- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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IRVING, Texas -- The Cowboys don’t know who will start at quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
Michael Vick's hamstring might make the decision for Eagles coach Chip Kelly, but Nick Foles has made a strong case for the job regardless of Vick’s status by leading Philadelphia to wins the past two weeks.
All due respect to Foles, the second-year pocket passer, but that’s who Dallas defensive tackle Jason Hatcher would prefer to face.
“I would like to see Foles, because Vick is like a rabbit,” said Hatcher, who leads the Cowboys with five sacks and is the lone healthy member of their projected starting front four. “He’s all over the place. Foles is more like a stationary guy in the pocket.
“But both of them are awesome quarterbacks. Foles is playing his butt off these last couple of games. Either one, but I would take Foles over Vick.”
Foles has been phenomenal the past two weeks, completing 38 of 56 passes for 493 yards and five touchdowns in wins over the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He also rushed for a touchdown on a quarterback draw against the Buccaneers, but that’s a rare example of a designed run for him.
“Foles can throw it, now,” Hatcher said. “He can throw it. It’s going to be a challenge either way.”
Vick is arguably the best running quarterback in NFL history, rushing for 5,858 yards and 36 touchdowns during his career. He has run for 307 yards (9.3 per carry) and two touchdowns this season, with many of his yards coming on scrambles.
“You can’t open up a lane because Vick will take off on you, unlike Foles,” Hatcher said. “He’ll run if it’s there, but if Vick sees anything, he’s going to take off.”
The Eagles’ passing game hasn’t been as effective with Vick, whose completion percentage is only 53.8, although he leads the league in average yards per attempt (9.0). He has thrown for five touchdowns and been intercepted twice in five starts, the last of which was abbreviated by a strained hamstring suffered in the second quarter.
No matter who plays quarterback for the Eagles, the Cowboys must get ready to deal with NFL rushing leader LeSean McCoy. But Philadelphia averages 6.0 yards per carry with Vick at quarterback, compared to 3.6 per carry with Foles in the game.
“They’ve both been productive,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “Again, they do it a little bit differently. You don’t see Foles make the dynamic plays with his feet that Michael Vick has become known for, but Michael Vick can throw the ball from the pocket, he can make those plays, and Nick Foles shows he can move the ball around the field.”
Added Jerry Jones on KRLD-FM: “I really don’t have an opinion as to which is the strongest medicine for us.”
Hatcher doesn’t hesitate with his opinion. He respects Foles, but he’d rather face him than chase around a rabbit.