Dak or Wentz? Ask that question in these parts and It’ll be near-unanimous for the big kid from North Dakota, Carson Wentz. But down in Dallas? You’d simply get Dakota, as in Rayne Dakota “Dak” Prescott. Sunday marks the seventh time the two quarterbacks from the class of 2016 will square off against one another. Here’s a look back at each matchup.
Oct. 30, 2016: Cowboys 29, Eagles 23 (OT)
Two rookie quarterbacks taking the league by storm squared off for the first time under the bright lights of Sunday Night Football. Carson and company led 23-13 early in the fourth quarter when Doug Pederson called on another rookie, Wendell Smallwood, to get his first (and only) carry of the game. Smallwood promptly fumbled and Dallas recovered, igniting the Cowboys' comeback. Dak threw a game-tying touchdown to Dez Bryant, then took the ball in overtime and marched Dallas down the field, finding Jason Witten for a 5-yard score to end it. The loss sent the Eagles’ season into a tailspin, as they lost six of their next seven games.
Jan. 1, 2017: Eagles 27, Cowboys 13
The two teams closed out the regular season and rang in the New Year in South Philly. Wentz secured his first win over Dallas but Dak played just two series as the 13-win Cowboys rested their starters ahead of the playoffs. Dak was relieved by Tony Romo, who was then relieved by Mark Sanchez. Meanwhile, we got a look at just how special the Wentz-to-Zach Ertz connection would become, as the tight end hauled in 13 grabs for 139 yards and two touchdowns. Bonus points to anyone not named Reuben Frank who can name the Eagle that scored the final touchdown that day (answer later).
Nov. 19, 2017: Eagles 37, Cowboys 9
Judging by the final score, you wouldn’t know the Eagles actually trailed 9-7 at halftime before scoring 30 unanswered points in the second half. Without the suspended Ezekiel Elliott, Dak posted a 30.4 passer rating and turned the ball over three times in one of his worst career performances. The “Wentz Wagon” got rolling in the second half, leading touchdown drives on the Eagles' first three possessions. It moved the Birds to 9-1 on the season en route to a Super Bowl LII title.
Wentz, of course, missed the week 17 matchup, which the Cowboys won 7-0 in a game that deserves no further words.
Nov. 11, 2018: Cowboys 27, Eagles 20
The Cowboys came to the Linc just about left for dead at 3-5 on the season. But the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles were unable to bury their rivals. An early interception by Wentz put the Birds in a hole before they rallied in the second half. Trailing by seven with under 5:00 to play, Wentz moved the ball into Dallas territory twice, but couldn’t come up with the tying score, turning the ball over on downs once and then seeing the game clock expire as they failed to lateral their way into the endzone.
Dak threw a pair of TDs, including one to Elliott, who totaled 187 yards from scrimmage and a pair of scores. It was just the second game Amari Cooper (75 yards receiving) played for the Cowboys and it was the Eagles debut of Golden Tate (19 yards receiving).
Dec. 9, 2018: Cowboys 29, Eagles 23 (OT)
The same exact score and the same exact overtime script as the first ever meeting between the two QBs. Wentz watched helplessly from the sidelines once again as Dallas won the coin toss (Dak knew to say “receive” back then) and drove down the field for the win in OT. Rasul Douglas nearly broke up the game-winning TD, but the ball deflected perfectly to Cooper, who walked into the endzone for his third score of the day. Dak racked up 455 yards through the air with 217 of those going to Cooper. As has become the norm for the Eagles of late, Wentz weathered a miserable first half to rally the Birds. His final pass of the game was a touchdown to Darren Sproles that tied the score at 23 with under two minutes to play. Wentz never touched the ball again that day or that season. He was shut down with a back fracture the following week.
Oct. 20, 2019: Cowboys 37, Eagles 10
One of the most lopsided losses of Carson’s career. The Eagles did themselves no favors, fumbling on their first two possessions and falling behind 14-0 down in Big D. Wentz turned the ball over three times in total as the 'Boys took sole possession of first place. This game might be most remembered for Nelson Agholor’s effort on a deep ball in the second half. Wentz said afterwards he thought it was a touchdown when it left his hands, but Agholor never extended his arms to haul it in. Dak accounted for one touchdown through the air and one on the ground. Elliott once again ran roughshod over the Eagles' D, racking up 111 yards and a TD. That game is the reason the Cowboys currently hold the tiebreaker over the Eagles.
Dak holds a 4-2 series edge, but a win Sunday would put Wentz in the driver’s seat for the division crown.
By the way, it was Terrell Watson who scored the final TD on January 1, 2017 for the Eagles. It was the only game he ever played in midnight green.
Mike Mulhern is the producer of Eagles Pregame and Postgame Live.
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