NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Eagles, Giants, Redskins

     

Cowboys

Cowboys HC Jason Garrett is entering 2019 on the final year of his deal. The rumor is that he needs to lead the Cowboys on a deep playoff run and maybe even reach the Super Bowl to earn an extension. However, Garrett says he’s not thinking about his contract. 

“To be honest with you, I never really think about that,” Garrett said via Pro Football Talk. “I never thought about that as a player. I don’t think about that as a coach. I just come to work every day and try to do the best job that I can do in the position that I have. Very fortunate to do what I love to do in this great league, in this great organization with the people that we have, the coaching staff that we have, the players, and the support staff that we have. So, just come and try to embrace that opportunity each and every day and try to contribute as much as I can.”

  • Cowboys WR Amari Cooper says he saw Saints WR Michael Thomas‘ reported $100-million extension, though he’s not sure if that will affect his own negotiations: “I don’t know if it will. Hopefully.” (Jon Machota)
  • Cooper added he’s much more focused on the upcoming 2019 season: “I’m just not interested about the contract. For some reason it’s just not on my mind. I’m more interested in just playing football. … I don’t follow it. I just have social media, so it follows me.” (Jon Machota)

Eagles

Eagles DC Jim Schwartz believes “confidence” has been the biggest difference for third-year CB Rasul Douglas this offseason. 

I really think the biggest thing is just, he has some confidence,” Schwartz said, via Les Bowen of The Philadelphia Inquirer.Played a little bit his rookie year. We won a lot of games with him out there his rookie year. Came back second year. Had a rough spot early on … then came back and really solidified and did a great job for us down the stretch as did a lot of our other guys.”

  • Per Jeff McLane, Eagles second-round RB Miles Sanders injured his foot during practice Thursday and will have further tests. 

Giants

SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano writes that the Giants’ selection of QB Daniel Jones at No. 6 overall wasn’t viewed as as much of a reach around the NFL as it was by fans and members of the media. 

“I’m sure some teams thought it was high, but nobody thought it was crazy,” said one NFC executive. “We all liked this kid. He’s not an all-time great prospect, but he’s a good one. And (the Giants) needed a quarterback, too. It made perfect sense. I don’t understand the hits (Gettleman) is taking.”

The Giants felt that either Denver or Washington, picking at No. 10 and No. 15, were threats to take Jones before their second first-round pick at No. 17, which was seemingly backed up by polls conducted by Jim Miller of SiriusXM NFL Radio and NFL Media’s Charley Casserly.

“Every GM had it listed differently,” said Miller. “For some on the list, Kyler Murray was 1. For others on the list, Dwayne Haskins was 1. But there were teams that had Daniel Jones as their No. 1.”

“Murray was No. 1 (in my poll),” Casserly added. “But Jones and Haskins were basically tied at 2. Flip of the coin. And that’s from talking to 25 teams. Twenty-five teams told me that it was a dead heat.”

  • Giants LB B.J. Goodson suffered a hamstring injury that will keep him sidelined for a bit, per HC Pat Shurmur. (Art Stapleton)

Redskins

Redskins QB Alex Smith won’t play in 2019 as he recovers from a broken leg suffered during the 2018 season. The parallels between Smith’s and former Redskins QB Joe Theismann‘s career-ending broken leg were eery, right down to the players on the field knowing right away how bad it was.  

“Oh, I knew [it was bad] right away, as soon as I looked down and my leg wasn’t straight,” Smith said via Yahoo!’s Terez Paylor. “You’re so used to your whole life, when you look down, your leg is straight. And [then] it wasn’t anymore.”

Smith broke both his tibia and fibula, then dealt with infections that extended his hospital stay and put his leg in jeopardy.  He spent four months in a wheelchair and even longer with a large metal external fixator to stabilize his leg. There’s a good chance he never plays again, though the 35-year-old Smith wants to at least try to come back. 

“I’m still determined [to play], still marching down the road, still optimistic,” Smith said. “I want to push it, for the challenge’s sake. I want to see what I’ve got … I enjoy the challenge, even to this [recovery], coming out here and being with the guys. It’s not going to last forever. I’d like to see where it leads.”

  • NBC Sports’ JP Finlay says G Wes Martin currently is ahead of the pack to start at left guard, though Ereck Flowers could catch up now that he’s focusing exclusively on his transition inside from tackle.
  • Per Paul Conner, former Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall says he talked with OT Trent Williams: “It’s not about money. That’s what makes this so unorthodox and something we’ve never seen. We’ve never had a player say, ‘Hey, get that training staff out of here or I’m not coming back.'”
  • Redskins HC Jay Gruden says he’s been impressed by fifth-round LB Cole Holcomb, who’s the first one in the facility watching tape at 6 am: “He wants to be great; has the tools to be great because he has power, speed and instincts.” (John Keim)
  • Gruden says not to count out RB Samaje Perine in a crowded running back room for a roster spot: “You can’t discard Samaje. He’s been outstanding.” (Keim)
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