The quarterback position has been a hot topic around the Cowboys this offseason- for things that both happened and didn't happen.
The biggest news was the fact Dak Prescott didn't get a contract extension and will play 2020 on the franchise tag. The Cowboys did, however, sign a veteran backup in Andy Dalton, who brings immediate experience to the group.
The Cowboys also drafted a quarterback in the seventh round in Ben DiNucci, who has agreed to terms on a contract this week.
Here's a full scouting report on the rookie quarterback, who could make the Cowboys keep three quarterbacks on the roster yet again.
- Name: Ben DiNucci
- College: James Madison
- Position: QB
- Height: 6-3
- Weight: 210
- Season: Rookie
Ben DiNucci is a small school standout with developmental potential as a QB2/QB3. He finished his career with the Dukes as the CAA Offensive Player of the Year after leading the FCS in completion percentage (70.9). He also totaled 4,010 offensive yards (3,441 pass; 469 rush) while scoring 36 total touchdowns as a senior. The former Pittsburgh transfer passed for 5,716 yards with a 47:18 touchdown-to-interception ratio and a 69.7-percent completion rate in 29 games with the Dukes. He also added 16 rushing touchdowns.
As a 6-foot-3, 210-pound dual-threat playmaker, DiNucci has a versatile playing style that's ideally suited for the NFL game. He is a capable quick-rhythm passer with a fast release and quick processing skills. The FCS standout quickly assesses the defense and gets the ball into the hands of the Dukes' playmakers on the perimeter. Although DiNucci is at his best when tossing the ball around the field like a Black Jack deal at a casino, he creates big plays when improvises from the pocket. He has an uncanny ability to elude pass rushers while identifying and connecting with receivers down the field. The JMU standout racks up score after score on impromptu slip-and-slide throws or scramble tosses near the red zone.
DiNucci's athleticism and improvisational skills add a dimension to the offense with his potential in the QB run game. He is an effective zone-read runner with a knack for pulling the ball at the right time, particularly near the goal line when defenses are keying on the running back. DiNucci's running skills also make him a credible threat on the perimeter on bootlegs and naked passes. He is a unique playmaker with the capacity to make accurate throws on the run to either side while also displaying enough wiggle and burst to tuck-and-run on the edges.
From a critical standpoint, DiNucci's improvisational skills and aggressive mentality can make him a bit of a wild card as a playmaker. He has a tendency to hunt for big plays and that can lead to turnovers as a pro. As a small school standout, he was able to get away with some throws that will become Pick-6s in the NFL. He must curb those throws to have a chance to be a successful game manager as a pro.
Overall, DiNucci is an intriguing developmental prospect with enough traits to warrant an extended look as a QB2/QB3.
- Prototypical NFL QB traits (size, speed, and athleticism)
- Talented passer with a strong arm and a variety of pitches
- Athletic playmaker with dual-threat potential
- Winner (25-6 record at JMU)
- Unpolished prospect with a "boom or bust" game
- Limited ceiling
How does he fit in with the Cowboys?
DiNucci is an intriguing developmental prospect with the QB2 potential down the road. He gives the Cowboys a young quarterback prospect in the QB room with the physical traits and upside to emerge as a solid backup quarterback. If he flashes in training camp, DiNucci could buy some time as a QB3 or Practice Squad player until he is ready for a bigger role in a couple of years.