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Redskins nose tackle Barry Cofield noticed in camp with Griffin and Cousins and then in the preseason when facing Luck.

“It seems that guys come in younger than ever and they’re more polished than ever,” Cofield said. “They’ve worked hard and trained hard ever since high school with all the camps and things like that. It seems like rookies come in to the league more advanced each and every year.”

Foles only recently joined the ranks of rookie quarterbacks starting when he took over for the injured Michael Vick last month. His first start came against the Redskins on Nov. 18, and he’ll make his sixth Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.

“It’s been neat seeing all the quarterbacks across the country that are rookies doing well,” Foles said. “I was fortunate enough to be with everyone throughout the whole draft process and sort of get to know all the guys, so it’s pretty cool. To be a rookie and be playing is a great opportunity to just go out there and play football again.”

Dantonio credited Vick for opening the door for more creativity. Schemes such as the Wildcat and read option allow guys who aren’t just pocket passers to play, and succeed, in the NFL.

Of course, quarterbacks still have to throw the ball to win. The five full-time rookie starters (Luck, Griffin, Tannehill, Weeden and Wilson) have combined for 15,787 yards and 83 touchdowns.

This group has the potential to surpass the 1983 class of John Elway, Dan Marino and Jim Kelly, but for now that talk is premature.

“The thing is that people have to realize we have to put together a string of years and all of us continue to be successful, then they can compare us to those greats,” Griffin said.

The Offensive Rookie of the Year race is tight because Luck, Griffin and Wilson could lead their teams to the playoffs. But what these quarterbacks want is more than to be one-season wonders.

“Obviously, you want to have the Troy Aikman, John Elway career rather than just beat them in the rookie year thing,” Cousins said. “Time will tell. It’s still early.”