Sunday vs. Dallas is biggest game of Wentz’s career

Eliot Shorr-Parks
October 15, 2019 - 8:13 am
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It isn’t a narrative, it isn’t hyperbole and it isn’t an exaggeration. 

Next Sunday night in Dallas against the Cowboys is the biggest game of Carson Wentz’s career. 

Related: Doug Pederson: We're gonna beat Dallas

Sure, somewhere down the road there will likely be a bigger game, but so far in his NFL career Wentz has not stepped onto a field with as much at stake as he will next Sunday in Dallas. 

There is an argument to be made that Wentz’s game in 2017 against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 14 was bigger, but it is important to remember how differently Wentz and the Eagles were viewed then. 

Playoff seeding was on the line that Sunday, but at that point Wentz was considered near the top of the MVP discussion and the Eagles were considered the best team in the NFC. A loss would have hurt, but it wouldn’t have changed much about the realities of that team. Wentz was playing at a really high level and the team was already 10-2. There was no debate — Wentz and the Eagles were really good. 

That is not the case heading into Sunday night, as there is very real and very fair debate about how good Wentz and the Eagles are. 

As a team, the Eagles are just 3-3, coming off of a very bad loss to the Minnesota Vikings. This season is far from over, but very few — if anyone — will tell you the season has gone as planned. Losses aside, the Eagles just haven’t looked right in all phases of the game. The blame for the team not playing well belongs on everyone, including head coach Doug Pederson, the skill position players on offense and the cornerbacks on defense. The Eagles are not 3-3 solely because of Wentz. 

The reality of the NFL, however, is that the quarterback is always in the spotlight, and the spotlight has never been brighter for Wentz than it will be on Sunday night, especially considering the struggles Wentz has had in his career against Dak Prescott and the Cowboys. 

Since 2016, Prescott and Wentz have faced off in four games that actually mattered, not counting the Week 17 games the two teams played in 2016 and 2017. Prescott and the Cowboys have won three of those four games against Wentz and the Eagles, including two games last season that dealt crucial blows to the Eagles’ season. The Eagles trailed at halftime in both of those games, scoring a grand total of three points in the two first-halves combined, with Wentz throwing more interceptions (one) than touchdowns. 

You can debate which quarterback has played better in each of those four matchups overall, but there is no debate that when these teams have faced off with both needing a win, it is Prescott that has walked off the field the majority of the time with the victory. 

Time after time since the 2018 season started the Eagles have gone on the road in need of a big win and they have left without it. Last year at Tennessee, at Dallas, at New Orleans — all losses. This season at Atlanta and at Minnesota — losses. Outside of an impressive win on Thursday night this season against the Green Bay Packers, Wentz has consistently been unable to lead his team to a win in big spots on the road. 

No, Wentz can’t catch the ball himself and he can’t cover opposing team’s receivers. But there is a reason quarterbacks make considerably more than any other position in the sport and a reason they are the only ones with a win-loss record. They almost always have the biggest control in the outcome of the game. 

The Eagles committed to Wentz this offseason as their franchise quarterback because of their belief he can be a difference maker in games like this upcoming Sunday. 

At Dallas. Sunday Night Football. Dak Prescott. Both teams in desperate need of a win. 

It is a game they believe Wentz can — and they are paying him too— lead them to a win in. 

The pressure is on him like never before to make it happen. 

You can follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at esp@94wip.com!

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