Going into the 2020 draft, there was an expectation that new Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy would take a young quarterback to develop. He has a history of doing that, and he had mentioned the topic previous to the draft, so it was pretty much telegraphed that it would happen.
The big question was who it would be, and it what round. The answer was Ben DiNucci, in the seventh round. But it might have been someone else had the draft taken a different direction. McCarthy also had his eye on two other quarterbacks.
The Cowboys wanted to draft a developmental quarterback and liked two others with loose ties to McCarthy. Florida International’s James Morgan went to Ashwaubenon High School, about a mile from Lambeau Field, where McCarthy coached for 13 seasons with the Green Bay Packers. Iowa’s Nate Stanley also is a Wisconsin native.
James Morgan went in the fourth round to the New York Jets. That was definitely too high for Dallas as they were busy drafting corner Reggie Robinson and trading back into the round to get their potential starting center in Tyler Biadasz.
Nate Stanley, on the other hand, was still available when the Cowboys took DiNucci with the 231st overall pick. He eventually was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings with the 244th overall picks.
What was the reason for the Cowboys going with DiNucci? Mike McCarthy answers that by comparing DiNucci to a former starting QB in the NFL.
“Very accurate,” McCarthy said of DiNucci. “Reminds me of a young Marc Bulger, someone that just, as you look for comparables, he is a young man that has played the position his whole life. He will be an excellent addition to our quarterback room...
Bulger was drafted in the sixth round (#168 overall) in the 2000 draft by the Saints. He ended up starting 95 games for the Rams in the 2000s and made two Pro Bowls. That would be a great comparison for DiNucci if it turned out to be true.
DiNucci is excited to be in Dallas and is ready to learn. He also sees a little of his own game in Dak’s game.
“I’ve paid attention to Dak,” DiNucci said. “He’s had a great few years. It’s crazy to think that’s the guy I’m going to be learning from, so I’m paying extra attention. You think of the playmakers on offense, Amari Cooper, [Michael Gallup], they had really good years; bringing in CeeDee [Lamb]; Zeke [Elliott] in the backfield. Some of those vertical shots in the offense helped. It’s going to be a fun offense, a similar one to what we ran in college. And Dak is a similar quarterback. I’m a guy that uses my legs, extends plays, that kind of off-platform stuff, different arm angles.
“It’s going to be fun to pick his brain.”