One of the biggest storylines of the 2016 season thus far has been the early returns from rookie quarterbacks Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott. They two have thrilled the NFL, let alone the NFC East.
The young talents will face off for the first time in their pro careers on Sunday night at AT&T Stadium.
Both Wentz and Prescott have started every game, even though neither was expected to at the beginning of Training Camp. Wentz was promoted after Sam Bradford was traded to Minnesota just eight days before the regular season opener. Prescott was named the Cowboys' starting quarterback after veteran Tony Romo suffered a back injury during the preseason.
As the Eagles prepare to face their biggest rivals in Dallas this weekend, take a look at some of the key players they will have to contain in order to come home with a win.
The numbers for the two quarterbacks are quite similar, and most importantly, the teams are a combined 9-3. The winner of Sunday night's game will be in first place in the division. Even though this is the first Eagles-Cowboys showdown for the two players, they understand the importance of this NFC East rivalry.
Eagles-Cowboys isn't just a "see you when I see you" occasion. No. This is a rivalry dating back to 1960. They meet each other twice a year to battle it out. Both fan bases look at when these teams meet when the schedule is first released in April. Back then, no one could have anticipated that this could be the first of many matchups between the two quarterbacks.
"It could potentially be there. … It could create something that could go over time," Prescott said.
"I know how much this means to this city and how much it means to these fans," Wentz said. "There's a lot of excitement going on just with Eagles football, but definitely this week, I recognize that, but at the same time I don't let that kind of bother me or distract me from the main goal. It's preparing every day and I know if I get side tracked by those things it's just going to mess up the preparation and affect the game on Sunday."
Coming into the spotlight as a rookie, one might begin to compare himself to others who have walked the same path. Not these two, however.
"No, I've never gotten into comparing myself to anybody. Not another rookie. Not a great quarterback that comes along," Prescott said. "I'm not really into comparing, but I remember just kind of watching Carson as he played against us (at the 2016 Senior Bowl). … He's definitely polished and a good quarterback."
Wentz and Prescott got to know each other during the draft process, but there is another Eagle who has been well aware of the Cowboys' quarterback for quite some time. Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox was Prescott's teammate at Mississippi State.
"I was there when he was a redshirt freshman. I saw him come in and all he wanted to do was play ball and be real good," Cox said. "He was real dedicated to everything he did and Coach (Dan) Mullen really taught him to listen and just look at the position he's in right now. He got a chance and I think he's doing a really good job at being a starting quarterback."
The once teammate, now veteran defensive leader, shared what has impressed him about Prescott's performance so far.
"He's patient in the pocket. He's making a lot of good throws that I don't think a lot of rookie quarterbacks can make," Cox said. "He's not taking a lot of sacks which is good.
"They've shown some stuff with him pulling the football with read-option type stuff. I really don't think they want him to run the football. They want to give the ball to work horse, (Ezekiel Elliott), and I think overall they're a really good offense and a really good team."