NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Giants, Redskins

     

Cowboys

Regarding Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones‘ negative comments about the coaching staff, veteran TE Jason Witten doesn’t believe it is an issue and mentioned that Jones has “clear expectations” for the team. 

It’s the NFL,’’ Witten said, via David Moore of the Dallas Morning News. “Look, you can’t have it both ways. That’s the way it’s going to be. I think everyone understands the clear expectations he (Jones) has for the team. It’s not an issue.’’

  • Per the Athletic’s Jon Machota, Jones hinted he wasn’t afraid of giving QB Dak Prescott a major deal if he thought it would help the team win: “Let me just say this, I think all of us, including the fans, want to win a damn football game. OK? … We can take that other stuff. I’m not known as a guy that gets hand cramps when writing checks. But I want to win games.”
  • According to Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman, Cowboys HC Jason Garrett has to win the Super Bowl to keep his job. 
  • Freeman said Jones’ top-two candidates to replace Garrett are former Ohio State HC Urban Meyer and Patriots OC Josh McDaniels
  • Jones called himself “a Jason Garrett man” but didn’t back down from the high expectations he has for his coach: “I don’t have to win the Super Bowl in business every year. I can come in 6th and have a hell of a year. But in this business, you gotta come in first. I want Jason to get it done.” (Machota)

Giants

Giants RB Saquon Barkley has had a textbook sophomore slump so far in 2019. After topping 2,000 total yards as a rookie, Barkley has only 461 yards rushing and 259 yards receiving in eight games. An ankle injury has knocked Barkley out of a few games, but the running back said he refuses to use injuries as an excuse. 

“Did I look hurt? No. So let’s stop making an excuse that I’m hurt. I’m not hurt!” Barkley said via ESPN’s Jordan Raanan. “Let’s stop making an excuse I’m not 100 percent. Nobody is 100 percent. I can pull up multiple clips, multiple clips, where you can look back and see I’m doing the same thing that I did in college or that I did in my first year. The season is not going the way I’d like it. I’m not going to put blame on anyone else. You have to point fingers at yourself first. You have to be better. I have to be better. I’m going to keep working.

“I put in my notes today: ‘The great ones figure it out.’ And I want to be great. I’m going to figure it out.”

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer buys the talk that Cowboys HC Jason Garrett would be a consideration for the Giants’ head-coaching job, should they part ways with Pat Shurmur.
  • Breer mentions that Giants co-owner John Mara “loves” Garrett personally.
  • Another name to watch for the Giants could be Baylor HC Matt Rhule.
  • Breer says he still isn’t closing the door on Shurmur returning for another season but says he’ll “need Daniel Jones to play really well down the stretch.”
  • The Giants have told the kickers they worked out this week that they’re going to give K Aldrick Rosas another week to see if he can break out of his slump. (Jordan Raanan)
  • Raanan says the team could keep Rosas on the roster to compete with whomever they bring in. 

Redskins

Stability is one of the key ingredients for successfully developing quarterbacks, but Redskins first-round rookie QB Dwayne Haskins has had very little of that. The Redskins have only two wins, Haskins is already on his second head coach and there were persistent rumors that the coaching staff and front office were split on whether to even draft him. To cope, Haskins says he’s just trying to tune out all of the outside noise and focus on what he can control. 

“My understanding is that everyone in the building wanted me. ‘Other coaches wanted positions of need more than quarterback.’ That’s something I can’t control,” Haskins said via ESPN’s John Keim. “The guys that made the decisions picked me and I’m here. Of course I try the best I can to ignore that stuff.”

  • Despite being rumored as a healthy scratch last week, Redskins CB Josh Norman still has a role on the team per interim HC Bill Callahan: “He’s played hurt all year long. He has an ongoing role on our team. But his role can change from week to week.” (Max Henson)

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