Eagles' Nick Foles to get another look at Cowboys

Posted: December 01, 2012

Nick Foles' first action this season came against the Dallas Cowboys on Nov. 11. With Michael Vick out with a concussion, Foles stepped in and completed nearly 70 percent of his passes for 219 yards and a touchdown.

There was excitement despite a loss about Foles' future.

Three weeks later, Foles is preparing to play the Cowboys again - this time as the starter. Vick still has not passed the ImPACT test that measures cognitive function and is unlikely to play on Sunday.

Yet there are still questions about Foles' ability, especially after two games in which he failed to throw a touchdown and appeared closer to a third-round project than a third-round steal. Ask Foles about the experience, and he'll tell you there's been improvement.

"Just playing in games, you can't beat that experience," Foles said. "The improvement has been everything: footwork, fundamental, reads.

"It's little tiny, tiny details that to a normal eye, you wouldn't recognize it. It's not going to be a big jump."

The question for the Eagles is how much longer they can take to determine whether Foles can be a starting quarterback. The Eagles will likely have a high draft pick, an opportune spot to invest in a quarterback. They could also seek a free-agent quarterback, trade for one, or even bring Vick back for another season.

Assuming coach Andy Reid is fired, the new coach will have a large role in that decision.

"It certainly will be an evaluation," offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said of any more playing time Foles receives. "The other thing is that young quarterbacks tend to play a little bit better when they are on an excellent team that is fully funded and everyone is on board playing and all of those things."

Mornhinweg didn't say it, but any evaluation of Foles must take into consideration the depleted unit around him. Foles is missing four starters on the offensive line. Star wide receiver DeSean Jackson is out for the season, and running back LeSean McCoy is expected to miss his second consecutive game with a concussion. So Foles does not have the benefit of the offense at its optimum.

Mornhinweg said every quarterback progresses at a different rate. When he coached Jeff Garcia with the 49ers, Garcia had the benefit of playing professional football in Canada. Mornhinweg noted that some rookie quarterbacks have the benefit of a minicamp and training camp as the top player, which can accelerate their development.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, a former NFL quarterback, thought highly of Foles as a prospect at Arizona because of Foles' size, arm strength, and intelligence.

"Some guys are in more favorable situations. Some guys are in more challenging situations, and you want to evaluate the player in dealing with both of those," said Garrett.

Considering they do not know if Foles can develop into a franchise quarterback, the Eagles will use this time to try to find out.

"Certainly, he's missed some things," Mornhinweg said. "But you can only expect that, that he's learned from it, and that he doesn't make the same mistake twice or rarely does."

Contact Zach Berman at zberman@phillynews, or follow on Twitter @ZBerm.

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