Coming into this draft, one thing the new Cowboys regime made clear is they were interested in drafting a developmental quarterback. New head coach Mike McCarthy had a trend of selecting quarterbacks in the draft during his time in Green Bay, and continued that trend in his first draft with the Cowboys.
With their final pick in the draft, Dallas selected Ben DiNucci, a quarterback from James Madison University. According to Todd Archer of ESPN, DiNucci and McCarthy met when the quarterback was in Frisco for the FCS title game.
In Frisco for the FCS title game in January, Ben DiNucci introduced himself to Mike McCarthy inside an elevator at the Omni not long after McCarthy was named coach. McCarthy’s brother, Joe, was DiNucci’s basketball coach growing up. Now he gets to play... https://t.co/JFEts19mMZ— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) April 25, 2020
DiNucci becomes just the seventh quarterback drafted by the Cowboys since Jerry Jones took over in 1989. The Cowboys have not tried to develop a draft pick other than Mike White in recent memory, so it will be interesting to see how they attempt to develop the young signal-caller.
The 6’3 Pennsylvania native started his career as a Pittsburgh Panther, but after struggling in limited playing time, he transferred to JMU after his sophomore year. While in the FCS, DiNucci had a great amount of success. He struggled turning the football over his junior year, throwing 16 touchdowns to 12 interceptions, but improved in a big way in his senior season. DiNucci saved his best for last, throwing for 3,441 yards, 29 touchdowns to just six interceptions, leading the Dukes to a 14-2 record.
Cowboys seventh-round pick: QB Ben DiNucci pic.twitter.com/y6uAPQ6ci4— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) April 25, 2020
DiNucci is also pretty skilled at throwing the deep ball. According to Pro Football Focus, he ranked fifth in the draft class with a 125.9 passer rating on deep passes.
New #Cowboys QB Ben DiNucci's 125.9 passer rating on deep passes ranks 5th in the draft class, right behind Tua Tagovailoa (3rd) and Joe Burrow (4th).— PFF DAL Cowboys (@PFF_Cowboys) April 25, 2020
The Cowboys will now have another option behind franchise quarterback Dak Prescott to develop in case of emergency. DiNucci will compete with Cooper Rush for the backup spot, but if the Cowboys felt good enough about taking him with a draft pick, may plan to keep him as the third quarterback regardless.
This wraps up what looks like the best draft the Cowboys have had since 2016. What makes that even more impressive is that it’s the first draft this new coaching staff has been a part off. I think it’s safe to say sometimes change is a good thing.