Over 40 players have opted out of the 2020 NFL season and with going the non-bubble route, completing what already is a condensed schedule will be challenging.
Dallas Cowboys backup quarterback Andy Dalton has his own concerns as practice is set to begin this month. He doesn’t fault any of his colleagues for choosing to sit out. There is still a lot of uncertainty and questions that need to be addressed but he is confident the NFL and NFLPA will have the proper measures in place so the season can proceed forward.
“The safety protocols have to be in place and I think guys have to be smart and not put themselves in situations where they could possibly be around [the coronavirus] and everybody has to do their part to stay safe,” Dalton said. “It’s definitely going to be a different year. It’s going to feel and look a lot different.”
It will surely be a different season for Dalton, who spent all nine years of his career with the Cincinnati Bengals before mutually parting ways this offseason, which led to him signing a one-year deal with the Cowboys.
With facilities being closed much of the offseason due to the pandemic, Dalton spent his time working out from his home in the Dallas/Forth Worth area in preparation for the season. Recently, he became the latest athlete ambassador to partner with Balanced Body pilates to help debunk the myths and misconception around the exercise. As part of the partnership, Dalton and his wife, Jordan, utilize products such as the Allegro 2 Reformer, Wunda Chair, Pilates Arc and Motr from the comforts of home, which features a weight room and studio.
The three-time pro-bowler has been doing Pilates since 2012. Once Jordan began training to be an instructor, Dalton became her test body as he was the one constant in their trips between Cincinnati and Texas. It only took just the first few sessions for him to realize that it wasn’t a workout to be taken lightly.
“You think it’s a girls-type of workout. Then you go and do it once and you realize these girls are kicking your butt because they are already working the small muscle groups that [men] aren’t working all the time,” Dalton said. “I really enjoyed it. My wife was teaching mat classes in Cincinnati and I was recruiting teammates to come to her classes. It felt like we were always on the front row and all the girls behind us were laughing at us because they were dominating the workout and we were struggling through it.”
While each offseason has been different, Dalton has mainly kept the practice incorporated into his usual strength and conditioning program, even hiring an instructor to come train him and Jordan at their home on occassions. If you see any of his new teammates posting their pilates workouts in the near future, you can be sure they tapped Dalton as a resource.
Even with last season’s disappointing 8-8 finish, the Cowboys are rich in talent on the offensive end and most of their defense that ranked 11th in points allowed last season will be returning.
For now, Dalton is anxious to get to work on the newest chapter in his career. “The virtual offseason that we did, it was smooth,” he says. “It felt like you were in the meeting room. You would obviously want to be in the facility to have the practices and OTAs, but I think that we made the most of it. I’ve been ablate meet a couple of the guys and be around them. I’m anxious to get this thing started and get fully acclimated to the new organization.”