DiNucci completed 23 of 43 passes for 219 yards without a touchdown or interception over three appearances for the Cowboys in 2020. A seventh-round pick in the 2020 draft, DiNucci was the third of four Dallas quarterbacks to get a start in the disappointing campaign, getting his chance after Dak Prescott (ankle) and Andy Dalton (concussion) both went down. Predictably, the rookie looked completely overmatched in his Week 8 start against the Eagles, and he was replaced under center the following week by Garrett Gilbert and subsequently lost the No. 2 job after Dalton recovered. Assuming Prescott is back in 2021, DiNucci could need a big showing in training camp to even win the backup job with the Cowboys next season.
DiNucci is expected to start Sunday's game versus the Steelers following news that Andy Dalton (concussion) was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. Dalton won't be able to return by Sunday, so DiNucci is in line for a second straight start. His start against the Eagles this past Sunday was ugly, as he completed 21 of 40 passes for 180 yards (4.5 yards per attempt) and no touchdowns. He didn't throw an interception, but he was sacked four times and lost two fumbles. The rookie's matchup this week will be even tougher, as the Steelers lead the league with 30 sacks and rank second with 13 turnovers through seven games.
DiNucci completed 21 of 40 pass attempts for 180 yards, no touchdowns and two lost fumbles in Sunday's 23-9 loss to the Eagles. DiNucci received the first start of his career, but was given a rude awakening by the Eagles' defensive unit. The 2020 seventh-round pick did not get any help from his battered and bruised offensive line, as he was often under duress mere moments after receiving the snap. The handful of times DiNucci received a clean pocket, he proved to be indecisive and held on to the ball too long, taking four sacks in total on the night. The rookie was blunt during the post-game presser, stating that "this NFL thing; it's hard." Nothing appeared to come easy for anybody on Dallas' offense with DiNucci at the helm, but a potential Week 9 return for veteran quarterback Andy Dalton (concussion) offers some hope for a rebound. Fantasy managers probably saw enough from DiNucci to steer clear if he is forced to make another start Sunday, especially considering one of the league's top defensive units waits on deck in the form of a home matchup against the Steelers.
With Andy Dalton (concussion) listed as doubtful, DiNucci is expected to get the start Sunday night in Philadelphia, Jon Machota of The Athletic reports. The rookie seventh-round pick won't lack for receiving weapons, but he will be playing behind a shaky O-line against an above-average Eagles pass rush. DiNucci looked overwhelmed when he replaced Dalton in last week's 25-3 loss to Washington, taking sacks on three of his six dropbacks.
DiNucci took all the Cowboys' first-team reps at quarterback during practices Wednesday and Thursday, Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News reports. While Dallas hasn't ruled out Andy Dalton (concussion) from starting this weekend in Philadelphia, the signal-caller has been a non-participant in the first two practices of Week 8. According to Gehlken, Dalton's involvement in Dallas' quarterback meeting Thursday morning marks a step forward for the veteran as he navigates the concussion protocol, but he'll almost certainly need to get some on-field reps in Friday to have a shot at playing against the Eagles. Barring a major turnaround in Dalton's condition in the next day, DiNucci looks poised to make his first career start Sunday after he played 12 snaps in relief of the concussed Dalton in last week's loss to Washington. At this time, little buzz has emerged suggesting that the Cowboys plan to bring in a more experienced option at the position beyond journeyman Garrett Gilbert, who was recently poached from Cleveland's practice squad to serve as the clear No. 2 behind DiNucci.
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