Cowboys-Eagles meet in clash of rookie QBs
LOS ANGELES: Dak Prescott leads the Dallas Cowboys against Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles tomorrow in an NFL showdown that could mark the start of a long-running quarterback rivalry. Prescott has been outstanding in place of injured Cowboys signal-caller Tony Romo, ranking fifth in the NFL in passing through the first six games, with seven touchdown passes and only one interception. He’s taken Dallas to the top of the NFC East, ahead of the Eagles and their own sensational rookie QB Wentz.
Wentz, the second overall selection in the NFL draft, has thrown eight touchdowns with three interceptions since taking the helm in Philadelphia-who traded veteran Sam Bradford before the start of the season and opted to hand the reins to their young recruit. “It’s exciting,” Wentz said of the showdown with Prescott. “It’s exciting for him, for me. “Obviously it’s going to be played up into something. It’s cool to see another young guy like him that I’ve come to know and to see the success he’s having.”
But Prescott, who was drafted in the fourth round and went into training camp as the Cowboys’ third-string quarterback, says it’s not about a duel with Wentz but about getting a needed win against a division foe. “No, it’s the Cowboys versus the Eagles,” Prescott said. “I’m worried about this team, the Cowboys, and how this team can finish and be remembered this season.” Prescott became the Cowboys starter after No 2 QB Kellen Moore broke his leg in training camp and veteran starter Tony Romo broke a bone in his back in the third pre-season game.
“I think it’s circumstantial,” Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said. “But I think some of it too is the fact that these kids, how well they prepare, how well they execute in pre-season games and in practices that catches the coach’s attention, catches the coach’s eye.” Prescott doesn’t know how long he’ll have the reins in Dallas. Romo took part in a practice for the first time this season on Thursday and could conceivably be back on the field for a November 6 game against Cleveland.
Prescott has handled the feverish speculation in Dallas about a possible quarterback controversy with the same aplomb he’s shown on the field. For as long as he’s asked, he’ll just keep trying to pile up wins. This week he’s expected to have the help of receiver Dez Bryant, who missed three games with a hairline fracture in his right knee. Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott leads the league with an average 117.2 rushing yards per game and is the first rookie in NFL history to rush for at least 130 yards in four consecutive games.
Pats eye payback at Bills
Tomorrow’s action kicks off in London, where after a foray to the rugby bastion of Twickenham the NFL returns to Wembley with a clash between the Washington Redskins and Cincinnati Bengals. The Oakland Raiders put their perfect 4-0 road record on the line at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New England Patriots will try avenge an embarrassing 16-0 home defeat to the Bills when they travel to Buffalo.
That game four weeks ago marked the first time the Pats had failed to score in a game since 2006. But it also marked the fourth game of superstar quarterback Tom Brady’s Deflategate suspension, with backup Jimmy Garoppolo sidelined by a shoulder injury and third-string rookie Jacoby Brissett getting the start despite a thumb injury. Since Brady’s return New England have beaten Cleveland, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh by a combined 49 points. —
LONDON: Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins, centre, takes part in a training session at Wasps rugby union team training ground. —