Fans never thought that they would be here, but Ben DiNucci is now (most likely) the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. So far this season, Cowboys fans have seen their star quarterback, Dak Prescott, go down with a season-ending injury. They then saw backup quarterback, Andy Dalton, get knocked out of a game against Washington. This has since led to the rookie quarterback, DiNucci, most likely becoming the starter for what looks like, at least, Week 8. While Dallas fans certainly have a reason to be worried, DiNucci just sent out an encouraging message.
Ben DiNucci will most likely start for the Dallas Cowboys in Week 8
The 2020 Dallas Cowboys started their year with a lot of hope. They had one of the best young quarterbacks in the league in Dak Prescott, and he started the season on fire. Through the first four games of the season and in part of another, Prescott threw for 1,856 yards, nine touchdowns, and four interceptions. He led the NFL in passing yards, too, as he was throwing for a league-leading 371.2 yards per game.
Sadly, Prescott suffered a season-ending injury in Week 5 against the New York Giants. Andy Dalton then replaced him, and helped the Cowboys get the win that week. He then played in the next game and in a part of another in Week 7. Dalton has ultimately thrown for 452 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions on the year. The Cowboys, though, ended up losing in Week 6 and Week 7, falling to 2-5.
In their Week 7 loss to the Washington Football Team, linebacker Jon Bostic hit Dalton hard, and Dalton had to leave the game. He is now not expected to clear concussion protocol by Week 8.
This means Ben DiNucci, who replaced Dalton in Week 7, will most likely get the start for the Cowboys in Week 8. DiNucci, a rookie out of James Madison, spent some time at Pitt before having a decent season with James Madison in 2018. In 2019, though, he became a star. During that season, DiNucci threw for 3,441 yards, 29 touchdowns, and only six interceptions, per his bio on James Madison’s site. He also proved that he could use his legs as he ran for 569 yards and seven touchdowns.
DiNucci’s play helped him earn the Colonial Athletic Association’s Offensive Player of the Year award that year. He also helped James Madison reach the FCS championship against North Dakota State. After his stellar senior season, the Cowboys selected DiNucci in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL draft.
Now, he is their starting quarterback.
Ben DiNucci sends a promising message to Cowboys fans
DiNucci has been taking reps with the first-team offense this week, as it is starting to look more and more like he will get the start in Week 8.
“Hey, this is 2020. What else do you expect?” DiNucci said on Thursday, according to The Dallas Morning News. “Here we are. Week 8 of my rookie year, I’ve got a chance to go out there on Sunday Night Football and do what I love to do. I couldn’t be happier or more excited.”
Some players have raved about how he has looked so far. His confidence level, though, has also been praised.
“He’s got a lot of confidence,” offensive lineman Zack Martin said, according to The Dallas Morning News. “Obviously with a young guy possibly making his first start, it’s up to the rest of the guys on the offense to instill confidence in him.”
DiNucci, who highlighted how weird it is that he is now the starter, also discussed his confidence level.
“I think in the span of 10 days I went from being in a sweatshirt and sweat pants to, ‘Here we are, my number could be called,’” DiNucci said, according to The Dallas Morning News. “So I’m taking it in stride. I’m the most confident person in myself and the guys around us. So I’ve got no fear, no worries about being able to lead this team on Sunday night and doing what we got to do and get a win.”
Ben DiNucci’s message is great for Dallas Cowboys fans to hear
Will Ben DiNucci have a great game for the Dallas Cowboys in Week 8? It is hard to say for sure. He is a rookie, and there are some injuries on the offensive line that will, most likely, make things difficult.
However, confidence is half the battle. Great quarterbacks have a lot of confidence in themselves and in what they can do. Struggling quarterbacks typically don’t have much confidence in themselves. So, if DiNucci, who is entering the scary situation of being the QB for America’s team, has a lot of confidence in himself as a rookie, that can be a recipe for success.
It will be interesting to see how he plays in what will most likely be his first-ever start in Week 8.
Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference