NFC Notes: Cowboys, Eagles, Giants


  • The Athletic’s Jon Machota notes that new Cowboys DC Dan Quinn showed a lot of different looks this offseason and it appears that Dallas will use a 3-4 base defense a fair amount of the time in 2021. 
  • Machota points out former Cowboys DC Mike Nolan tried something similar and it didn’t go well, which is why he only lasted one season. He adds that it should come down to whether DEs Demarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory can be as effective in a 3-4 as in a 4-3. 
  • Machota expects the Cowboys to be cautious with WR Amari Cooper in training camp as he continues to recover from ankle surgery. He adds they should take a similar tack with TE Blake Jarwin, who is expected to resume his role as the No. 1 tight end once healthy. 
  • At cornerback, Machota says the current starting trio figures to be Trevon Diggs, Anthony Brown and Jourdan Lewis. However, someone like second-round or third-round rookies Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright or backups Maurice Canady and Reggie Robinson could push for a role in training camp. 
  • Although the Cowboys declined LB Leighton Vander Esch‘s fifth-year option this offseason, the hope is he has a strong year and signs an extension next offseason, per Machota. 
  • Cowboys QB Cooper Rush left practice with a tight back, but it’s not believed to be serious. (Calvin Watkins)


  • Mike Kaye of NJ Advance Media believes Eagles LB Eric Wilson must prove he’s capable of being a three-down linebacker. 
  • Kaye expects Eagles LB Alex Singleton to line up as the team’s SAM linebacker, while LB T.J. Edwards will likely play the MIKE role in their base defense. 
  • As for second-year LB Davion Taylor, Kaye reports that the new coaching staff is “high” on the linebacker but he must take a step forward in 2021. 
  • Kaye writes Eagles’ linebackers “on the bubble” include Taylor, Shaun Bradley, sixth-round converted safety JaCoby Stevens and Genard Avery.
  • As for “long shot” linebackers to make the Eagles’ roster, Kaye names Patrick Johnson and Rashad Smith.


  • Ralph Vacchiano says it is unsurprising for Giants’ RB Saquon Barkley to be starting training camp on the PUP list, mentioning that Barkley himself is unsure if he will be ready for the season opener.
  • First-round WR Kadarius Toney was also placed on the COVID-19 reserve list by the team and Vacchiano points out that he may miss a few days or a few weeks and will participate virtually until he is cleared.
  • Patrick Leonard of the New York Daily News reports that Toney is asymptotic after recently being placed on the team’s COVID-19 list. Depending on the length of his isolation, Leonard writes that it is possible Toney returns to practice at some point this week. 

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