The quarterbacks stole the show for the wrong reasons when the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Dallas Cowboys 23-9 in Sunday Night Football.
Cowboy quarterback Ben DiNucci made 21 of his 40 180-yard passes, zero touchdowns and 64.6 passes in his first NFL game, losing two fumbles.
Both of his fumbles were converted into points, continuing a disturbing trend that has seen Dallas lose 97 points from league sales so far this season.
It is only the fourth time in the franchise’s history that the Cowboys have played two full games without a touchdown, and an offense that seemed unstoppable under Dak Prescott has now scored 12 points in two games.
Wentz, meanwhile, scored 15 of his 27 passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns. Like his more inexperienced colleague, Wentz had two fumbles and also threw two interceptions – both to Trevon Diggs, who finished the game with 61.2 passes that were even lower than DiNucci’s.
Carson Wentz aims 2-2 at Trevon Diggs! pic.twitter.com/dXWBnhInLs
– PFF (@PFF) November 2, 2020
Although DiNucci’s performance was not sugar-coated, there were several mitigating factors for the cowboys’ quarterback, who was selected in the seventh round of this year’s NFL draft.
The 23-year-old is Dallas’ third-ranking quarterback and made his NFL debut against the Washington football team just last week, replacing the Cowboys’ backup quarterback, Andy Dalton, who was suspended from the game due to a concussion.
Playing behind a battered offensive line hardly helped DiNucci, who was dismissed four times after 49 drop backs.
The Eagles plan to play Ben DiNucci every week. The Cowboys want to play Carson Wentz every week.
– Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) November 2, 2020
Ben DiNucci has one of the worst games I have ever seen and he plays Carson.
– Reuben Frank (@RoobNBCS) November 2, 2020
Ben DiNucci and Carson Wentz fight for seventh best QB in the division rn
– The boys blog (@BloggingTheBoys) November 2, 2020
If you subtract Ben DiNucci’s final drive statistics, which I think is fair because it was the epitome of garbage time, he drove 14 out of 29 for 126 yards (0 TDs, 0 INTs).
Carson Wentz drove 15 of 27 for 123 yards (2 TDs, 2 INTs).
– Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) November 2, 2020
Ben DiNucci was anything but good tonight.
Carson Wentz got worse somehow. ~ ? CowboysNation ?
– SportsDay Cowboys (@dmn_cowboys) November 2, 2020
What does Carson Wentz do?
– Jon Machota (@jonmachota) November 2, 2020
The only metallic silver lining tonight in Philadelphia: Carson Wentz is not very good.
– Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) November 2, 2020
Meanwhile, as far as Wentz was concerned, extenuating circumstances were much thinner on the ground. The Eagles’ offensive line is probably even more permeable than the Cowboys’ – Wentz was fired 32 times this season, most quarterbacks in the NFL – and their receiving corps is neither as deep nor as talented as Dallas’.
But even taking all these factors into account, it was striking to see Wentz, a former pro bowler, fighting like a pick in the seventh round when he made his first NFL start.
With his four turnovers, Wentz reached a league high of 15 this season, meeting a defense that had recorded three take-aways all season before Sunday Night Football.
The Cowboys had last regained four takeaways in week 7 of last season, ironically also against the Eagles.
Wentz, the 2016 NFL Draft 2016’s second overall selection, showed all the usual problems that had spoiled his game for a while. On Sunday night, the Eagles’ quarterback continued to hesitate to get rid of the ball, and his attempt to force a deep ball into double coverage towards wide receiver Jaleon Reagor continued a worrying trend for end zone interceptions.
It was the tenth time in his career that Wentz was intercepted on the throw into the end zone, the second highest score in the NFL along with the Pittsburgh Steeleers’ quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, since Wentz entered the league in 2016. With 11 shots into the end zone in the same period, only the Indianapolis Colts’ quarterback, Philip Rivers, threw more.
While the Cowboys went on the offensive with 265 yards, the Eagles did even worse, only putting down 222 yards overall. However, despite a shaky performance, the Eagles achieved their second consecutive victory against a rival from the division. They improved to 3-4-1 and took control of the pitiful NFC East.
The division remains the only one in the NFL where all four members have a record of defeat this season.