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Mailbag: What's The Reason For All The Rookie QB Success? RB Logjam?

Can you explain why three rookie QB's (Cowboys, Redskins & Patriots) are having such success?  Spread offenses dominate college football, so the recent successes of these rookie QB's really puzzle me.  Any ideas why?

David:It's pretty fascinating isn't it? And I don't think there's just one answer. Younger football players are getting started earlier than ever – whether it's 7-on-7 teams or high school camps over the summer. So I think there's more familiarity. I also think the rule changes play a factor, with defenses not being allowed to make as much contact or disrupt the flow of an offense. It might be too soon to speak on Jacoby Brissett, but in the case of Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott, you've also got to remember that these were multi-year starters who shouldered the load of their respective programs for a long time. It's not surprising that either guy is confident in the spotlight. My advice would be to soak it in, because I just don't think this is the type of thing you can count on seeing on a regular basis.

Rob: It's a good question, and it may have something to do with the way the league has evolved. It's a younger league at every position because of the salary cap era and there's more opportunity now for younger quarterbacks to step in and play and succeed. I think you have to credit the coaching staffs for tailoring game plans to what their young quarterbacks are comfortable with. But certainly in Dak's case, he was a three-year starter in the toughest conference in college football. He has played in a lot of big games and he's clearly not in awe of the situation. Give him the most credit.

Last night's game made an already cloudy running back situation look more confusing. We had all 3 active running backs score a touchdown and we still have a very talented young running back in Darius Jackson that has been inactive all season. What can we expect to happen once McFadden returns in a few weeks?

David:I'll be interested to see how long it takes the Cowboys to activate McFadden after Week 6. Under NFL rules, they have a multi-week window to evaluate him and let him work before they have to move him to the active roster. Once they do, I'm sure there'll be a weekly battle to decide who should stay up and who should sit. But also keep in mind: it's a long season, and injuries are a byproduct of the game. Something is bound to come up that changes the nature of this conversation over the course of the next month or two.

Rob: If everyone stays healthy, it would seem tough for McFadden to crack the rotation. He'd be in competition for Alfred Morris for carries behind Ezekiel Elliott. Lance Dunbar sort of has his own unique role as a change-of-pace back with receiver skills. But this isn't a bad problem. Remember last year when the Cowboys were signing players off the couch just to cobble together a running back rotation?


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