Jalen Hurts on Comparisons to Dak Prescott, and Staying Away from "Rat Poison"

The Eagles rookie will play Dallas in his home state on Sunday, and while Prescott is out injured, he was compared to the Cowboys QB by coach Mike McCarthy
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It’s awfully ironic how, for years, Eagles and Cowboys fans would go back and forth in the Twitter-sphere on which of their quarterbacks was better.

Carson Wentz this…

Dak Prescott that…

It got downright ugly at times.

Wentz is now parked on the bench and Prescott out for the season since Week 5, and into the breach steps Philadelphia rookie Jalen Hurts, and wouldn’t you know who he was compared to on Wednesday?

Dak Prescott.

“Jalen was held in high regard in our building throughout the draft process,” said Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy on an afternoon conference call with Eagles media. “That comparable came up a number of times, especially when Dak came out of Mississippi State.

“You look at their skill set and their ability to play both in the pocket and out of the pocket. They goth came from heavy quarterback run systems in college. They ran the RPO, the zone read and what they were asked to do, and how they have been able to translate that to the pro game. 

"Stating the obvious here, but Jalen is off to a really, really good start here the last two-and-a-half games. I’ve been really impressed with him since he came into the game against Green Bay and particularly the last one against Arizona.”

Later in the day, Hurts revealed that Prescott hosted him on a visit to Mississippi State before committing to Alabama, and he has heard some of the comparisons between himself and Prescott.

“I heard it some,” said Hurts. “I have a lot of respect for Dak coming in and doing the things that he’s done. I’m praying for a healthy recovery for him. I have a lot of respect for him and his game. I always said it, Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson, Russell (Wilson), those are all a great group of quarterbacks that I love to watch play.”

Hurts grew up in Houston, with a godfather who was an employee of the Texans, so Hurts hung around the team’s workout facility across the street from NRG Stadium, which was Reliant Stadium back in those days.

He sounded mostly ambivalent about the Cowboys when asked about the rivalry between the Eagles and Dallas, but he was made aware quickly just what it means in these parts.

“It’s a big thing for the city of Philadelphia,” said Hurts. “…It’s a great rivalry and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Each week that goes by a little bit more is learned about Hurts.

He’s not a big talker and he has a variety of phrases he uses to the media and to teammates, something Quez Watkins talked about earlier on Wednesday when the rookie WR said, “I can talk to him about anything besides football, anything outside of football and he’s going to hit me with some motivation.

"I might not be trying to hear that at the moment but it’s always helpful. He’s an uplifting person. That’s one thing I always love about him.”

In response to that, Hurts said: “I guess it’s a way to uplift the guys around me. That’s all I try and do with those sayings, I guess. I want to have positive energy and always be optimistic in anything that we do.”

Last week, he talked about being a coffee bean.

This week, when asked how he stays away from social media and the distractions around him, he said, “I try to stay away from the rat poison.”

Asked what he meant by that, Hurts said, “You gotta ask (Alabama) Coach (Nick) Saban. He knows about the rat poison, too. It’s all external factors. I’ve talked about that a little bit, external factors. It does no good for us and what we’re trying to do as a team.”

What Hurts will try to do for the team – what his teammates will try to do – is keep the Eagles’ season alive for one more week. 

The loser of Sunday’s game will be out of contention for a division title and playoff spot. If Washington beats Carolina, both Philly and Dallas will be eliminated.

“We’re obviously in the situation that we’re in.," said Hurts. "Regardless of whatever goes down, it’s about us, not looking at the scoreboard, not worrying about anything external, but going out there and playing our best game.

"We have the opportunity to do that. If we play the cards that are dealt, the chips will fall where they may. We just want to play our best game each week because it’s the next opportunity to go out there and play."

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