When the Dallas Cowboys spent a seventh-round draft pick on quarterback Ben DiNucci from James Madison this spring, there was a widespread chorus from the team’s fans.
NFL scouts certainly knew what kind of player he was after tracking DiNucci’s long, winding path throughout college football. The Pittsburgh-bred quarterback cracked the top 10 in several school passing marks — including completions, attempts, passing yards and passing TDs — despite spending only two years there.
And without an NFL preseason in 2020, the Cowboys learned more about him in Week 7 when he unexpectedly was thrust into the lineup in the midst of an eventual 25-3 loss to the Washington Football Team. Andy Dalton, who had replaced injured starter Dak Prescott, was knocked out of the game following a late hit to the head from Washington’s Jon Bostic.
DiNucci, who turns 24 next month, became only the sixth seventh-round QB to play as a rookie in the past 15 years, completing two of three passes for 39 yards. (He also was sacked three times and fumbled twice.)
All signs point to DiNucci earning his first NFL start in place of an injured Dalton on Sunday night against the Philadelphia Eagles in what theoretically is a battle for the NFC East playoff race.
But most of the country is still learning about him. So who exactly is DiNucci? Here are four things you should know about him.