The quarterback position is the most important position in all sports. While some teams are established and secure at quarterback – New Orleans with Drew Brees, Cincinnati with Andy Dalton, and the Colts with Andrew Luck – others have potential question marks at the future of the position. Here are six quarterbacks with a lot to prove in 2019.
1. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys have reached the playoffs in two of the last three years with Dak Prescott under center, however, if Prescott is going to get that lucrative, $100 million-plus contract he’s searching for, he’ll need to get the Cowboys to, at the very least, the NFC title game.
He hasn’t played terrible and hasn’t had any injuries, playing in 48 straight games starting his 2016 rookie season, going 32-16. However, he only has three playoff games under his belt, going 1-2 with the lone win coming in last year’s wild card.
He doesn’t need to light up the stat sheet but needs to prove he can win big games more consistently, especially in January.
2. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
Will the real Derek Carr please stand up?
He’s had quite the ride since entering the league in 2014 and showed promise as the Raiders improved year-by-year from 2014-16. In that 2016 season, Carr was on his way to an MVP type of year, guiding the Raiders back to the playoffs before he broke his ankle late in a blowout win over the Colts.
Since his return, he’s been a bit shaky, going 10-21 as a starter with a pair of double-digit interception seasons as the Raiders offense struggles to find any sort of consistency, let alone efficiency. However, despite how much he’s been hit, Carr’s only missed two career games.
With a brand new receiving corps led by Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams and a potentially exciting running game with rookie Josh Jacobs, Carr has no excuse to get the offense back to the exciting, dominant power it was just three seasons ago.
Otherwise, Vegas is getting damaged goods in 2020.
3. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
Carson Wentz is one of the more exciting, electric, scrappy quarterbacks to take the field when he’s healthy.
That’s the catch though: when healthy.
He guided the Eagles back toward the playoffs in 2017 before tearing his knee late in the season. Last year, he was part of a fairly banged-up Eagles team, only playing in 11 games before, once again, Nick Foles led them to the playoffs.
But with a new contract and no Foles to save him or the Eagles, Wentz needs to prove that he can be healthy for a full 16-game season like he was in his 2016 rookie season.
4. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
You like that? Minnesota didn’t.
Kirk Cousins had to prove he’s worth getting paid. Now he has to prove he can win.
Despite getting a fully guaranteed three-year, $84 million deal, Cousins won just eight games for the Vikings last season. His average win-loss record in his first season with Minnesota gets even worse when those wins came against non-playoff teams like the Niners, Cardinals, Jets, Lions, and Dolphins, with a tie against the Packers mixed in there.
It’s more than likely that Cousins will see out the duration of his contract, given it’s fully guaranteed, but the Vikings were a playoff favorite last year that never panned out. He’ll need to right that ship in 2019 and prove he was worth the money.
5. Josh Rosen, Miami Dolphins
The Cardinals decided to draft Kyler Murray in this year’s NFL draft, and put Rosen in a tough spot. He now has a chance at another fresh, rookie-like start in Miami in 2019.
His expectations aren’t so high given the Dolphins, like the Cardinals before, aren’t a strong team. He just needs to prove that he can play and, hopefully, raise his stock a bit. The 22-year-old, second-year signal caller threw just 11 touchdowns with 14 interceptions with a bad Cardinals team last year that he never really had a shot to succeed with.
Rosen could also use his time in Miami to prove the Cardinals wrong for trading him for Murray, however, that seemed to be the plan all along once Kliff Kingsbury took over as coach.
6. Nick Foles, Jacksonville Jaguars
The last time Nick Foles left Philadelphia to become a full-time starter, he struggled.
He went 4-7 as the starter with the Rams in 2015, then was demoted back to a backup role with the Chiefs the year after. However, he seemed to revitalize his career in his second stint with the Eagles, winning a Super Bowl in the process.
But entering this season with the Jaguars, his first with the big-time contract – a five year, $88 million deal – he needs to prove that he’s ready for his own team and that his second stint with the Eagles, the only team he’s ever won with, wasn’t a fluke once again.