no idea who the young man was, other than he played for Katy H.S., a Texas power. “He wasn’t highly recruited, but he knew what it took to win,” Patterson said of Dalton. “That was really important to us.”

Only Memphis and Texas-El Paso also offered him scholarships, but Dalton committed to TCU in October 2005.

COLLEGE

Dalton received his bachelor’s degree in marketing from Texas Christian University in December 2010.

On the field, Dalton was honorable mention All-Mountain West Conference in ’08, and then first team All-MWC in 2009-10 seasons, where he was named the conference’s offensive player of the year. In both of the last two seasons he received votes in balloting for the Heisman Trophy. He was a finalist in ’10 for the Manning and Unitas Awards.

He now holds every passing standard in the TCU record book, for both single season and careers. Dalton led the Horned Frogs to four bowl games in four seasons, winning three of those games where he was named MVP in the Texas, Poinsettia and Rose Bowls.

2010 – A 13-0 season, where he was voted the Team MVP. He threw for 26 TDs Senior season threw for 27 TD passes and only 6 interceptions. His best performance came against Utah, when he threw for 355 yards on a 21 of 25 passing day with three TD passes in a 47-7 victory. Dalton led the Frogs to an unbeaten season with a victory over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl, where he was named the game’s MVP.

2009 – Dalton led the Frogs to a 12-1 season, when he passed Sammy Baugh for career QB victories, pushing his total to 30. He threw for 23 TD passes against 8 INTs. His best performance came against BYU, when he was 13 of 24 for 241 yards and 3 TD passes. Only loss for TCU was in the Fiesta Bowl to Boise State, where Dalton threw for three interceptions and was just 25 of 44.

2008 – TCU was 9-2 in Dalton’s 11 starts, missing two games due to a knee injury. He ended up throwing 11 TD passes and 5 interceptions. His best game was against Wyoming, when he threw for 334 yards and four touchdowns. He was the Poinsettia Bowl MVP against Boise State when he finished with 271 yards in total offense.

2007 – Dalton was named the starting QB after competing in the spring and late summer with redshirt-sophomore Marcus Jackson. TCU went 8-5 on the season, and Dalton broke all of the school’s freshman passing records. His best performance came against Stanford, when he threw for 344 yards and 2 TDs. He was named MVP of the Texas Bowl, going 21 of 30 for 249 yards against Houston.

2006 – Redshirt season.

 Year

 

G

 

S

 

Att.

 

Cmp.

 

%

 

Yds.

Avg.

Att.

 

TD

 

INT

2010

13

13

316

209

66.1

2,857

9.0

27

6

2009

13

13

323

199

61.6

2,756

8.5

23

8

2008

11

11

307

182

59.3

2,242

7.3

22

5

2007

13

13

371

222

59.8

2,459

6.6

20

11

Total

50

50

1,317

812

61.8

10,314

7.8

71

30

Dalton ran 413 times for 1,611 yards and 22 TDs. He also caught one pass for 27 yards and punted six times for a 32.3-yard average.

EVALUATION FOR PRO FOOTBALL

Strengths – There are not many four-year starting QBs found at major college programs, but Dalton is an exception. Those 50 starts have provided him with a remarkable amount of hands on, game-experience. Physically he’s not tall, but stocky and that’s allowed him to be durable and available. He’s got good arm strength and can make all the throws and do it with accuracy. Understands offensive concepts and what the defense is going to do against him – those are two of the toughest adjustments for college quarterbacks coming into the NFL. Intangibles are out of sight. A devout Christian, he’s not afraid to get after a teammate that might be making mistakes or not concentrating.

Weaknesses – Is not especially gifted athletically, and he is shorter in stature than many teams desire from today’s NFL quarterbacks. Dalton makes his delivery work, but there needs to be serious tinkering with his foot work; he tends to throw off his back foot. He has a quick release, but he has a three-quarters delivery that will bring a lot of passes knocked down by the pass rush. While he’s improved his decision making, he’s still prone to trying to win the game with one throw and thus making bad decisions.

Analysis – While his physical characteristics are average, Dalton is above average, even off the charts when it comes to intangibles. From his intelligence on the field, to his leadership abilities on and off the field, to the work ethic he displays on a daily basis around the TCU program, Dalton has too much going for him to not make a spot for himself in the NFL. Whether he’s good enough to start remains to be seen, but anybody looking for a winner, need only make one stop at TCU.

WHAT THE SCOUTS SAY

An AFC scout said – “I know a lot of scouts are on the edge with this guy because of his height, but it’s not like he’s a midget of some kind. He’s not under 6-feet tall. With his experience and intelligence, I can see him going somewhere and performing so well that the coaches put him on the field. But I think he needs time to develop. He has holes in his throwing fundamentals and if corrected, he could be a starter.”

WHAT HE HAS TO SAY

“The most rewarding thing for me is people coming up and thanking me for being a great character guy for their kids; for being a class act off the field. That is the kind of person I want to be. It’s very fulfilling.”

“I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished a whole lot. I just feel blessed to get the opportunity to play college football at such a great university. God has blessed me so much.”

“I understand the game really well. I just want to go out and show how much I know about the game of football, not only about defenses, but protections and everything it takes to play quarterback.”

Here’s part of Dalton’s conversation with the media at the NFL Combine back in February:  Andy Dalton

WHAT OTHERS HAVE TO SAY

Former roommate and TCU center Jake Kirkpatrick – “His faith plays a major part in his life, and everything he does revolves around it,” Kirkpatrick said. “He has views and morals he sticks to. That’s why he’s such a leader on this team. I think it shows on the field.”

High school and college teammate RB Aundre Dean – “He doesn’t like people to put him on a pedestal. He knows he is, but he likes to be on the same level as everybody else. I’ve always admired that about him.”

TCU head coach Gary Patterson – “The biggest thing for a quarterback is finding a way to win ballgames, and he did that. I think it’s something that’s really, really important to him. I something is really, really important to you, you’ll find a way to get it done.”

DOES HE FIT WITH THE CHIEFS?

If they are interested in a second or third-round QB, it’s hard to see the Chiefs not being interested in Andy Dalton. The intangibles are all very tangible on this guy. He’s intelligent, his confident, he’s poised, he’s passionate about the game, durable and willing to work. Dalton has dealt with pressure situations since his Texas high school days, where it’s not OK to lose. He’s not the perfect package; otherwise he’d be a top 10 pick in the first round. But other than height and overall arm strength, Andy Dalton is a prospect worth watching.

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