Cowboys’ Andy Dalton doubtful to face Eagles due to concussion, setting Ben DiNucci up to make first start

Andy Dalton, after missing practice throughout the week with a concussion, has been listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Eagles. Dalton, an 11-year veteran quarterback who signed with the Cowboys this offseason, sustained the injury after getting hit by linebacker Jon Bostic during last Sunday’s loss to the Washington Football Team. 

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has publicly stated that Dalton will be ready to face the Steelers in Pittsburgh in Week 9. As it relates to Dalton’s status for this Sunday, coach Mike McCarthy laid out what will have to happen over the next 24 hours for Dalton to possibly be available as a backup. 

“If Andy would practice (Saturday) that would be the only chance to play in the game,” McCarthy said, via CBS Sports’ Patrik Walker. “As of right now not scheduled to practice.”

Regardless, the Cowboys’ starting quarterback on Sunday will be Ben DiNucci, who started the season as the team’s third-string quarterback behind Dalton and Dak Prescott, who suffered a season-ending injury during the Cowboys’ Week 5 win over the Giants. A seventh-round pick in this year’s draft, DiNucci completed two his first three career regular season pass attempts during last week’s loss in Washington. 

“It’s game I’ve been playing since seventh grade,” DiNucci said earlier this week. “Not going to try to make it any more than it is. Going to have fun with it, bring a lot of energy, bring a lot of confidence and let my play speak for itself.”

On Sunday, DiNucci will face an Eagles defense that is currently 22nd in the NFL in scoring, seventh against the pass, and 24th against the run. The Eagles’ defense is also 19th in the league in third-down efficiency and 29th in red zone efficiency. Expect DiNucci and the Cowboys to rely on running back Ezekiel Elliott, who is still in search of his first 100-yard rushing performance in 2020. 

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