“The opportunity of a lifetime.”
It comes in the most improbable of ways.
DiNucci started the 2020 season as the third-string QB on the Cowboys roster.
He watched Dak Prescott suffer a season-ending injury.
Then, backup Andy Dalton got a concussion in last week’s game.
So, suddenly it’s his time to shine on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.
In DiNucci’s words:
“I think, as a rookie seventh-rounder coming in, you see Dak and you see Andy at the top of the depth chart. It’s, ‘Hey, there’s no chance that I’m going to be on the field this year.’ But hey, this is 2020. What else do you expect? 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.”
How has Ben DiNucci looked at practice this week?
Michael Gallup: “Dude, he’s been slingin’ that thing.”
let. the legend. be written.
— David Helman (@HelmanDC) October 29, 2020
Who is Ben DiNucci
DiNucci, 23, went to high school in the suburbs of Pittsburgh.
During his senior year of high school, DiNucci became the first player in Pennsylvania history to throw for over 4,000 yards in a single season.
He led the Pine-Richland High School to a 15-1 record as a senior while throwing 46 TDs and 9 TDs.
DiNucci planned to go to Penn but changed his mind and committed to staying closer to home to go to Pitt.
He transferred to James Madison University for his final two seasons.
Despite playing just two seasons at JMU, he ended his career third overall in pass completions and fourth in TDs with 479 and 45 respectively.
DiNucci was selected 231st overall in the 7th round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys.
Even if his name had not been called in the draft, he was making plans as an undrafted free agent to either sign with the Chicago Bears or the Cleveland Browns.
The 2020 Cowboys
Much like the rest of the NFC East, the 2020 Dallas Cowboys have had their struggles.
Those struggles existed before the team lost Dak Prescott.
So Ben DiNucci walks into a less than ideal situation with a 2-5 team, but his attitude and preparation this week have been on point.
Cowboys QB Ben DiNucci on possibility of starting next week: "If my number is called, shoot, I'll be the first one in the building tomorrow and the last one to leave…I've learned more from sitting in a room with Dak & Andy the last 2 months than I have playing the last 8 yrs."
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) October 25, 2020
Because the NFC East is subpar this year, the Cowboys still could contend for a playoff spot.
DiNucci’s first career start comes against the divisional rival Philadelphia Eagles who are 2-4-1 in 2020.
He has already completed his first pass in the NFL since he came in the game to relieve Andy Dalton last week.
— NFL (@NFL) October 25, 2020
The Dallas Cowboys hope that Ben DiNucci is the spark the team needs to log more wins in this surreal 2020 NFL season.