Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones noticed a slight difference between the way his team was treated after a quarterback disaster versus how the Denver Broncos were handled this past week.
Jones appeared on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas on Tuesday and explained why Denver faced no worse a scenario this past Sunday than the one the Cowboys encountered several weeks ago.
“I don’t know that Denver had any more of a challenge than we’ve had with [Ben] DiNucci or with the young quarterbacks that we’ve had,” he said.
The Broncos were forced to play practice-squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton at quarterback in Week 12 against the New Orleans Saints after all four of their regular quarterbacks were deemed ineligible.
Jeff Driskel kicked things off by testing positive for COVID-19, and then the other three quarterbacks — Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles — were ruled out because of close contact around him while not wearing a mask.
That just left Hinton, who completed 1 of 9 passes for 13 yards and was picked off twice in the Broncos’ 31-3 loss to the Saints.
Meanwhile, DiNucci was forced to play back Nov. 1 against the Philadelphia Eagles when Andy Dalton was ruled out with a concussion.
DiNucci completed 21 of 40 passes for 180 yards and lost two fumbles in a 23-9 defeat. The Cowboys subsequently turned to quarterback Garrett Gilbert against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who completed 21 of 38 passes for 243 yards with one touchdown and one pick in a 24-19 loss.
“We have been schooled in the NFL, the teams have been schooled,” Jones continued.
“You had really better pay attention to your protocols. You better manage, don’t just give it lip service, just roll your eyes back and say, ‘That happens to them. That doesn’t happen to me.’
“All teams are advised [to] do logical things relative to separation, relative to having your players available when you got a COVID challenge and do those things because it could make a difference in scoring points or make a difference in how you defend somebody. And I’m being trite. That’s part of coaching. That’s part of managing the game.”
Although Jones’ point may get ridiculed in the media, it’s not an unfair one. Yes, the circumstances surrounding the two instances are different – but the end result is the same. Both the Broncos and Cowboys were forced to play unprepared quarterbacks because their regular ones were not available.
Do the Broncos really deserve more sympathy, when you could make the case that their issue was the byproduct of their own sloppiness? Absolutely not.