EAGLES

Why former Cowboy's Wentz-Winston take isn't all wrong

EAGLES

For Carson Wentz, the hits keep coming.

The Eagles' franchise quarterback is off to a truly brutal start to 2020, missing throws and turning the ball over more than he has at any point in his career.

And questions - big questions - are being asked.

The latest comes from former Cowboys defensive end Marcus Spears, who took a long, hard look at Wentz on ESPN's Get Up! on Tuesday morning.

Spears drew a comparison that will probably have Eagles fans shaking their heads:

"I'm to the point where, Carson Wentz is a flash player. That's who he is. Outside of the MVP season, before he got injured, he's an up and down player. Highs are very high, lows are bad as you can possibly get. 

"Now, bear with me when I say this: this reminds me, personally, of Jameis Winston. How many times have we said, 'Jameis Winston looks like a Top 5 quarterback' when he's playing at a high level? And then when he's playing terrible, and starts throwing interceptions, which Carson Wentz is doing this year - the fumbles have been an issue, but he hadn't really gave the ball away through the air - we start talking about, 'Nah, this ain't gonna get it done.' 

"This is gonna have you bouncing around, trying to figure out what kind of guy you are.' The worst thing you can be [...] in the NFL is a guy that your coach doesn't know what he's going to get on Sundays. And that's what Carson Wentz is becoming."

 

Spears went on to say that Wentz should be looking over his shoulder at Jalen Hurts. I'm not there yet. Wentz deserves the entire season to show us what he's got.

But, unfortunately, I don't think his comparison of Wentz to Winston is 100 percent insane. As Spears said, bear with me.

I've been a huge Wentz guy since Day 1. His athleticism was always dazzling, his big-play ability was obvious, and in 2017 he was the best player in football. I gave him the benefit of the doubt over the last two years, with injuries and awful supporting casts, and figured that he would come out slinging this season. He hasn't.

Now.

Wentz is still obviously a better QB than Winston ever was for Tampa Bay. Winston actively hurt his team while he was with the Bucs, throwing a ludicrous 88 interceptions over five years. Wentz has played clutch football to lead his team to a postseason berth. The resumé competition leads towards Carson.

But, to me, Spears' argument is largely about inconsistency, and Wentz simply hasn't been consistent enough over his time with the Eagles to completely dispel this take.

The truth is that, when we evaluate Wentz's career to date, we are often looking at hand-picked stretches instead of entire bodies of work. 

Wentz wasn't great in 2019, he had four great games down the stretch. Wentz wasn't great in 2018, at all. Wentz was great early in his rookie year, but wasn't in the second half of the season. He's struggled with accuracy across five seasons now, on throws at all three levels of the field. There are so many holes that Wentz hasn't sufficiently filled, and with four INTs in two games, new ones seem to be opening up.

The MVP-worthy year was brilliant, but that was three years ago, and lately he's looking further and further from that Top 5 player in the league-caliber starter we all assumed he'd be for the forseeable future.

Not everything falls on him - the Week 1 Zach Ertz drop, the porous defense digging an early hole in Week 2 - but Wentz has been at the root of the team's issues this season, and he needs to start playing significantly better football or else his reputation as the Eagles' QB is going to keep taking shots.