Carson Wentz's poor play has been a major problem for the Philadelphia Eagles this season, despite the team sitting in first place in the putrid NFC East at the halfway point. Philadelphia has won consecutive games, even though the turnovers and mistakes remain regarding Wentz -- who had four turnovers in a 23-9 victory over the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night.
The Cowboys defense entered Sunday's game as one of the worst in the NFL, ranking last in points allowed and turnovers. Wentz got them out of the basement, throwing two interceptions and losing two fumbles as the Eagles offense could only muster 15 points against a team that gave up an average of 34.7 points over their first seven games.
Wentz's fourth turnover -- an inexplicable throw deep across the middle to John Hightower that was off target -- was intercepted by Trevon Diggs while the Eagles were trailing 9-7 early in the third quarter. The Eagles quarterback had his NFL-leading 12th interception and 16th turnover of the season, as Eagles head coach Doug Pederson didn't think going to rookie second-round pick Jalen Hurts was a better option.
"No, there was never any of that conversation to pull him," Pederson said. "The conversation was, again, explaining that just, hey, we can't do that. We're in a position to put points on the board and continue a drive if we just throw the ball away and that's something that we've got to learn from."
Wentz finished 15 of 27 for 123 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in the victory, as Cowboys quarterback Ben DiNucci recorded a higher passer rating -- despite not throwing a touchdown in the game. No quarterback has ever had 16 turnovers in the first eight games in a season and made the playoffs, but the Eagles lead their division by 1.5 games.
"I'm not good enough. I'm pumped we got the win, but I'm going to have to watch the tape and I'm a little frustrated with how I played and how we've left some plays out there, left some points out there, and missed some big opportunities," Wentz said. "I can be better. I know I will be. I would say the same thing for this far in the season.
"I'm pumped that we're at the top of our division, that we're heading into this bye week, but halfway through the year I know I can play better and a lot of it's just coming down to taking care of the football. I feel like I'm still the same aggressive guy that's going to pull the trigger and I never want to change that. But [it's about] being smart and putting it in the right spot."
The Eagles may not go to Hurts, even though Wentz is one turnover away from matching his total from his rookie year. Wentz's performance justifies a benching, but the Eagles seem keen to ride the quarterback they invested over $131 million in the next four seasons.