NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Eagles, Giants, Redskins

     

Cowboys

  • Per the Athletic’s Jon Machota, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said the team received good news on the status of LT Tyron Smith‘s high ankle sprain: “We got the best news we could possibly get. We couldn’t have asked for better news. Looking forward to having him back out there quick.”
  • While Smith will return soon, it won’t be in time for next week’s game against the Packers. (Calvin Watkins)
  • Jones added the Cowboys could have WR Michael Gallup back as soon as this week as he recovers from surgery on his meniscus: “I’m not ruling it out Sunday. We got to see how he does out there (in practice this week).” (Machota)

Eagles

As a former running back himself, Eagles RB coach Duce Staley understands the desire each of the Eagles’ backs likely have to touch the ball more. But the team is fully committed to a running back by committee approach, with Staley’s 325 carries in 1999 the most by any one back since. Staley says at any given week either Jordan Howard or second-round rookie Miles Sanders could be called on to carry more of the load, which helps them both stay engaged. 

“It’s based on the week,” Staley said via NJ.com’s Zack Rosenblatt. “You never know, next week it may be a lot of Jordan, a lot of Miles, the week after that it may just be Jordan sprinkled in with Miles. But they both know, all of them know, that it’s a rotation that’s constantly going.”

  • Eagles QB coach Press Taylor says QB Carson Wentz is doing a better job of finding his check-downs this year: ”It may seem like there’s times he’s quick to take a checkdown. Well, we’re calling some of these looks to throw down the field. Well, we come out, it’s not the ideal coverage for that situation, he’s just going to get a completion and play second down. That, a lot of times, over the course of the game puts us in good situations that we want to be in.” (Bo Wulf, Zach Berman)
  • Despite limited production while being thrust into a larger role due to injuries, Eagles WR coach Carson Walch says second-round rookie WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside is grading out fine: “JJ was dead-on with his assignments throughout the game. He’s a guy that was thrown in a role that he’s a professional and he needs to be ready for it, but he was dead-on with his assignments. There’s gonna be games where the ball doesn’t find you.” 
  • Eagles LB coach Ken Flajole says the plan is to keep LB Kamu Grugier-Hill on a pitch count as he returns from injury: “He’s got to get himself back into football shape. He hasn’t taken a competitive rep in quite some time. Going out, running on grass and getting your knee healthy, that’s all well and good, but it’s a different game when you’ve got to go in there and it’s competitive and you’ve got to push on big bodies and that type of thing.”

Giants

  • The NFL announced Tuesday that Giants TE Isaiah Searight, who is on injured reserve, has been suspended without pay for the next four games for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances.
  • Giants activated WR Golden Tate. (NFLTR)
  • Giants released WRs Bennie Fowler and T.J. Jones.
  • Giants promoted ILB Josiah Tauaefa to their active roster.  (NFLTR)
  • Giants signed LB Devante Downs and WR Da’Mari Scott to their practice squad. 

Redskins

The conventional line of thinking with rookie quarterbacks drafted to be the future of the franchise is that once the seal is broken, teams have to play them or risk stunting their development. However, Redskins HC Jay Gruden doesn’t subscribe to that line of thinking, saying he’ll go with the best option out of Case Keenum, Colt McCoy or first-round rookie Dwayne Haskins despite benching Keenum for Haskins for over a half in Sunday’s game. 

“If I feel like Dwayne gives us the best chance to win, then Dwayne will play. If I feel like it’s Colt or Case, then they’ll play,” Gruden said via NBC Sports’ JP Finlay. “That’s just what I have to do. I have a locker room full of players down there. I’m not trying to appease anybody except them and give us the best chance to win.”

With McCoy still recovering from a broken leg suffered late last season and just this past week returning to practice, the backup quarterback duties fell to Haskins which is why he went into the game when Gruden felt the team needed a spark. Gruden added Haskins still needs to be ready to play even if he falls back to third behind the veterans Keenum and McCoy.

“Your job as a quarterback is to get ready to play at any given time. It could be for injury reason, it could be to give your team a spark. So he’s got to be ready to go,” Gruden said. “He did a pretty good job in his first game and he’s got to get better.”

  • The Athletic’s Ben Standig reports the Redskins have not had any contact with free-agent TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, though his agent says his client is ready after dealing with health and personal matters. 
  • According to Standig, Redskins TE Vernon Davis is entering the NFL’s concussion protocol. 
  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer writes the Redskins have a high opinion of OC Kevin O’Connell and their desire not to let him get away like Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay might factor into when or if they let Gruden go and give O’Connell a test drive as an interim head coach. 
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