A brand new and much-needed NFL rivalry could be born Sunday night in Arlington, Texas.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott will square off in primetime this weekend. Both rookies have already impressed during their first seasons and appear to have long futures with their respective teams.
Eagles wide receiver Jordan Matthews believes Sunday’s contest could be the start of something epic.
“Peyton [Manning] and [Tom] Brady, that’s an extremely high honor to be mentioned with those guys,” Matthews said, according to ESPN.com’s Tim McManus. “I have spoken highly of Carson and know that he could be named with those guys just with more years of playing.”
Matthews’ praise wasn’t just limited to the guy throwing him the ball.
“And I have a high respect for Dak, too. … You’re talking about a guy who is a poised quarterback, he knows what it means to be a leader, he knows what it means to be game-planned for. And I feel like Carson is the same way. The thing I love about Carson is he has that same ability but he also has a chip on his shoulder. So you’re talking about two guys that could potentially be like a Brady and Peyton rivalry. The only difference is, you’re going to get this two times a year, and possibly playoffs.”
That would be an immense treat for the NFC East and NFL fans in general to have two potential star quarterbacks squaring off bi-annually and competing for division titles.
Wentz has done nothing to show he can’t be a franchise quarterback. He’s thrown for 1,324 yards, 8 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions on the year and has helped Philadelphia to a surprising 4-2 record. Prescott has been similarly impressive after stepping in for the injured Tony Romo. He’s thrown for 1,486 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception and has guided Dallas to a 5-1 start.
These two also already have similar career arcs, as they were supposed to be third-string quarterbacks before a drastic change of circumstances. Wentz was thrown into the fire just a week before the season after Philadelphia traded would-be starter Sam Bradford to Minnesota. Prescott was supposed to sit behind Romo and Kellen Moore during his first season before injuries knocked both out.
Prescott may surrender his job to Romo once he returns from his back injury. But once Romo is out of the fold the Cowboys could be Prescott’s team.
These two young quarterbacks already have plenty in common. Now, they’ll compete against each other in a pivotal NFC East game that could have lasting ramifications on what might be the NFL’s best quarterback rivalry down the road.