One of the more glaring truths in the National Football League always surfaces around the time of the NFL Draft. It’s a young man’s game.
That’s not to say that older players can’t succeed in the NFL, but literally every year a brand new cycle of early 20-year olds come in and often prove that they are talented enough to take the jobs of veterans. Many front offices even build around this exact phenomenon happening as rookie contracts are far more affordable than older superstars.
It’s easy to say though. In a dream world you have nothing but darling late-round picks so that you can field your team and be cap-friendly. The reality is that it’s much harder than that and that older players do find a way to hang on in football.
There is no position where age is appreciated more than quarterback. While there are tons of young names that will look to make their mark as signal-callers over the next decade, a handful of quarterbacks have already done that and aren’t exactly done yet. For crying out loud the New England Patriots just won their sixth Super Bowl, the span of them all covers 17 years.
New England of course is led by Tom Brady, one of the oldest quarterbacks in the NFL. Do you know who the oldest ones are in general? If you didn’t, you’re so in luck, we prepared a list for you.
Oldest starting quarterbacks entering 2019 season
- Tom Brady, 42
- Drew Brees, 40
- Eli Manning, 38
- Phillip Rivers, 37
- Ben Roethlisberger, 37
It’s of course not shocking to see the bottom three names on this list as they were all part of the 2004 NFL Draft class. Eli, Philip, and Ben have made life fairly nice for their respective franchises, as have Brees and the aforementioned Brady.
Does something stick out about this list to you, though? (assuming you didn’t look or have forgotten the title of this post by now!). The Cowboys will face the three-oldest quarterbacks in the NFL this season, comprising four of their 16 games.
That’s a whole quarter of the season that will go against dudes with some grey creeping in. Two of those games are against Eli Manning and don’t exactly feel threatening, the other two will certainly be difficult given the caliber of quarterbacks that Brees and Brady are.
But what’s the best weapon to have against older quarterbacks, even those as talented as the top two? A young, fast, punishing pass rush will mitigate any quarterback, especially those who aren’t exactly fleet of foot anymore.
The Dallas Cowboys of course boast the Hot Boyz which are led by the richest member in franchise history, DeMarcus Lawrence. They’ve brought on Robert Quinn, still have Tyrone Crawford, are hoping to get something more out of Taco Charlton, would like to see Dorance Armstrong take the next step, and could still add to this arsenal via the draft. Perhaps Randy Gregory will come off the suspended list, too.
We saw the effect of a ferocious defense against Brees last season. That’s not to say that it will be easy to replicate the winning formula, but it’s not hard to believe that these older quarterbacks struggle against a big time pass rush.
Three of these four games will take place on the road for the 2019 Cowboys, so again it’s not like they’re a walk in the park; however, they are likely going to be physical games that will make the opposing quarterback wish he actually was going for a walk in the park.
Bring on the old guys. Let’s party.