The Dallas Cowboys finished the 2020 season with a disappointing 6-10 record and finished in third place in the dreadful NFC East. The only team that fared worse in the division was the Philadelphia Eagles who finished the year with a brutal 4-11-1 record.
That first paragraph would have been hard to believe just three short years ago after the Eagles won Super Bowl LII to cap off their impressive 13-3 regular season. That year Dallas just barely missed out on the playoffs after finishing in second place in the division with a 9-7 record.
Another headline that would have been impossible to foresee at that time would have been one that was just recently announced, the Eagles traded their starting quarterback Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts.
That trade has a handful of profound implications for the NFC East and the Dallas Cowboys. First, and perhaps most importantly, it means that a division title will likely be even more up for grabs for Dallas and the rest of the teams’ in the NFC East. It also means that if the Cowboys manage to re-sign their starting quarterback Dak Prescott that they will almost certainly head into 2021 with the best signal-caller in the division by a significant margin.
Another potential consequence of this move is that it makes the Eagles more likely to select a quarterback with the sixth overall pick in the NFL Draft. That possibility should both concern and delight fans of Dallas because it means that some of the teams’ possible targets like cornerback Patrick Surtain II have a greater chance of falling to them at the tenth overall pick.
Wentz, who was benched last year after leading the Eagles to a 3-8-1 record in his twelve starts, struggled immensely last season. The former Pro Bowl quarterback led the league in interceptions in 2020 with fifteen despite not playing a quarter of the year. The former number two overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft had for years been in discussions as the best quarterback in the NFC East before his pitiful performance last year.
Given the awful showing of Wentz last season it seemed inevitable that Dallas would head into 2021 with the best quarterback in the division if they could bring back Prescott, heck even the teams’ veteran backup quarterback Andy Dalton played better than him last year.
However, the presence of Wentz on the Eagles always provided the Cowboy’s rivals with the potential to breakout given his extraordinary talent and the heights to which he took his game in 2017 when he was legitimately in the discussion for league MVP before getting injured.
With that threat gone the Eagles are left with Jalen Hurts as their likely starting quarterback unless they use their first-round pick to draft a signal-caller. Either way, Dallas should be more motivated than ever to get a deal done with Prescott. With the NFC East seemingly even more up for grabs, America’s Team should be in a good position to potentially make a playoff run next season.
The Eagles trading away Wentz is yet another symbol of the teams’ rapid decline and should further motivate the Dallas Cowboys to make a push for the division title. This news will certainly shake up the NFL and should be a development that fans of America’s Team keep in mind as the NFL draft approaches in the coming months.