Cowboys vs. Eagles Week 8 NFL spread tips, betting odds: Who exactly is Ben DiNucci?

The Dallas Cowboys may have to start a quarterback you have probably never heard of in Week 8.
Hero Image

The news continues to get worse for the hugely disappointing Dallas Cowboys as they could be down to anonymous third-string quarterback Ben DiNucci for this Sunday's game at Philadelphia. Even though the Cowboys are 2-5, that game is for first in the division with the Eagles leading the NFC East at 2-4-1 and Washington also in the mix at 2-5. Philly opened as a 6.5-point favorite on the NFL odds, although that number could grow if indeed DiNucci has to start.

Of course, Dak Prescott was lost a couple of weeks ago to a season-ending injury. In Sunday's brutal 25-3 loss at Washington, backup Andy Dalton was hit in the head by Washington linebacker Jon Bostic while sliding to the turf in the third quarter. It was a dirty hit to be sure and Bostic was ejected but is not expected to be suspended. Dalton suffered a concussion on the play.

Somewhat oddly, Coach Mike McCarthy sounded upset none of Dalton's teammates started a fight or the like in the wake of the hit: "We speak all the time about playing for one another, protecting one another. It definitely was not the response you would expect."

Frankly, Dalton has been terrible since taking over for Prescott. Before the injury Sunday, the "Red Rifle" completed 9 of 19 passes for 75 yards. He was sacked three times and lost a fumble that led to a safety on the Cowboys' first possession. It was the fourth time the Cowboys trailed by at least 17 points at halftime this season.

If Dalton cannot clear concussion protocol in time for this week's game, the only other quarterbacks on the roster are DiNucci and journeyman Garrett Gilbert, who just recently signed. DiNucci was the No. 231 overall pick in this year's draft out of FCS powerhouse James Madison. He was 2-for-3 for 39 yards with three sacks taken in relief of Dalton on Sunday.

DiNucci was the Colonial Athletic Association Offensive Player of the Year in 2019 and led the country in completion percentage at 70.9. The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder also has some wheels as he rushed for at least 80 yards twice. DiNucci began his collegiate career at Pittsburgh before transferring. Perhaps the most notable former NFL player from James Madison is ex-Bills kicker Scott Norwood, he of the infamous missed field goal at the end of Super Bowl XXV.

There is some talk that Dallas could trade for a quarterback by the Nov. 3 Trade Deadline, perhaps someone like the Chargers' Tyrod Taylor or Dolphins' Ryan Fitzpatrick – both of whom have lost their jobs to rookies. Colin Kaepernick is always out there as a free agent too.

Who wins every NFL game this week? And which teams cover more than 50 percent of the time? Get picks here from the SportsLine Projection Model, which simulates every NFL game 10,000 times and ranked in the Top 10 on NFLPickWatch three of the past four years on straight-up NFL picks.

Matt SeveranceSeverance Pays