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Instant Debate

Nick Foles, Tony Romo or Eli Manning: Trustiest NFC East QB?

While some might be happy to see Kirk Cousins taking the reins in Washington, the fact remains that Robert Griffin III's backup is a relatively unproven entity, with a 1-3 record as a starter and a 74.3 career passer rating, meaning the Redskins' quarterback situation is far from settled. But they're not the only team in the NFC East facing questions under center.

Nick Foles has not been the statistical star for the Philadelphia Eagles that he was in 2013, posting a significantly worse completion percentage (58.5), touchdown-to-interception ratio (3:2) and passer rating (86.1) than he did last season (64 percent, 27:2 and 119.2, respectively). The Dallas Cowboys' Tony Romo had a solid Week 2, but he's also 34 years old and coming off back surgery. The New York Giants' Eli Manning has continued to throw interceptions at about the same rate he did last year, when he led the NFL with 27 picks.

Scanning the quarterbacks in this less-than-distinguished division, who do you have the most confidence in for the remainder of the 2014 season?

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  • Adam Schein @AdamSchein
  • Nick Foles' second-half stats offer promise

We're talking about confidence for the rest of 2014, which means we can instantly eliminate Eli Manning. Kirk Cousins can't be taken into account -- yet. And while I'm a huge Tony Romo supporter, and have written many times that he is a top-10 quarterback, one has to admit the Cowboys are a mess.

Yes, Nick Foles (two picks, two fumbles lost in two games) has turned it over too much, especially compared to last year (two picks, two fumbles lost in 13 games). But all four of his turnovers in 2014 -- plus all five of his sacks taken -- have come in the first half of games. Just look at how he's played in the second half this season, leading undefeated Philly back from two consecutive halftime deficits while compiling the following numbers: 23-of-37 passing (a 62.2 percent completion rate) for 327 yards and three touchdowns.

Oh, and speaking of confidence, I have plenty in Eagles coach Chip Kelly. Gimme Foles.

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  • Charley Casserly @CharleyCasserly
  • Eli Manning showed he's still got it this past Sunday

As crazy as it might seem to some, I would go with Eli Manning. I saw significant improvement in the Giants' Week 2 loss to the Cardinals. Manning was more comfortable in new coordinator Ben McAdoo's offense. I thought the veteran QB showed good poise. He found the second receiver. He showed he could make all the throws. He read the blitz. He was more accurate than not with his passes. Ultimately, he was victimized by his receivers, who dropped balls and had problems with their routes.

Kirk Cousins has to prove he can be consistent over a number of games against good teams. I like Nick Foles, and he's in an excellent system, but he also sees a lot of wide-open receivers; Manning, meanwhile, can make the more difficult throws. As for Tony Romo, he's shown us who he is with his first two outings: When he can have a running game and be disciplined, he is very good, but when he has to deal with pressure, he is very inconsistent.

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  • Chris Wesseling @ChrisWesseling
  • Who's in Chip Kelly's system? Yeah, I'll go with him!

I don't have confidence in a single NFC East quarterback right now. If I have to choose one rotten apple in a withering orchard, I'll default to Nick Foles. To borrow from James Carville, it's the system, stupid! This is a vote for Chip Kelly.

Foles has struggled mightily in each of the first two games, holding the ball too long and missing open receivers. In Kelly's offense, though, those opportunities for big plays down the field and yards after the catch on screen passes will be there all season long. Foles' slump likely will not.

Nick Foles is the NFC East quarterback I'd want in my huddle for the rest of the season. OK, so Foles isn't putting up the MVP-like numbers he posted in 2013, but he's still directing the Eagles' offense with outstanding efficiency. He continues to distribute the ball to his playmakers on the perimeter, and he does a great job taking advantage of opportunities down the field. While his accuracy has been a bit off the mark, he makes enough big-time throws to keep opponents from loading up against Philly's potent running game.

Considering how adept Chip Kelly is at making mid-game offensive adjustments, I like Foles' chances of playing at a high level this season.

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  • Elliot Harrison @HarrisonNFL
  • Process of elimination leaves Tony Romo standing alone

I will give a very tentative, rubbery, waffling vote for Tony Romo. But first, let's break down the rest of the guys:

» Kirk Cousins: Has potential, but little in the way of experience, and he needs help (which starts with DeSean Jackson and Jordan Reed being healthy).
» Eli Manning: Coming off a season in which he led the NFL in interceptions for the third time, he's playing as poorly as he ever has. Manning should get better, but ...
» Nick Foles: This one is tough, because he's missing throws -- like a wide-open shot to tight end Zach Ertz on Monday night in Indy. We think he'll be solid again, but he does have just 18 career starts to his name.

So that leaves Romo, who has some question marks himself. The biggest is whether he can physically make the throws, much less be effective. That said, he's twice thrown 31 touchdown passes against just 10 interceptions, including last season. And Dallas' coaching staff is now willing to help him out by running the football. The most important thing is that some strength returns to his back.

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  • Gil Brandt @GilBrandt
  • Foles will be fine in Philadelphia

Tony Romo doesn't seem to be completely healthy yet; he looks to have lost some of his ability to move around and has not regained velocity on all throws. Eli Manning doesn't look like he's familiar with the Giants' new system, although some of his issues could be blamed on his receivers running routes incorrectly. Kirk Cousins, meanwhile, could end up being the best of the bunch when it's all said and done -- after all, he has what is probably the best receiving corps and a great running game working for him, and he's in a system that's perfect for him -- but we need more time to give him a full evaluation.

Which brings us to Nick Foles, whose incredible numbers from last season cannot be ignored. Yes, he's had his issues early in games this year, with the Eagles falling behind in the first half of both contests played so far, but that seems to stem from him being too amped up, which causes accuracy problems. And he seems to correct course in the second half. He just needs to slow down at the start. I would imagine they'll get him squared away in Philly.

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  • Dave Dameshek @Dameshek
  • Foles has the best record -- and a stellar coach

So far, at least, the Nick Foles of 2014 hasn't looked as efficient as last year's two-interception version ... but the Eagles are 2-0 and (like I said in August) the surest of all legit contenders to win their division. To be fair, that's got less to do with Foles than my confidence in Chip Kelly, who continues to shame those cynics who doubted the former Oregon coach's ability to thrive in the NFL.

By the by, to find out which NFC East QB I trust the least, check out the first half of this little bit from this week's Shek Report.

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