As the Eagles prepare to host the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday night, Inquirer Sports columnists Marcus Hayes and Mike Sielski will debate four issues facing the Eagles, Wednesday through Saturday.

Today’s issue: Is Jalen Hurts a franchise quarterback?

Here are three reasons that the Eagles can win a Super Bowl with Jalen Hurts as their quarterback:

Jimmy Garoppolo.

Jared Goff.

And, of course, Nick Foles.

Those were the quarterbacks who represented the NFC in the Super Bowl in 2020, 2019, and 2018. None of them would be regarded as an elite performer at the position, and their backgrounds are pretty disparate. Garoppolo was a second-round draft pick, apprenticed under Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, and has been competent if unspectacular for the 49ers. Goff was the No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft, got lots of help over his five seasons with the Rams from Sean McVay and several excellent skill-position players, and was traded to the Lions. Foles … his story, you know.

The point of bringing up that trio is not to compare one or more of them to Hurts, to start a barroom/panel-show argument about who’s better or who you’d rather have in a big game. The point is to remind everyone that there is more than one way to reach and win a Super Bowl – and that the process of finding a quarterback who will make a team a championship contender and keep it a championship contender is fraught.

Every team wants to do what Andy Reid and the Chiefs did in trading up to draft Patrick Mahomes. You target a terrific quarterback prospect. You tell yourself, That’s our guy. You get him. He thrives. You win. That’s the ideal. The search for a franchise QB rarely plays out that way, though, mostly because quarterbacks of Mahomes’ quality are so rare and because teams have such a difficult time identifying them. A team instead might luck into a Brady in the sixth round, or have Aaron Rodgers slide to the latter part of the first round, or pluck Russell Wilson in the third round.

So you can try that route, hope that your quarterback elevates everyone around him. Or you can do what the Eagles did in 2017-18, with Carson Wentz and Foles. They took the salary-cap room that having a starting quarterback who was still on his rookie (i.e. less-expensive) contract afforded them and elevated the roster around him. (One of those upgrades was an excellent backup: Foles.) Goff was still on his rookie deal when the Rams reached Super Bowl LIII. And though Garoppolo had signed a pricey, five-year extension with the 49ers, it doesn’t seem a coincidence that the season he and the team reached the Super Bowl, 2019, was the same one that his cap hit was the lowest in any year of his deal.

Hurts will still be on his rookie contract next season and, if he and the Eagles don’t agree to a new deal the following offseason, in 2023. Is Hurts good enough that, if the Eagles use their cap space wisely and improve their roster significantly, they could win a Super Bowl with him? Sure. The doubts would be less about Hurts than they would about the ability of the front office to build such a roster. If Garoppolo can come within a quarter of a championship, Hurts, given the right circumstances, can win one.

Hayes vs. Sielski

- Wednesday: Should the Eagles rest their starters Saturday? Hayes, Sielski

- Thursday: Did Howie Roseman have a good year? Hayes, Sielski

- Friday: Has Nick Sirianni exceeded expectations? Hayes, Sielski