Dak Prescott

Carson and Dak discuss the Wentz-Prescott rivalry

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Carson and Dak discuss the Wentz-Prescott rivalry

Carson Wentz understands why people look at this weekend's matchup against the Cowboys as a matchup that pins him against Dak Prescott.

Wentz knows it's a good thing for the conference, the division, and even the Eagles-Cowboys rivalry. 

He's just not about making this Wentz vs. Prescott. 

"At the end of the day, we're playing the defense," Wentz said. "I'm not playing Dak Prescott. I'm playing the Cowboys' defense and as a team, we're playing the Cowboys. I don't look into it too much. I really just focus on what we can do to beat this defense." 

But the comparisons are unavoidable. 

Prescott got off to a tremendous start in his professional career, making the Pro Bowl as a rookie. Wentz has clearly caught up and is a favorite to win the NFL MVP award this season. 

Who's better? 

Well, that will play itself out over the next several years. The good news is it will be plenty of fun to watch. There's a chance these two quarterbacks could be battling it out for the next decade on opposite ends of one of the NFL's most notable rivalries. 

"I don't honestly pay any attention to comparisons," Prescott said on a conference call with Philadelphia reporters. "I don't like to compare myself to anyone. I don't pay attention to that but it's hard when Carson is playing the way he's playing and the Eagles are as hot as they are to not see and not pay attention to his stats and what they're doing."

For what it's worth, here are their numbers, each through 25 games in their careers: 

Prescott: 18-7 record, 494 for 748 (66 percent), 5,661 yards, 39 TD, 8 INT 

Wentz: 15-10 record, 555 for 898 (62 percent), 6,044 yards, 39 TD, 19 INT

You could spend all day arguing the meaning behind these numbers. You'd probably hear about Prescott's supporting cast and Wentz's interception numbers. You'd probably hear about their ceilings. And maybe you'd hear about how Prescott is overlooked because he was a fourth-round pick and Wentz went No. 2 overall. 

But the numbers are pretty similar. And both QBs have found success early in their careers. 

So it's just natural to compare them. And it might be natural for Wentz to at least think for a brief second about facing a guy he'll be compared to for the rest of his career. 

"I mean, there is that little bit inside you that you know they're linked together," Frank Reich said. "So that's natural, that's human nature. But I can assure you right now the only Cowboys that Carson is worried about or thinking about are those four guys up front and those secondary players. He's not at all thinking about what kind of game Dak's going to have. He's concerned and focusing on that defense, and they certainly have some good players over there that are worthy to be concerned about and to focus on."

Prescott was one of about five quarterbacks the Eagles brought in for an interview during the 2016 pre-draft process. Reich came away from the meeting with Prescott extremely impressed with Prescott's understanding of X's and O's, which added to his already impressive college tape. Reich said he had "very, very high grades" on Prescott. 

Wentz and Prescott got a chance to know each other a little bit over those months too. They were both at the Senior Bowl and at the combine. 

"He's a great dude," Wentz said. "Obviously, he's a good leader and he's done well. Like I said, it's exciting for this division and this rivalry." 

What Dak Prescott does better than the greats

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What Dak Prescott does better than the greats

This season is Jim Schwartz's 25th season in the NFL. 

As a coach during those 25 years, he's faced Brady and Manning and Elway and Marino and Rodgers and Favre. He's faced all of the great quarterbacks to play in the NFL in the last quarter-century. 

And Dak Prescott is better than all of them at one thing. 

"I've been around the NFL for a pretty long time now," Schwartz said on Tuesday afternoon. "I don't know if I've ever seen a better thrower on the run than Dak Prescott. 

"He can throw scrambling to his left, he can throw scrambling to his right. There's not many quarterbacks who can do that. He can threaten the whole field on the run; he doesn't have to reset the throw. And he's very accurate on the run. There's a lot of mobile quarterbacks, there's a lot of guys who can throw from the pocket. He can do both of those. There's a lot of guys who can run read-option, he can do that. 

"I think what really makes him stand out is he can throw on the run, he's accurate throwing on the run and for a young player, he makes very few mistakes."

Schwartz explained that what makes Prescott so good at throwing on the run is his ability to throw the ball without resetting his feet. Most right-handed quarterbacks who run to the left side of the field will plant their feet before delivering the pass. That gives defensive backs some extra time to catch up in coverage. 

Not Prescott. 

