The Cowboys were faced with little choice but to play rookie quarterback Ben DiNucci against the Eagles in Week 8 last season. Dak Prescott was out with a season-ending ankle injury, and backup Andy Dalton was in concussion protocol.
DiNucci was in over his head — something even owner Jerry Jones admitted the following week — as the James Madison product went 21-of-40 for 180 yards and lost two fumbles, one of which was returned for a touchdown.
DiNucci is hoping that isn’t the last time we ever see him as a starting quarterback.
“I feel like it wasn’t me out there,” DiNucci said, via Andrew Oliveros of SI.com.
The Cowboys spent a seventh-round choice on DiNucci last year, so they aren’t ready to give up on him. He had an offseason of on-field work he didn’t have a year ago and will get a preseason to try to make the team’s roster.
“It’ll be nice to have preseason this year just to kind of be able to get back in the flow of games, play in games and get out there and show what I can do,” DiNucci said.
The Cowboys window shopped at the position in the offseason, but they have not signed a veteran quarterback behind Prescott. That leaves Cooper Rush, Garrett Gilbert and DiNucci competing for the backup jobs.
“I felt like I got a little more comfortable every quarter,” said DiNucci, who played 94 offensive snaps in three games. “Just [learned] some things. When the check-down is there, take the check-down. A positive play is a good play. No negative plays. Just throwing the ball out of bounds when guys aren’t open. Just things that come with playing. And that’s all stuff that I’ll be able to work out in the preseason.”