JMU teammates ready for chance with Cowboys

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HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Former James Madison football standouts Ben DiNucci and Ron'Dell Carter are preparing to compete for roster spots on the same NFL team.

Former James Madison football standouts Ben DiNucci and Ron'Dell Carter are preparing to compete for roster spots on the same NFL team.

DiNucci, a quarterback, was selected by the Dallas Cowboys with the 231st overall pick in the seventh round of the recent 2020 NFL Draft. Carter, a defensive end, went undrafted but quickly signed with the Cowboys as a free agent after the draft ended.

The two players were key members of the 2019 JMU football team who helped the Dukes win the CAA title and finish as national runner-up after losing to North Dakota State in the FCS National Championship game. DiNucci was named the CAA Offensive Player of the Year after throwing for 3,441 yards and 29 touchdowns while adding 569 rushing yards and seven TDs on the ground. Carter was named the CAA Defensive Player of the Year in 2019 when he dominated on the defensive line with 27 tackles for loss and 12 sacks.

After they both learned they were headed to Dallas to continue their football careers in the NFL, DiNucci and Carter talked with each other about joining the one of the sport's most recognized franchises.

"We talked directly after the draft and we both had our Dallas Cowboys hats on," said Carter. "We both can't wait. I am sure (Ben's) excited, I'm definitely excited. I can't wait."

DiNucci added: "It's just crazy to be able to have a teammate there. It'll make the transition so much easier. (Carter's) been one of my best friends and so supportive throughout this whole thing so having him down there in Dallas with me, that's all you can ask for."