"He doesn't allow that because he can turn his upper body and throw away from his arm better than anybody I can recall," Schwartz said. "It's really just the timing and urgency; the ball can come out at any time. Some guys will scramble and you have time to chase a guy in coverage or to plaster your coverage or chase him and get an extra guy to him. With Prescott, he doesn't give you that opportunity. The ball can come out at any time and you have to be ready for it at any time."

While Carson Wentz was the second overall pick in the 2016 draft, Prescott went in the fourth round to the Cowboys. Sunday will be the third time the Eagles will face Prescott, who went to the Pro Bowl in his first NFL season. 

The Eagles are obviously pretty happy with their selection of Wentz but Prescott was at least a possibility. On Tuesday, offensive coordinator Frank Reich said Prescott was one of about five quarterbacks the Eagles brought in for an interview during the 2016 pre-draft process. 

He came away pretty impressed by Prescott. 

"I had very, very high grades on Dak in every aspect," Reich said. "From his college tape, I thought his college tape was really, really good. I really liked the way he threw the ball with timing and anticipation. When he came in here and we interviewed him, hardcore interview as far as digging into protections and pass concepts and what his understanding of what the pass game was and protections, it was really high in all areas. And you could just tell he had that X-factor as far as natural leadership ability. I enjoyed getting to know him a little bit."

Best of NFL: Ezekiel Elliott-less Cowboys a disaster in Atlanta

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Best of NFL: Ezekiel Elliott-less Cowboys a disaster in Atlanta

ATLANTA -- The Dallas Cowboys knew it would be tough to get by without Ezekiel Elliott.

Turns out, they missed Tyron Smith even more.

With their starting left tackle sidelined by back and groin injuries, the Cowboys surrendered six sacks to Adrian Clayborn in one of the greatest pass rushing performances in NFL history.

The result: an ugly 27-7 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

"The next man up has to be ready on a moment's notice," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "We didn't handle the adversity of the day."

After three legal reprieves, Elliott finally began serving a six-game suspension for allegations of domestic abuse. There was certainly no replacing a dynamic back who led the league in rushing as a rookie.

Alfred Morris started in Elliott's place and broke off a 20-yard run, but the former Pro Bowler really didn't have much of an impact. He finished with 11 carries for 53 yards (see full recap).

Loss to winless 49ers increases heat on Giants coach McAdoo
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- C.J. Beathard threw for 288 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a third score to lead the San Francisco 49ers to their first win of the season with a 31-21 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday.

Beathard connected on an 83-yard TD to Marquise Goodwin and a 47-yarder to Garrett Celek in the second quarter as the 49ers (1-9) took advantage of another listless effort by the Giants (1-8) to win for the first time under coach Kyle Shanahan.

Beathard's time as starting quarterback in San Francisco figures to be numbered after the team acquired Jimmy Garoppolo two weeks ago in a trade from New England. Garoppolo has been learning the offense and could take over when the team returns from the bye in two weeks.

While the Niners could be making a quarterback change soon, this performance will only heighten the questions about whether the Giants will need to change coaches. Ben McAdoo has been under fire after a report this past week from ESPN that quoted an anonymous player as saying the players have given up on the season and don't view McAdoo as a leader.

The Giants have not fired a coach during the season since 1976 when Bill Arnsparger was let go after a 0-7 start and replaced by John McVay, who had more success as an executive who helped build the 49ers dynasty in the 1980s (see full recap).

Jared Goff leads Rams to 4th straight win
LOS ANGELES -- Robert Woods caught two of Jared Goff's three touchdown passes during a dominant third quarter, and the surging Los Angeles Rams returned after a month away from home for their fourth straight victory, 33-7 over the depleted Houston Texans on Sunday.

After struggling to a 9-7 lead during a quiet first half for the NFL's highest-scoring team, the Rams (7-2) ran away with a series of big throws by Goff, who passed for a career-high 355 yards.

Woods caught a 94-yard TD pass to break it open before Sammy Watkins and Woods made TD catches 19 seconds apart late in the third quarter. The Rams defense shut out Houston in the second half and won at the Coliseum for just the third time in 11 games since returning to Los Angeles last season.

Woods finished with eight catches for 171 yards, making the longest catch of his NFL career before following it up with a 12-yard TD.

Bruce Ellington caught a 26-yard TD pass for the Texans (3-6), who have lost three straight and four of five.

Tom Savage passed for 221 yards with two interceptions for Houston, which lost its second straight since losing rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson for the season with a knee injury (see full recap).