NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Giants, Redskins

     

Cowboys

The Cowboys had only 17 sacks on the season entering Monday night’s game against the Giants, which is why Dallas traded for DE Michael Bennett to provide a spark to their pass rush. Bennett did exactly that Monday night, not just notching a sack of his own and four quarterback hits, but sparking his teammates in a five-sack effort by the Cowboys. 

“I thought he was outstanding,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said via ESPN’s Todd Archer. “I thought he was really impactful in there. I thought you could see the team in general were feeding off of what he was bringing. Of course, very likely he was feeding off what [DeMarcus Lawrence] was doing out there and what [Robert Quinn] was doing. Still, he really is a great addition for us. I don’t use that word much, but he’s a great addition.”

Giants

Giants first-round rookie CB Deandre Baker had a Monday night he’ll likely want to forget, as he was responsible for multiple high-profile mistakes in the Giants’ 37-18 win. The biggest was a coverage bust on Cowboys WR Amari Cooper‘s 45-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter that sealed the game for Dallas, where Baker was playing zone when he was supposed to be in man on Cooper.

Despite being over halfway through the season, Baker acknowledged after the game the biggest point of improvement for him is still learning the playbook. 

“Just the plays and every like that. That’s just the biggest thing right now. The playbook.” Baker said via Charles McDonald of the New York Daily News. “Just knowing the plays. Knowing what I gotta do. Knowing my assignment.”

  • Giants HC Pat Shurmur said the team would be cautious with WR Sterling Shepard after his concussion symptoms reappeared over the weekend: “This is a serious injury that requires a serious response.” (Art Stapleton)
  • The Giants could be considering putting Shepard on injured reserve and ending his season. (Ralph Vacchiano)
  • Shurmur mentioned that Giants TE Evan Engram has a sore foot following Monday night’s game. (Matt Lombardo)
  • Shurmur noted that Giants sixth-round rookie CB Corey Ballentine should have a role as the team’s nickel cornerback going forward:“He did some good things last night. We wanted to give him an opportunity.” (Stapleton)

Redskins

  • According to ESPN’s John Keim, Redskins OT Morgan Moses received good news on his pectoral injury and is confirming with a second opinion. 
  • Keim adds there’s still no timetable for DT Tim Settle‘s hamstring injury after he received a PRP injection ahead of the bye. 
  • NBC Sports’ JP Finlay reports that Redskins interim HC Bill Callahan agreed to take the role with the stipulation that he had complete control over the 53-man roster. 
  • In contrast, formers Redskins HC Jay Gruden didn’t have that power, as for an example he had to wait until Week 16 to cut S D.J. Swearinger last year after being ready to make the move midseason. 
  • Some of the changes Callahan has had his fingerprints on include signing a fullback, cycling out most of the practice squad and going with QB Case Keenum as the starter. 
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