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Eatman: Can’t Get Too Excited About Facing Rookie QBs
As it stands right now, it looks like the Cowboys will probably face a rookie quarterback for at least 11 straight quarters.
They already an unexpected three last week against Philadelphia’s Nick Foles, who replaced an injured Michael Vick. Next up is Cleveland’s Brandon Weeden this Sunday, followed by the anticipated first matchup with Washington’s Robert Griffin III on Thanksgiving Day on Nov. 22.
And who knows about Vick’s status for the Dec. 2 game at Cowboys Stadium. It very well could be Foles again.
Whether it’s 11 straight quarters against a rookie quarterback, or 15 if Foles plays again, the Cowboys can’t get overly confident.
Sure it looks good, but we can’t forget these quarterbacks are playing for a reason. Not only are they best option their respective teams have, but they also have some talent.
Of course we know that is the case with Griffin, who has struggled a little here in the last few weeks. Just two games ago he was atop the NFL quarterback ratings but is now down to ninth at 93.9. But it’s apparent the Redskins haven’t exactly turned him loose when it comes to airing it out. At 3-6, Washington has been in several games where it seemed time to throw the ball more. But Griffin has just 262 attempts this year, exactly 100 less than Indianapolis rookie Andrew Luck. Tony Romo has 344 and the average among starting quarterbacks this year is around 295-300 attempts at this point in the season.
Obviously, Griffin can hurt teams in other ways, considering he leads all quarterbacks in rushing at 529 yards and six touchdowns.
It’s a little different with Weeden, who has struggled in his first season. He ranks at the bottom of the league with a 67.9 quarterback rating and is right behind Romo’s 13 interceptions with 12. But unlike Romo who is completing 66.9 of his passes, Weeden has struggled in that department, connecting on just 55.1.
But the Browns have been more competitive lately, and Weeden is finding big plays out of rookie Josh Gordon and occasionally Greg Little.
As for Foles, it’s early to see just what he can do but with the weapons such as DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin – and apparently Riley Cooper, too – the Eagles should never be taken lightly regardless of the quarterback.
At 4-5 and obviously in desperate need to string together some wins, it’s easy to look at these rookie quarterbacks on the schedule, and facing all of them at home, and start chalking up wins.
Then again, if this Cowboys team has proven anything to us through nine games, it’s that they can’t do anything easy.