NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Eagles, Redskins

     

Cowboys

A day after the Cowboys’ loss to the Patriots, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wasn’t feeling any better about Dallas or the coaching staff’s performance. Jones emphasized that he’s ultimately in charge of the coaching staff and that it was his right to criticize the performance of HC Jason Garrett to this point. 

“When you’re general manager, which I am, those coaches are out there at my ultimate decision,” Jones said in his weekly radio interview on 105.3 The Fan. “It’s very much within my realm of purview, if you will, to not only be standing there as an owner but be standing there as the general manager who put the staff there to begin with. People seem to think it’s particularly harsh to have criticism and they think when you look at the other side of the field and call a job well done, that might mean that’s extraordinary criticism of the job you’ve done on the other side of the field.”

Eagles

  • Per the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane, Eagles G Brandon Brooks said the return of his anxiety that caused him to leave Sunday’s game was related to thinking about living up to his recent contract extension that made him the highest-paid guard in the NFL. 
  • Brooks added that not having OT Lane Johnson, who missed Sunday’s game with a concussion, playing next to him also played a role. (McLane)
  • Brooks plans to play this week. (Jimmy Kempski)

Redskins

While Redskins QB Alex Smith hasn’t been able to contribute to the team on the field as he continues to rehab from a severe broken leg injury, he’s found other ways to contribute, like mentoring first-round rookie QB Dwayne Haskins. Both players were coached in college by Urban Meyer, entered the NFL as somewhat controversial first-round picks and had a less-than-ideal start to their careers. Smith pulled out of it to become a solid starting option and he’s lending the benefit of his experience to Haskins. 

“I definitely took my lumps,” Smith said via ESPN’s John Keim. “Just being a sounding board for him, what it’s like. When you get to be at this level there’s so many little things that add up. He’s big and strong and can spin it; good feet, accurate. You just want to be able to see him use those things so, yeah, mastering all those little things situationally so you can play fast.”

Redskins interim-HC Bill Callahan said he is disappointed in Haskins taking a selfie with a fan during the final play of Week 12’s 19-16 win over the Lions. Backup QB Case Keenum took the final kneel-down in victory formation after Callahan couldn’t find Haskins on the sideline. 

“It was disappointing, and I think that it’s an experience he’ll learn from as he matures and understands it’s a 60-minute game,” Callahan said, via ProFootballTalk. “It’s never over until it’s over. I think he was caught up in the emotion of the game itself — youthful exuberance, I would call it. I think it got away from him a little bit, but I think he’s fully aware that professionally his mind should be on the game throughout the duration of 60 minutes.”

Callahan inferred that the team will not fine Haskins for the incident, but it will be a “great learning experience for him.” 

“I think it’s a great learning experience for him,” Callahan said. “I think he’ll learn more than any finable offense that you could ever give somebody. I think the message is pretty clear.”

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