Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly named Michael Vick as his starting quarterback Tuesday, which probably comes as a surprise to the family members of Nick Foles and very few others.
Most of the talking points about the Eagles' quarterback competition favor Vick, the veteran of the two. He has only thrown two incompletions through two preseason appearances, and he has run the Eagles' new offense pretty convincingly to the tune of 199 passing yards in five preseason possessions. [embedded_ad] Then there are the intangibles involved in the argument: Vick's 10 seasons of pro experience to Foles' one, and Vick's experience in the pressure cooker of the NFL playoffs. There is also Vick's well-documented advantage as a threat to run, though that ability has no doubt deteriorated some in the past decade.
Vick has run the ball just twice to this point in the preseason, though he has picked up 20 total yards on those carries.
Two thoughts come to my mind when I think about this. Firstly is that this is a moot point, as far as the Cowboys are concerned. Vick will be the starter when the Eagles travel to Washington to open the season. Philadelphia doesn't play Dallas until Oct. 20, and the return date in AT&T Stadium isn't until Dec. 29 – the season finale.
As has been beaten into the ground by media outlets across the east coast, Vick has only played the full 16 games in one season – way, way back in 2006.
The odds are pretty good that Nick Foles is going to play a large role in the Eagles' 2013 season. After all, it was the Cowboys who knocked Vick out with a concussion in Week 10 of 2012. Foles filled in for three quarters of that loss, and he was the starter once again in the rematch.
For that matter rookie quarterback Matt Barkley could have a say in this campaign, assuming Vick misses playing time. Barkley wasn't part of the competition for the starting spot – not really. But as the primary backup, he's seen more action than both Vick and Foles, and he hasn't looked bad. He has completed 19 of 36 passes for 175 yards and a touchdown through two preseason games.
I'm willing to guarantee that both Vick and Foles see significant snaps this season, and I'm not going to see Barkley thrown into the fire some – especially if the season goes belly up.
Secondly, it's rather startling just how small Vick's role has been in the Cowboys-Eagles rivalry since he signed with Philadelphia. He was a footnote in the three games between the teams during the 2009 season – Vick's first with the Eagles. If anything, his most notable moment of that series was a costly fumble in the teams' wildcard matchup that helped Dallas take a 17-point lead.
As noted above, Vick only played one of eight quarters in the teams' 2012 matchups. In 2011, he sat out the season finale between the two, as Philadelphia had already wrapped up the division crown.
That leaves three of nine possible games in which Vick has started/played a significant role. To be fair, he has been pretty fantastic in those games, with 842 total passing yards, a 6:2 touchdown-to-interception ratio and a completion percentage of 64 percent.
Not surprisingly, given those numbers, the Eagles are 3-0 against Dallas in those games.
Vick's certainly got the firepower to carry the Eagles – he's done it before. And there's no telling how potent he might be if Kelly's offense translates well to the pro game.
But the cynic in me needs evidence that Vick will actually be in the lineup when the Cowboys travel to Lincoln Financial Field before I worry too much about it.