Dak Prescott, Carson Wentz hope for long-standing rivalry

FRISCO, Texas -- In the NFC East, the Dallas Cowboys' biggest rival seems to rotate between the New York Giants, Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles.

In the past, say, 10 years, the Giants have been the biggest rival, winning two Super Bowls since 2007. Back in the 1970s, the Redskins were the biggest rival, as the players genuinely seemed to dislike each other. The Eagles had a brief uptick in the Cowboys' hatred mostly because of Buddy Ryan in the late 1980s.

But are we on the cusp of a renewal of the truly heated Cowboys-Eagles rivalry with Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz in their second seasons?

They are two of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL, seemingly ready for the day Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers and Eli Manning decide to walk away.

"It doesn't matter who’s coaching the Eagles or who's coaching the Cowboys, those two guys are going to be around for a long time," Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson said. "And it makes for not only a great rivalry but makes for a great division in the NFC East that these guys can play and stay in this division for a long time."

There have not been many occasions where the franchises have concurrently had a stable quarterback situation. From 2007-09, the Eagles had Donovan McNabb and the Cowboys had Tony Romo. In 2009, the Cowboys beat the Eagles in the wild-card round of the playoffs.

In The Triplets era, the Cowboys and Eagles made the playoffs in the same season three times (1992, 1995, 1996), but the Cowboys always had Troy Aikman. The Eagles mostly had Randall Cunningham, but also had Bubby Brister, Rodney Peete, Bobby Hoying, Ty Detmer and Pederson starting for them through that run.

From 1978-81, both teams made the playoffs. Ron Jaworski was the staple of the Philadelphia offense. Roger Staubach (1978-79) and Danny White (1980-81) split the Cowboys' success.

Prescott and Wentz are at the beginning of what should be productive years to come, which is different from how these head-to-head quarterback matchups have gone.

In his first two seasons, Prescott has 39 touchdown passes and eight interceptions. Only Brady and Rodgers have better touchdown-to-interception rates in that span. Wentz leads the NFL this season with 23 touchdown passes. He is the youngest quarterback since 1950 to have 23 or more touchdown passes and no more than five interceptions in the first nine games of a season.

"Probably not unlike Dak, the more these guys play, if you go about it the right way you're going to learn from your experiences," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "He's a big-time athlete. He's got a great feel for the game. He's got great vision. He can run, he can throw. He's a great competitor. All of those attributes are coming out each week that he plays."

The best rivalries in the NFL have some personal venom. There is none of that between Prescott and Wentz.

"I don't necessarily go and check up and see how he's doing, see his numbers," Prescott said. "But I catch the highlights. When you're playing as well as the Eagles are playing, you're going to see those things he's doing.

"Carson's a great guy. I learned that through being with him during the draft process and I have a lot of respect for how he plays the game. A lot of that goes to the way he prepares and the way he goes and plays on Sunday. Excited to have this matchup with him this week, but hopefully through the years, too."

Wentz is also excited.

"I don't pay much attention too much to other guys, personally, but we naturally get a lot of crossover tape because we play a lot of the same teams, so I mean I see him on film here and there," Wentz said. "I'm impressed. The guy, he's done well, lot of respect for what he's done, and I know him personally. I know he's a great dude. I think it's cool to go up against him, hopefully for a long time."