FRISCO, Texas – Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy would not completely rule out Andy Dalton from Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles, but owner and general manager Jerry Jones said Dalton, “should be ready to go next week,” on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas Friday.
Rookie Ben DiNucci has taken the first-team quarterback work this week in practice and would start the first game of his career. He completed 2 of 3 passes for 39 yards after Dalton suffered a concussion on a vicious hit in the third quarter of the 25-3 loss to the Washington Football Team last week.
The Cowboys play the Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 8 at AT&T Stadium before their bye week.
Dalton is in the concussion protocol and was at Friday’s walkthrough but not a participant. He was in the quarterback meetings on Thursday.
“If Andy would practice (Saturday) that would be the only chance he would have to play in the game,” McCarthy said. “As of right now, he’s not scheduled to practice.”
Asked if Dalton could be active but not start, McCarthy said, “You look at all your scenarios but until he comes out and he’s been cleared by the medical staff, then we really can’t entertain that decision. But that’s definitely an option.”
Garrett Gilbert would serve as DiNucci’s backup if Dalton cannot play. He has been around the team for two weeks.
“Garrett’s clearly a whole week better than he was last week,” McCarthy said. “I think like any quarterback, particularly one that comes to you midseason, it’s a challenge. But I thought he’s made a tremendous leap this week from last week. You just see it with the timing, particularly with the perimeter players … 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.”