NFC Notes: Cowboys, 49ers, Seahawks



One of the emphases for new Cowboys DC Mike Nolan will be creating more impact plays on defense for Dallas. Over the past several years, the Cowboys have consistently struggled to create turnovers and finished 2019 ranked in the middle of the pack with 39 sacks. Nolan wants to do more things schematically to help Dallas generate big plays on his side of the ball. 

“You want it to look like a swarming type of mentality,” Nolan said via ESPN’s Todd Archer. “I believe there’s parts of coaching that goes into that. The things you do with players, the way you teach your players, everything from the language to the scheme, I think, are all critical factors in making it looking just like that.”


49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo‘s role in San Francisco’s Super Bowl collapse hasn’t changed the way his head coach views him. Kyle Shanahan told reporters at the team’s first offseason press conference his belief in Garoppolo is the “same as it was the day before the Super Bowl.” 

“He was on his way . . . close to being the Super Bowl MVP,” Shanahan said via Pro Football Talk. “We all didn’t make those plays toward the end. We made those plays all year, our whole team. That’s one of the reasons we were there. Whenever you don’t make those plays at the end of the game like that, first and foremost, the quarterback’s going to get attacked and then usually the play-caller. We understand that’s how it goes.”

  • According to CBS Sports analyst and former agent Joel Corry, Garoppolo hit playing time benchmarks that triggered a $7.5 million injury guarantee in both 2021 and 2022.
  • 49ers GM John Lynch said “everything’s on the table” when it comes to keeping DE Arik Armstead, who just finished his rookie contract, including presumably the franchise tag: “We want to find a way to keep him and make him a 9er for a long time.” (Cam Inman)
  • 49ers TE George Kittle could sign in excess of $13 million a year with his next deal. (Tom Pelissero)


Seahawks WR D.K. Metcalf had one of the best rookie seasons for a receiver in franchise history, but like any rookie there were growing pains. Metcalf caught 58 balls for 900 yards and seven touchdowns, but his catch percentage was only 58% thanks in part to seven drops. Add in three lost fumbles and ball security is a point of emphasis for Metcalf going into Year 2. 

“Mainly my drops,” Metcalf said via NBC Sports’ Joe Fann. “I had way too many drops in my opinion. Some of those drops could have changed the outcome of the game. I’m just working on those drops, man.”

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