IRVING, Texas - The Dallas Cowboys will make history this Sunday night against the Philadelphia Eagles. However, it won’t be because of anything they’ve done.
The Cowboys will play their third straight game against a team starting a rookie quarterback and a rookie running back after injuries to Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy. Since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, no NFL team has played three consecutive games against teams starting rookies at both positions.
Vick and McCoy both suffered concussions and are expected to sit out of the Eagles contest with the Cowboys. Taking their place will be rookies Nick Foles and Bryce Brown. Foles saw his first regular season action against the Cowboys a few weeks ago when Vick went down. He’s struggled in his two starts since then, failing to record a touchdown in either game.
Brown made his first start last Monday night against the Carolina Panthers. He earned 178 yards off 19 carries, but also lost two fumbles in the game.
While facing so many rookies may seem like an advantage for the Cowboys, they’re 1-1 in their last two games against rookie-led teams and needed overtime to defeat the Cleveland Browns. Cleveland’s rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden held his own against the Cowboys’ defense, posting a passer rating of 93.8 and throwing two touchdowns.
The man Weeden was handing the ball to, Trent Richardson, set the tempo with 28 carries in the game, and his 95 rushing yards were more than Dallas combined for as a team.
And, of course, there was Robert Griffin III.
The Cowboys may be making history by facing three straight rookie quarterbacks and running backs, but it almost seems there should be an asterisk next to the feat with Griffin behind center. He certainly didn’t look like a rookie when he came to Cowboys Stadium and hasn’t looked that way for much of the year.
Griffin might have had the most impressive performance of any opposing quarterback against Dallas this season, throwing for 304 yards and four touchdowns. Rookie running back Alfred Morris chipped in with 113 yards on the ground and a touchdown as well.
The Cowboys have been, and still are, in a position where they need to win now. They’ve played games against teams with their eyes on the future. They’ve also run into a handful of rookies that don’t seem to get the message that this league is supposed to take some time to adjust to.