All signs point to rookie Ben DiNucci starting for the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football.
The team lists Andy Dalton as doubtful with the concussion he was diagnosed with after an illegal hit to the head by Washington linebacker Jon Bostic.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones expects Dalton to return for the Week 9 game against the Steelers.
“He should be ready to go next week,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan. “He’s through his concussion, but improving from his symptoms. Still, he should be out there. There’s no question that he’s your ticket. He’s [an] outstanding player for this role and would expect him, as we go on into the remainder of the season, really be available and be under these circumstances be very productive.”
Garrett Gilbert, who signed with the Cowboys earlier this month, will serve as DiNucci’s backup if Dalton is not cleared in time to play.
“Garrett’s clearly a whole week better than he was last week,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “I think, like any quarterback that comes midseason, it’s a challenge. I thought he made a tremendous leap from this week to last week. You just see it in the timing, particularly with the perimeter players, and that’s always a big adjustment. I’m sure there’s not a whole lot of plays that we have in the plan that he hasn’t been exposed to at some point in his career. It’s really getting the timing down, the cadence, to be in sync with how the cadence is delivered. It’s all the little things, command of the huddle. I thought he’s definitely taken a big jump from last week to this week.”
The Cowboys added punter Chris Jones to the injury report with an abdomen injury. He was limited in Friday’s practice but does not have a designation.
Right guard Zack Martin (concussion) will play after missing last week’s loss to Washington.