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Coming into the year, three of the four NFC East teams had a first-round quarterback as its starter. Dwayne Haskins is with the Washington Football Team. Daniel Jones is the starter for the New York Giants. And Carson Wentz is still the guy in Philadelphia.
The fourth team is the Dallas Cowboys, who had the most capable option in Dak Prescott.
Prescott is now out for the season with an ankle injury, and those three first-round quarterbacks have been atrocious this season. Haskins is now third-string, Jones is struggling, and Wentz is a turnover machine.
The ugly play for NFC East quarterbacks continued on Sunday Night Football as the Cowboys (2-6) dropped a 23-9 loss to the Eagles (3-4-1).
Third-stringer Ben DiNucci got the start for Dallas in place of Prescott and backup quarterback Andy Dalton. The rookie out of James Madison completed only 21 of his 40 passes for 180 yards with zero touchdowns and zero interceptions. He was sacked four times and lost two fumbles.
Wentz wasn’t any better.
His team may have won and he may have thrown two touchdowns, but the former No. 2 overall pick also turned the ball over four times and took four sacks. He went 15-of-27 (55.6 percent) for 123 yards
Wentz tried to pick on rookie cornerback Trevon Diggs out of Alabama. Wentz went after Diggs early and often, and he won a couple times. But Diggs made Wentz pay for a few of those targets as well, pulling in two interceptions.
First career INT for the rookie 👏 @TrevonDiggs
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) November 2, 2020
— NFL (@NFL) November 2, 2020
So, let’s summarize the statistics.
DiNucci and Wentz combined for 303 yards, two touchdowns and six total turnovers while being sacked eight times. That’s an accurate depiction for how the evening went for both quarterbacks.
This division is ugly. We all know that by now. It doesn’t necessarily start with the quarterbacks, but they’re certainly a factor. It’s all bad.
At least the Cowboys have a built-in excuse now that they’ve lost their starting and backup QBs. Prescott was playing out the season on a franchise tag, and he can now use the Cowboys’ excuse as leverage for a contract.
The team may not have been much better when the Mississippi State product was in the lineup, but at least they had a competent offense. Under Dalton and DiNucci, this offense has been really tough to watch lately.
This is still a winnable division. All it takes is one halfway decent team. It doesn’t even have to be a good team. Our expectations are super low at this point. We are willing to take any team with a pulse. Just give us something.
Unfortunately, no one has stepped up to fill that role.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.