A rookie from James Madison is suddenly one play from becoming the Cowboys’ QB

“He’s going to have much more alternatives than he’s had the entire time he’s been right here blended simply subsequent week,” Cowboys Trainer Mike McCarthy instructed newshounds on Tuesday. “He wishes to accomplish. He’s were given to ensure his preparation is in music. And there’s just a few belongings you do from the second one seat that is going on all the way through the league. This can be a giant step. This can be a giant alternative for Ben DiNucci.”

Curt Cignetti, DiNucci’s trainer throughout his senior yr at JMU, texted along with his former student a couple of days after Prescott went down and has undoubtedly DiNucci will upward thrust to the instance if known as upon.

“Ben’s a competitor,” Cignetti stated in a telephone interview on Thursday as he ready for JMU’s first fall apply. “I do know he’s enthusiastic about the prospective alternative. He’s one play away, and he’ll do the entirety he can to place himself in the most productive place via preparation. He’s a particularly assured man. If it involves that, the place he finally ends up enjoying, he’s going to head at the box with numerous self belief, and he’ll be in a position.”

The 6-foot-Three, 209-pound DiNucci took a roundabout street to Harrisonburg earlier than becoming a member of the Cowboys. He used to be the 2014 Gatorade Pennsylvania participant of the yr as a senior at Pine-Richland Prime in Gibsonia, the place he was the primary participant in state historical past to eclipse Four,000 passing yards in a season. After retreating of a verbal dedication to Penn, he signed with Pitt and redshirted as a freshman. DiNucci subsidized up Nathan Peterman the next yr and noticed his first actual motion in 2017, showing in 10 video games and beginning six.

After the season, throughout which he threw 5 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, DiNucci transferred, turning down scholarship gives somewhere else to sign up at JMU as a most popular walk-on, with two years of eligibility closing.

DiNucci began all 13 video games in his first season at JMU, which used to be coming off consecutive appearances within the Soccer Championship Subdivision name recreation beneath trainer Mike Houston. DiNucci led the Dukes to a Nine-Four file whilst throwing 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, with 5 of the ones selections coming in JMU’s 2d around playoff loss to Colgate. Cignetti used to be then employed to exchange Houston, who left for East Carolina after the season, and held a three-way festival for the beginning quarterback process that lasted into fall camp. For the second one immediately yr, DiNucci beat out Cole Johnson and Gage Moloney.

“The yr earlier than, he had had a just right yr, however a couple of too many turnovers,” Cignetti, who used to be up to now a head trainer at Indiana College of Pennsylvania and Elon, stated of DiNucci. “There have been some issues we needed to blank up, and he purchased in and had an incredible season. He jumped proper in and he studied. Once I call to mind Ben, I call to mind a man who has roughly at all times been within the saddle, at all times been the fellow, and has had numerous luck over the years.”

DiNucci threw for three,441 yards, 29 touchdowns and best six interceptions as a senior whilst additionally dashing for 569 yards and 7 rankings. He gained Colonial Athletic Affiliation offensive participant of the yr honors and led the Dukes again to the FCS championship recreation, the place they misplaced to North Dakota State, 28-20.

A couple of days earlier than that recreation in Frisco, Tex., DiNucci had a possibility come upon with McCarthy on the JMU crew resort, which used to be connected to the Cowboys’ apply facility the place McCarthy used to be presented as Dallas’s new trainer. McCarthy is a fellow western Pennsylvania local; if truth be told, his brother used to be DiNucci’s heart college basketball trainer.

“I walked proper into the elevator and he used to be status within the again proper of it, and I made it some extent to head stand through him,” DiNucci instructed the Day by day Information-Document in April. “I presented myself and simply introduced up that his brother used to be my basketball trainer and I stated, ‘Welcome to Dallas.’ He had heard of Pine-Richland and used to be asking me a couple of issues.”

DiNucci and McCarthy would reconnect in April, when DiNucci joined Mike Cawley, a sixth-round pick out of the Indianapolis Colts in 1996, as the one JMU quarterbacks to be drafted. Cawley by no means seemed in an NFL recreation.

“We had been scared to attend on you ’til unfastened company,” Cowboys proprietor Jerry Jones instructed DiNucci after Dallas decided on him with the 231st general pick out. “We simply drafted you.”

“You simply made my rattling day,” DiNucci answered.

After the draft, McCarthy when compared DiNucci to a tender Marc Bulger, a Pittsburgh local who had an eight-year occupation with the St. Louis Rams and made two Professional Bowls. Cignetti stated DiNucci’s talents remind him a little bit little bit of a few NFL beginning quarterbacks he is aware of beautiful smartly from his seven years as an assistant at N.C. State.

“He’s were given a in point of fact fast unlock and numerous other deliveries, like Philip Rivers, and he’s were given mobility, like Russell Wilson has just right mobility,” stated Cignetti, who coached Rivers and recruited Wilson throughout his time with the Wolfpack from 2000 via 2006. “He can beat you along with his legs and arm. He sees the sphere, he’s savvy and he’s a just right chief. He performs with an edge.”

McCarthy stated Thursday that he’s running on getting DiNucci acclimated to the No. 2 function, which is able to come with taking some reps with the primary crew in apply. McCarthy is assured Dalton will make a “seamless” transition as Prescott’s substitute after beginning for the previous 9 years in Cincinnati.

“Frankly, I’m now not as involved in Andy Dalton’s preparation up to I’m serious about Ben DiNucci’s,” he stated. “ … That’s the place the most important preparation trade is occurring.”

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