Settling the Carson Wentz vs Dak Prescott debate

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On June 7, 2019, the Philadelphia Eagles locked up their franchise QB with a 4-year extension worth $128 million with $107+ guaranteed. To no one’s surprise, this deal triggered many reactions in the sports world. Fans and media alike all debated whether the Eagles made a good decision or not. Now, there’s another debate that’s slowly sneaking up on Wentz’ big payday.

For several days now, people have been debating Wentz and Prescott as if it were the biggest rivalry in sports. Well, maybe it is through the lens of a bird’s eye view.

These young quarterbacks have been tied together since the beginning of the 2016 NFL season. There was no debate during the draft, Prescott seemed like an afterthought due to his draft stock. The talk of the 2016 NFL draft was all about Jared Goff and Carson Wentz; this was it, the rivalry to end all rivalries, the matchup that would be talked about for ages. So much for that…

Wentz has outgrown Goff in many ways and the jury is out on both of them. Carson is viewed as a QB with a very high ceiling, a future MVP, as for Goff? Well, let’s just say that he has yet to really show he’s more than just McVay’s puppet. The real rivalry lies within the NFC East division, it’s the same matchup that can be seen twice a year on primetime Sunday night. It’s the only matchup that matters right now in that division. The tale of two QB’s who can’t seem to leave the other behind.

Stats

Let’s talk about stats, we’ll start with Dak Prescott. At this point in his career, Prescott is 32-16 with one playoff win and two division titles. He’s passed for 10,876 yards with 67 touchdowns, 25 interceptions with a QB rating of 96. Not to mention, a completion percentage of 66%. He’s also rushed for 944 yards with 18 rushing touchdowns. Not bad for the 135th overall pick of the 2016 draft.

As for Carson Wentz, we all know he’s dealt with injuries in 2 of his last 3 seasons. He’s missed a total of 8 games in that span and has yet to play in the playoffs, although he was a huge reason his team made it to the Super Bowl. Yes, I said it. No disrespect to Nick Foles, but the Eagles wouldn’t have it made it to the Super Bowl without Wentz’ brilliant season that year.

Now back to his numbers, Wentz is 23-17 in his first 3 seasons. In his time on the field, he’s completed 63% of his passes while passing for 10,152 yards, 70 touchdowns, and 28 interceptions. He currently has a QB rating of 92.5. Keep in mind that he’s missed 8 games in his career, that’s technically half of a season. So in two seasons and a half, Wentz put up almost identical numbers as Prescott, who hasn’t missed a game. Interesting. What if Carson never got injured? Would this still be a debate?

Supporting Cast

Let’s move on to my favorite take, the supporting cast. Now usually, if you watch a movie, the supporting cast are the actors in the background. They’re the ones with very minimal roles with lines made to not outshine the star of the movie. In Dak’s case, that’s not how it’s played out. In the 2016 draft, the Cowboys selected Ezekiel Elliot with number 4 overall pick. Elliot has been a stud since day one and has been the driving force for the Cowboys offense. Paired alongside Zeke, the Cowboys molded Prescott’s game around the run. He also came into a situation, to no fault of his own, where the Cowboys had a future hall of famer in Jason Witten and an offensive line that was the best in the NFL at the time.

Need proof? Did we all forget how lost Prescott looked last year without Elliot behind him? On top of that, the Cowboys didn’t show signs of life until the traded for Amari Cooper. Cooper alone may have saved Prescott’s season.

As for Wentz’, his weapons didn’t come until the 2017 season when the Eagles signed Torrey Smith, Alshon Jeffery, and LeGarrette Blount. Their running game didn’t really explode until they traded for Jay Ajayi and rookie running back Corey Clement started to see more carries. In that season, before getting injured, Wentz through for a franchise high 33 touchdowns with 7 interceptions and was well on his way to winning MVP.

In regards to last season, it seemed he may have rushed back and even without having a full offseason to work with his team, Wentz still put up decent numbers. He finished last year with 3,074 passing yards, 21 touchdowns, 7 interceptions and a completion percentage of 69% in just 11 games. Let’s not overlook the QB rating, in which he finished at 102.2

Let’s take a look at how Prescott faired last season as well. In 16 games, he finished with 3,885 passing yards, 22 touchdowns, 8 interceptions and a completion percentage of 67%. Also, he ended the season with his QB rating at 96.9. Now am I going crazy or did Wentz’ have a better season than Dak? Carson only played 11 games, that’s 5 games less than Prescott. Don’t forget that Wentz didn’t have a full offseason to prepare or build rapport with his teammates due to rehabbing from his torn ACL. Not to mention, the Eagles QB also played with a broken vertebra in his lower back for several games.

The Defining Moment

We have now arrived to present time 2019. It’s officially minicamp time. Everybody’s fresh, no injuries holding either QB back. As I mentioned earlier, the Eagles have just signed Wentz’ to a big $128 million extension. This may have put the Cowboys in a weird situation with their star QB.

Let’s think for a moment, if Jerry Jones believes in Prescott, then what’s taking so long on his extension? Is there a cause for concern in Jerry’s world? Many believe Prescott’s ceiling is very limited, which has translated into why the Cowboys are so focused on their running game and hoping they can sign Dak for less money than Wentz. They also depend on Ezekiel Elliot more than they ever would on Dak. That’s not a hot take, it’s an actual fact.

What happens next is huge. Possibly monumental on what the NFC East will look like for years to come. This season is the climax to both Wentz’ and Prescott’s careers. the time has come for one of these quarterbacks to set himself apart from the other.

It seems like the momentum is building in Carson’s favor. He’s the gunslinger that can change the whole landscape of not only the NFC East but of the entire NFC. The Eagles have been built around him this offseason. He’s gotten a boost in the running back group, the wide receivers and even the offensive line. The teams front office even gave him the extension to show how confident they are in him.

This year will define the direction that both QB’s are heading in. For the Cowboys, the numbers say Dak is worth the investment but the tapes say otherwise. For the Eagles, Wentz’ play says he’s worth it but he needs to protect himself and stay healthy. This season is all about revelation and both QB’s will show their true colors. As for the franchises, the Eagles have shown their true colors in letting Nick Foles walk and extending Carson Wentz. For the Cowboys, the world is waiting. In my best Doug Pederson voice: Your move Dallas.

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