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Andy Dalton’s current status in concussion protocol, revealed

Andy Dalton, Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton attended the team’s morning meeting on Wednesday, but still has a long way to go in concussion protocol before returning to football activities.

Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News reported that head coach Mike McCarthy doesn’t expect Dalton to be available until the end of the week — in the best case scenario.

Dalton entered concussion protocol after suffering a hit in the third quarter of Sunday’s 35-3 loss to the Washington Football Team.

The veteran QB took a shot to his head on a dirty helmet-to-helmet hit from linebacker Jon Bostic while sliding to the ground. Bostic was ejected from the game (but not suspended), as Dalton headed to the Dallas locker room to be evaluated for a concussion. He looked momentarily unconscious while laying on the ground after the vicious hit.

Dalton was replaced by rookie Ben DiNucci, who completed two of his three passes for 39 yards.

If Dalton isn’t cleared in time for Sunday, DiNucci — a 2020 seventh-round pick — will make his first career start in a key matchup against the NFC East-leading Philadelphia Eagles (despite a 2-4-1 record) at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday Night Football. The Cowboys aren’t looking to bring in a veteran starter for the short-term, according to CBS Sports.

Dalton’s concussion is the latest in a series of unfortunate developments for Dallas. QB Dak Prescott suffered a season-ending compound right ankle fracture and dislocation in Week 5 after a record-setting start to his season.

After the game, Dalton was alert and in “good spirits” before flying home with the team, according to a Cowboys spokesperson.