Who the Eagles Expect To Start At QB for Dallas This Week

How uncertainty makes the Eagles' preparation more difficult this week.

Dak Prescott and Tony Romo. (USA Today Sports)

Dak Prescott and Tony Romo. (USA Today Sports)

After Dak Prescott’s worst performance of the season in the Cowboys’ Week 14 loss to the Giants, some talked emerged about whether he could potentially be benched in favor of Tony Romo if he continued to post passer ratings around 45.4 and throw more interceptions than touchdown passes. Three weeks later, Prescott may actually sit for at least part of the Eagles-Cowboys game on Sunday — but only because of how well he’s playing.

“You can expect Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Dez Bryant and those offensive guys to start, but I don’t see them playing the entire game,” Dallas Morning News Cowboys beat reporter Jon Machota told Birds 24/7. “Some of them will be pulled after maybe a half; perhaps Dak goes into the third quarter a bit. Once Dak is pulled out, I think you’ll see Mark Sanchez and not Tony Romo. That first-team offensive line will play as long as Dak is out there, and I think they’ll be subbing those guys out once Dak is pulled.”

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said on the radio last week that Dallas’ experience in 2007 would “bear heavily” on how they approach the end of this season. Nine years ago, the Cowboys started 12-1, but then they let their foot off of the pedal and lost two of their final three games before falling in their first playoff game as the No. 1 seed in the NFC. Jones added a few days ago that Dallas doesn’t feel they “can gain anything” by playing Romo as it “would not be worth the risk.”

Because of the uncertainty, preparation for this week’s game is a little bit more difficult for Jim Schwartz and the Eagles’ defense.

“We probably have to prepare for three different quarterbacks, not just Prescott, who we’ve already played once and have a lot of film on, but Romo who has a track record — if they play him — and then Sanchez. So it does spread you a little bit thin,” Schwartz said. “Their run game is not going to change regardless of who’s getting the ball, but the wide receivers and how they work through those wide receivers certainly goes into the game plan.

“You attack each of those quarterbacks a little bit different. It’s a little bit like facing their offense: it’s going to spread you thin. Our preparation will spread thin. We’re going to need a lot of focus this week and be productive on the practice field because there is more than just one scenario that you have to prepare for.


Rodney McLeod noted how Prescott is more of a “dual threat” quarterback who extends plays, while Romo is “very good” at looking off defenders in coverage and is “hard to confuse.” But Jordan Hicks added that while it’s not in the Eagles’ control, players do have a preference about who they face.

“Whoever they do play, we’re ready to face. We’re going into it thinking they’re going to play the starters, and that’s obviously the matchup we’d like,” Hicks said. “We want to play everybody at their best.”