“Kind of just walked up to him and said, ‘Hey this isn’t what you said my rookie year was going to be like,'” he joked to Prescott.
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This time last week, DiNucci was holding a clipboard for Andy Dalton, expecting another 60 minutes of inactivity. Now he’s suddenly atop the depth chart, replacing the man for whom Dalton held a clipboard not long ago.
“As a rookie and a seventh-rounder coming in, you see Dak and you see Andy at the top of the depth chart, you think ‘There’s no chance I’m going to be on the field this year.’ But it’s 2020, what else do you expect?” DiNucci conveyed to reporters Thursday, via the team’s official website.
In “great spirits” despite his season-ending ankle injury, Prescott laughed off the remark and gave DiNucci a hug. Then imparted a bit of invaluable guidance to the No. 231 overall pick of the 2020 draft, whose starting debut will come in primetime on the road against the hated Philadelphia Eagles.
“We talked about this,” he told DiNucci. “Go out there and do you. Take completions. Trust the guys around you. Don’t overthink it. Football’s football. Don’t try to make it more than it is.”
Message sent. Message received.
“Football is football. It’s the game I’ve been playing since I was in 7th grade,” DiNucci affirmed.
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DiNucci Impressing Mates
While the James Madison product remains a work in progress tangibly, with just three NFL pass attempts under his belt, some of Dallas’ top players are noticing the 23-year-old’s advanced intangibles rising to the surface amid his fast-tracked development.
“He definitely has a little s**t to him, confidence, he takes command of the huddle and that’s great especially coming from a young guy since you honestly don’t know, he hadn’t played any snaps in this league up until last week,” running back Ezekiel Elliott said Wednesday, via the Dallas Morning News.
DiNucci prides himself on his accuracy and dual-threat ability. Arm strength was never his strongest suit, though it’s not the weakest, either. Take it from someone catching his passes, wide receiver Michael Gallup: “Dude, he’s been slingin’ that thing.” Or someone on the other side of the ball, linebacker Jaylon Smith: “Slinger. Full of confidence. You see a fire in his eyes. We believe in our brother.”
In his inaugural mid-week conference call, DiNucci was relaxed, humorous, and self-assured. He explained the significance of the latter quality as it pertains to the most important position in sports.
“Being a quarterback, you’ve got to have a little something to you,” he said. “You have to have confidence, whether you’re a veteran or a rookie.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL