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Eagles QBs Tim Tebow, Matt Barkley compete one more round

PHILADELPHIA -- It will all come down to Thursday night.

Tim Tebow and Matt Barkley have been competing for the Philadelphia Eagles' No. 3 quarterback job since Tebow was signed back in May. Eagles coach Chip Kelly and his staff will make their decision based on all Tebow and Barkley have done over the past few months -- and all they can do moving forward.

But the final preseason game against the New York Jets, Tebow's team in 2012, will count.

“Our opinions aren't formed,” Kelly said Tuesday, before the last practice of the week. “It's one more time for a game opportunity. Obviously, I think especially with the quarterback position, practice is different just because they are wearing red jerseys. When they are not hit, when you get them out there in a game, it's another opportunity to get a legitimate evaluation of them. So there is a lot of weight in it.”

Barkley will start the game, as Kelly is resting Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez. Tebow is likely to play the second half, although Kelly declined to give specifics.

“(Barkley) will start the game, but who starts and who finishes in preseason games, I don't think that's important,” Kelly said. “Trying to distribute the reps is the big thing, and we haven't talked about exactly how we'll distribute the reps.”

“You approach it the exact same,” Tebow said. “Just go out there and compete.”

The competition has been a friendly one, Tebow said.

“He’s an awesome guy,” Tebow said of Barkley. “We’ve been friends for a while. I think he’s a really good quarterback. He’s got a great family. I consider him a good friend.”

Doesn’t that make it awkward to be competing for the same job?

“Not at all,” Tebow said. “You just come out here and compete. You root for each other. You cheer each other on. I think that’s just something that comes from trying to care about people. Just from my faith -- yeah, you’re competing for something, but at the same time you want to do it the right way. You want to treat others the way you want to be treated.”