Tuesday served as a rather remarkable day for the NFC East in a number of different ways. For starters the Washington Football Team woke up tied for the most wins in the division thanks to a shocking victory over the previously-undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night. The Giants had the least climactic day of the bunch as their win over the Seattle Seahawks is a few days in the rearview mirror, and the Dallas Cowboys actually had a game of their own to deal with.
As far as the Philadelphia Eagles are concerned, Tuesday marked potentially one of the biggest pivot points for their franchise in five years. Doug Pederson announced that the team would be starting rookie Jalen Hurts this week at quarterback... not Carson Wentz.
Do you feel better about the Cowboys potentially paying Dak Prescott after seeing Carson Wentz’s demise in Philadelphia?
The formal benching of Carson Wentz seemed like an inevitability this week following the team pulling him mid-game last week against the Green Bay Packers. Truth be told, it seemed like an inevitability the moment that the Eagles drafted Jalen Hurts many months ago as spending a second-round pick on him signaled a whole lot that festered all the way to this point.
We have had a lot to say about Carson Wentz here and obviously believe that Dak Prescott is the superior quarterback. The two have been connected since they were both drafted in 2016, but the debate is over and Prescott is the clear victor. Still, the way that the Eagles have treated what is supposed to be the most important person in their building is curious at best, but hey, the Eagles being bad at something is hardly worth being sad about.
A large part of what makes the Wentz factor such a difficult one for the Eagles and their fans is that the organization committed to him in a rather serious fashion just 18 months ago. Technically, Wentz’s extension doesn’t even truly begin until next season as this one was the fifth of his career and he was a first-round pick.
It will be difficult to say the least for the Eagles - already significantly over the projected 2021 salary cap - to work around their latest misstep as far as the financial side of football is concerned. Whether or not Jalen Hurts is successful, it is possible that the Eagles look to move on from Wentz, but trading him won’t be easy. It’d be fun to see him in a place like Indianapolis for example, reuniting with Frank Reich, as that would highlight just how broken the Eagles are as a franchise.
There are a lot of people taking victory laps over the fact that Wentz seems done in Philadelphia. The fact that the Eagles paid him certainly does not look wise in retrospect, but as we have talked about for almost two years now, it is wise to get ahead of the market when it comes to quarterback contracts. Unfortunately for the Eagles, fortunately for us, it simply did not work out for them. A lot of that is their own fault with how they have managed their quarterback which would sort of be the thing that you wouldn’t want to do if you were the one in charge of it all.
You’ll recall that the Eagles actually tried to beat the Cowboys to the punch when it came to paying Wentz as Dak Prescott became eligible for an extension at the same time that Carson did. It was smart of the Eagles to try to win that race. Just about everything that they did after was where they failed. From August of 2019:
In the offseason, when the Philadelphia Eagles were mulling their contract extension options with starting quarterback Carson Wentz, a looming negotiation for a division rival helped spur the franchise to get their own centerpiece under a long-term deal sooner than later.
Now we know why.
Dak Prescott’s negotiation with the Dallas Cowboys was likely to start in a bad place. (Maybe even as high as $40 million per season, according to a recent report.) And the last thing the Eagles wanted to do was let the Cowboys and Prescott set the track for Wentz’s negotiation. So they flipped the tables.
“That played a part in getting Carson’s deal done early,” a league source told Yahoo Sports. “It was a priority [for the franchise] anyway, but not knowing if Dallas would just completely cave in with Dak and do something stupid definitely entered into the conversation.”
The lesson remains the same as we have said: Pay quarterbacks that look to be elite as soon as you can because the market is only going to rise. This is an undeniable truth with regards to football and the Eagles understood this. Had Wentz re-found the form that he had through the 2017 season before he had gotten injured we would all be looking at his deal and noting what a huge bargain it is compared to the ones that have been agreed to since.
We all know that the Cowboys have taken the long road when it comes to paying Dak Prescott. They are going to pay far more for his services than the Eagles did for Wentz, waiting two years will do that, but they are going to be far more certain that he is a franchise quarterback than their division rivals were. That confidence is worth paying more in theory, right?
This isn’t to say that all of this was some grand plan for the Cowboys that worked out the way that they wanted it to. They should have paid Dak Prescott long ago and things are going to be a bit more complicated in a world with a lower cap. However, the silver lining of waiting is the benefit of hindsight and all Dak has done since negotiations started is prove that he is the heart and soul of this team. The team has proven that in his absence so far this season.
It is extremely unfortunate that Dak Prescott does not have a long-term deal with the Cowboys yet, but we are all hopeful that one will come in the offseason. Dallas will be getting one of the more promising quarterbacks in the game when they ultimately agree, and they won’t have to doubt themselves the way that the Eagles did.
Does Carson Wentz’s demise in Philadelphia make you feel better about paying Dak Prescott?
This poll is closed
Yes (if you were not wanting to pay Dak at one point)
Yes (but I’ve wanted to pay Dak for a while)