Dallas Cowboys

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz still winning despite recent flubs

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz is completing 63.8 percent of his passes and has thrown for eight touchdowns. But after an impressive start to his rookie season, Wentz has tossed three interceptions in three games, two coming in last week’s 21-10 win over Minnesota.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz is completing 63.8 percent of his passes and has thrown for eight touchdowns. But after an impressive start to his rookie season, Wentz has tossed three interceptions in three games, two coming in last week’s 21-10 win over Minnesota. AP

Carson Wentz met his former mentor, Sam Bradford, on the field last week. This week, it’s a matchup with fellow rookie Dak Prescott.

Wentz, the second overall choice, has made most of the right moves thus far.

Although his numbers have fallen off some the past two weeks, the former North Dakota State star has completed 63.8 percent of his passes for 1,324 yards with eight touchdowns, three interceptions and a 92.7 passer rating.

But some in Philadelphia are concerned after Wentz’s three turnovers — two interceptions and a fumble — against the Minnesota Vikings and his fielding problems with some shotgun snaps. The Eagles, however, beat the previously undefeated Vikings 21-10.

“He’s still winning football games,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson told reporters in Philadelphia on Monday. “That’s obviously the ultimate stat. He is a first-time starter. He’s a rookie. And just the longevity now of the season, I’ve got to make sure that we’re keeping things very familiar for him where he can just execute and play.”

“… He continues to manage the game extremely well and puts our team in good situations, and the run game specifically.”

Makeshift secondary

The Eagles are hurting in the secondary, where, on Sunday, they lost Ron Brooks for the season. Brooks, the team’s nickel cornerback, ruptured a quadriceps tendon. Safety Malcolm Jenkins moved into the slot in the Eagles’ nickel packages after Brooks’ injury.

Jenkins, a former corner, played the nickel last season under then-defensive coordinator Billy Davis.

Jaylen Watkins replaced Jenkins at safety.

Starting cornerback Leodis McKelvin played 44 snaps against the Vikings, returning after missing three of the first six games with a hamstring injury. Rookie Jalen Mills rotated with McKelvin.

Undrafted rookie C.J. Smith, moved up from the practice squad, will spend this week getting ready to make his debut.

Special return

The NFL has seen more touchbacks — 62.7 percent —than kickoff returns since moving the touchback from the 20- to the 25-yard line this season. Teams have returned only two kickoffs for touchdowns.

The Eagles own both.

Rookie Wendell Smallwood went 86 yards against the Washington Redskins two weeks ago in a 27-20 loss. Josh Huff returned one 98 yards against the Vikings on Sunday.

Butterfingers

Ryan Mathews leads the Eagles with 262 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 67 carries. But the Eagles have expressed concern about his late-game fumbles.

In Week 5, with the Eagles leading by two and attempting to run out the clock, Mathews fumbled. The Detroit Lions kicked a game-winning field goal seven plays later for a 24-23 win.

Mathews fumbled in the fourth quarter against the Vikings on Sunday, although it didn’t end up hurting the Eagles.

The seventh-year veteran lost three fumbles last season. He has fumbled 20 times in his career, losing 13.

Star-Telegram beat writers Clarence Hill and Charean Williams provide an early look at Sunday night's game between the Cowboys and Eagles. Video by Drew Davison.

It's been more than two decades since the Dallas Cowboys' Super Bowl glory days, but the team's brand continues to top all the rest in the NFL, and the Star still shines bright for fans around the country. Why?

Charean Williams: 817-390-7760, @NFLCharean

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