Low expectations for, high confidence from Ben DiNucci

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Like Dak Prescott in 2016, a rookie quarterback will start for the Cowboys on Sunday. Unlike Prescott, not much is known about Ben DiNucci as he takes over the offense, if only for one game.

A seventh-rounder from James Madison who presumably is unrelated to former pro wrestler Dominic DeNucci (especially since it’s not spelled the same), DiNucci becomes the starter for Sunday Night Football against the Eagles due to the season-ending ankle fracture suffered by Prescott and the Week Seven concussion sustained by Andy Dalton.

His former head coach at JMU, Curt Cignetti, shared some insights with Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.

“A guy with a lot of confidence, borderline cocky, a lot of energy,” Cignetti said. “He’s unflappable, he’s got an edge. He’s also got a lot of different releases like Philip Rivers. He’s smart, man, and he’s going to go in there with confidence. The biggest thing is, he’s not going to go in there with big eyes. He’s going to be jacked and ready to go.”

If DiNucci can play well, he’d be the most unlikely find at the position since Tony Romo arrived in 2003 as an undrafted free agent and quietly developed before suddenly becoming the starter in place of an ineffective late-career Drew Bledsoe.

“He’s been slinging that thing,” receiver Michael Gallup told reporters this week, via Rapoport.

Added linebacker Jaylon Smith, via James Palmer of NFL Media: “Slinger. Full of confidence. And that’s what I love. You see a fire in his eyes.”

Before DiNucci can sling it, he’ll need five guys in front of him who’ll fend off defenders long enough for DiNucci to find an open man. It also would be helpful if the line can help kick-start the running game, so that play-action will become a possibility for DiNucci.

Regardless, there’s a reason for optimism in the unknown that DiNucci brings to the table. Given the way things have been going for the Cowboys, the season can’t get much worse. Maybe there’s for hope that, starting tonight, things will start to get better.

12 responses to “Low expectations for, high confidence from Ben DiNucci

  1. If I’m Jerry I’m expecting this rookie to drive this team to a top draft pick, he starts winning with all that confidence and it could ruin their shot at Trevor

  2. As an Eagles fan, I hope he does well. Not well enough to win, mind you, but I hope he doesn’t get embarrassed. 7th round, small school rookie starting Sunday night under the lights, in a heated rivalry? Everyone he’s ever met will be watching him. True Rocky story, happening in Philadelphia nonetheless.

    If he manages as well as Luke Falk did against us last year, that’ll be great. 16-23, 120 yards, 2 picks, 2 fumbles, 9 sacks.

  3. Doesn’t matter who’s at QB. With that o-line with so many changes due to injury they’re gonna struggle. Need to give him a bit of time at least. And the rushing attack ? Totally disappeared

  4. Great story. Hope he has a respectable game, he’s starting for the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL today. Can you imagine how many kids dream of this, and here it is, reality. Best of luck to him, it should be fun to watch. Sort of like Favre when he stepped in for Majkowski. You never know……

  5. Good luck kid this may be the only start you ever get, enjoy it for what it is, full filling a lifelong dream of starting in the NFL

  6. Hope the kid does well. This teams future is Prescott not Lawrence. Whatever happens this year, 4 will be under center next year.

  7. Well…if there’s any team in the NFL that has, throughout the years, demonstrated a tendency for botching situations like these, it’s the Eagles.

    It wouldn’t shock me at all if they managed to manufacture an L out of this situation.

    I’ve been watching since ’72, so I’ve seen plenty of losses snatched from the jaws of victory, and plenty of second rate opposing QBs made to look like Joe Montana.

  8. This game could be ugly or an opportunity! I hope the Boys play some of the young guys so they can see what they can do. Wentz has been struggling so this gme may be his cure! It could be a painful snoozer!

  9. I live in Fargo, so I respect FCS QB’s.

    Expecting him to show that he is a #2 QB at the very least.

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