Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Tuesday that practice-squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton's start for the Denver Broncos at quarterback in Sunday's blowout loss to the New Orleans Saints was comparable to the Cowboys handing their offense to rookie Ben DiNucci.
"I don't know that Denver had any more of a challenge than we've had with DiNucci or with the young quarterbacks that we've had," Jones said on 105.3 The Fan (via CBS Sports' Patrik Walker). "And, by the way, two or three of those [Broncos] quarterbacks will be back from the [reserve/COVID-19 list]."
Hinton, a part-time QB during his college career at Wake Forest, was thrust into the spotlight Sunday after all four of the Broncos quarterbacks—Drew Lock, Brett Rypien, Blake Bortles and Jeff Driskel—were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list before the game.
Although it's fair to say the Cowboys didn't expect DiNucci to take any meaningful snaps this season, suggesting his entrance in the starting lineup is on the same level as what the Broncos dealt with against the Saints is a quite a stretch.
DiNucci was an accomplished college quarterback at James Madison, highlighted by a senior season in which he was voted CAA Offensive Player of the Year and led the Dukes to the FCS National Championship Game.
Hinton threw 251 passes at Wake Forest and converted to a full-time receiver for his senior season. He finished his time with the Demon Deacons with eight touchdown passes and seven interceptions.
The 23-year-old North Carolina native predictably struggled against the Saints. He completed just one of his nine throws for 13 yards with two interceptions in the emergency start.
ESPN's Jeff Legwold reported Lock, Rypien and Bortles are on track to return Wednesday after continuing to test negative for COVID-19 after being deemed high-risk close contacts of Driskel.
Hinton will likely return to the practice squad to continue his development as a wideout. His spot start will go down as one of the enduring stories of an NFL season unlike any other because of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Jones' comments about the struggles associated with starting DiNucci don't paint the most promising picture about his future with the Cowboys.
Dalton has returned to the lineup for the past two games following the team's Week 10 bye.