Wentz, Prescott lead Ea­gles, Cow­boys into NFC East show­down

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By Schuyler Dixon

AR­LING­TON, TEXAS >> Try­ing to ex­plain the quick suc­cess for Philadel­phia’s Car­son Wentz and Dal­las coun­ter­part Dak Prescott of­ten comes back to the com­ple­men­tary parts be­hind both rook­ies.

For Wentz, that means re­ly­ing on a per­sis­tent if not wildly suc­cess­ful run­ning game, and one the NFL’s best de­fenses. For Prescott, it means the league’s top rush­ing at­tack fu­eled by fel­low rookie Ezekiel El­liott, the NFL’s rush­ing leader with 703 yards, and a dom­i­nant of­fen­sive line.

If you want to use the term “game man­ager” for two quar­ter­backs who pro­tected the ball at the start of their ca­reers bet­ter than any first-year play­ers be­fore them, so be it. Their teams are win­ning, which makes for quite a story line in a key NFC East game Sun­day night.

“I ob­vi­ously don’t think it’s a neg­a­tive way to de­scribe any quar­ter­back,” said first-year Ea­gles coach Doug Ped­er­son, a for­mer NFL QB. “If you’re ef­fi­cient throw­ing the ball, you’re not turn­ing the ball over, and you’re con­vert­ing on third downs, then that’s a pretty good way to man­age the game.”

When Wentz and Prescott were trad­ing the rookie record for pass at­tempts with­out an in­ter­cep­tion to start a ca­reer, this Ea­gles-Cow­boys meet­ing was a po­ten­tial tar­get for the re­turn of Tony Romo, who broke a bone in his back in a pre­sea­son game. But Dal­las’ 10-year starter has been ruled out for the game de­spite prac­tic­ing on a lim­ited ba­sis and for the first time since his fourth back in­jury in less than four years.

So Prescott gets a chance to ex­tend a five-game win­ning streak that has the Cow­boys (5-1) tied with Min­nesota for the best record in the NFC.

“It’s go­ing to be big be­cause it’s the next game,” Prescott said. “I’m not go­ing to re­ally put much into it, the ri­val or the di­vi­sion op­po­nent. It’s a game that I want to win. Every game that I play, I’ll be the same way and I’ll treat it that way.”

Things to con­sider as the Ea­gles (4-2) go for a fourth straight win at the Cow­boys, which would match their long­est in the se­ries go­ing back to when Philadel­phia won eight straight over­all from 1987 to 1991:

DEZ RE­TURNS: Dal­las re­ceiver Dez Bryant is ex­pected back af­ter miss­ing three games with a hair­line frac­ture of a bone in his right knee. He said he was ready to play against Green Bay be­fore the bye, but the med­i­cal staff opted to give him the ex­tra two weeks of re­cov­ery time. The 2014 All-Pro missed seven games last year af­ter break­ing his foot in the opener and fin­ished with ca­reer lows in catches, yards and touch­downs. He scored his only touch­down this sea­son against Chicago when he re­turned af­ter in­jur­ing the knee. “Seems like for­ever. Now it’s over,” Bryant said.

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