Eagles

Carson and Dak discuss the Wentz-Prescott rivalry

usa-carson-wentz-dak-prescott-eagles-cowboys.jpg
USA Today Images

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." 

Eagles see honor of White House visit, but players still undecided

Eagles see honor of White House visit, but players still undecided

The Eagles organization accepted an invitation to the White House to commemorate its Super Bowl LII championship on June 5. The question is how many of the flock will be migrating to the nation’s capital that day? 

The decision was a hot topic of discussion on Tuesday, Day 1 of voluntary OTAs. 

“I’m excited to be going to be honored as world champions. It’s a great honor,” Doug Pederson said. “We’re still working through some logistics right now, so we don’t have all the details today, but excited to be going.”

So the head coach will be attending. As for Carson Wentz, “I know for me, personally, if the team decides as a whole, most guys want to go or be a part of it, I’ll be attending with them,” he said. “I think it’s just a cool way to receive the honor nationally and be recognized. I don’t personally view it — I know some people do and everyone has their opinion on it — but I don’t view it as a political thing whatsoever. I don’t mess with politics very often.”

Wentz may not mess with politics, but Donald Trump’s short tenure in office is the definition of polarizing and it’s impossible for some of his teammates to be apolitical when it comes to visiting the White House. 

“Because of the political climate we’re in, it will be taken as a political statement one way or another, whether you want it to or not,” said Brandon Brooks, who has yet to decide if he will be making the trip. “The biggest thing is you have to separate politics from the experience of going to the White House. Me, personally, it really is a tough decision because the president we have now, I agree with some things and some I don’t, so I’ll be looking within myself.” 

Some players such as Chris Long and Malcolm Jenkins are on record as saying they will not be going to the White House regardless of what the team as a whole decides. 

“For me, there’s a lot going on with that administration and I don’t think it’s the time to really have any kind of productive or constructive conversations about policy,” Jenkins said. “I definitely want to avoid being used as some kind of pawn. The way things have gone the last few months, I don’t think the time is right for that.”

Long and several other players made it very clear that whatever your choice, it will have no ill effect in the locker room. 

“As far as teammates, yeah, we all have a choice, so nobody’s judging anybody,” Long said. “It’s an honor to get to go to the White House and it means something different to everybody else.” 

Zach Ertz echoed Long’s sentiments about staying unified. 

“I’m still deciding. This isn’t going to be a divisive moment in the locker room,” Ertz said. “Guys are going to respect one another’s opinion. One of the things I’ve spoken about is my wife (U.S. women’s soccer player Julie Ertz) had gone in the past after they won the World Cup and she spoke about how fun it was to go there and to learn so much, see the history. So just an opportunity to go there whether you agree with the organization that’s in there or not. It’s the premiere building in this nation.”

Eagles reportedly turned down a Nick Foles trade offer from Browns

usa_nick_foles_browns_front_office.jpg
USA Today Images

Eagles reportedly turned down a Nick Foles trade offer from Browns

Earlier this offseason, Eagles vice president of football operations Howie Roseman explained why the price tag for Nick Foles would be high if they ever decided to trade him.

Turns out, he wasn’t kidding. 

Because according to NFL Network’s Mike Silver, the Eagles turned down an offer from the Cleveland Browns for the No. 35 pick in the 2018 draft.

That seems like a more-than-fair price for the 29-year-old quarterback who will be a backup if everything goes as planned in Carson Wentz’s rehab. But the Eagles have been consistent in their valuation of Foles, first by not trading him and then giving him more money with a mutual option for the 2019 season.

While Wentz was on the practice field Tuesday and looked great throwing the football and showing off some footwork (see story), it’s clear the Eagles still have some concerns about Wentz’s health in 2018. And having the Super Bowl MVP as a backup is the best insurance policy going. 

The report from Silver says that after the Eagles received the offer for Foles, they ran it by the quarterback, who told them he’d prefer to stay in Philadelphia. That also jives with Foles’ public comments about wanting to remain in Philly. He said that he’d obviously like to be a starter again, but in the right situation. He became a starter in a bad situation once in St. Louis. 

When talking about not trading Foles in March, Roseman mentioned the hit rate for certain rounds of the draft while weighing the prospect of trading an important piece like Foles. The Browns ended up keeping that No. 35 pick and took running back Nick Chubb out of Georgia. 

And it seems like the Eagles weren’t in love with that general area of this year’s draft. You’ll remember, they traded back from their No. 32 pick all the way to 49 to take tight end Dallas Goedert out of South Dakota State. While the No. 35 pick seems like it’s just out of the first round, it’s clear the Eagles, based on moving out of 32, didn’t value that area this year. At least not enough to part ways with Foles. 

“He’s still on the team because he’s an incredibly valuable member of the Philadelphia Eagles,” Roseman said at the annual NFL meetings in late March. “When you talk about that position and what’s gone on, you’ve seen it in the free-agent market, you’ve seen it in the trade market. We’re in the business of making sure we get the right value for the player. What our value is for a player is going to stick.”

During that same interview in March, Roseman was asked if he could see a situation unfold like the one that netted a first-round pick for Sam Bradford a few years ago. Roseman used his generic “we’ll do anything we think makes the team better” response. But if that type of opportunity arose, the Eagles would likely listen. 

With all the information we have, though, we know it would take a lot.