NFC Notes: Cowboys, Eagles, Giants


Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones said they are not dwelling on Thursday’s 36-33 loss to the Raiders and are confident that they will have “fresh legs” for the final stretch of games. 

“You have to look forward. Yesterday is as dead as Napoleon. It’s gone,” Jones said, via ProFootballTalk. “And so we have to look at how to improve. The sky is not falling. When you look at the six games ahead that we have, the cavalry is coming. We’ve gotta take a deep breath and remember that this time of year is where you’re dealing with attrition. You’re normally dealing with a depleted situation in your personnel. Here we come with fresh legs.”

  • Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy said RB Ezekiel Elliott was hindered from his lingering knee injury in Thursday’s game: “[I] think that was pretty obvious.” (Jane Slater)
  • Ian Rapoport reports that Cowboys DT Trysten Hill will not be suspended after his altercation with Raiders G John Simpson in Week 12 but he could receive a fine. 
  • Cowboys S Jayron Kearse said they are not paying attention to outside criticism following their 36-33 loss to the Raiders: “You can do nine good things for somebody, but it’s the one bad thing they are going to remember. … We’re not playing for anybody else or care about their opinions because honestly, if it was that easy, they would be doing the same thing.” (Jon Machota)
  • Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy said he’s concerned over RB Ezekiel Elliott‘s (knee) health because of his aggressive running style and susceptibility to hits: “I am concerned, because he is a warrior. … It’s that time of year. Zeke’s running style is ferocious. He takes a pounding and takes some hits.” (Jon Machota)
  • According to Ed Werder, the Cowboys are considering giving Elliott time off to heal from the knee injury he’s been dealing with. However, injured reserve is not believed to be a consideration at this time. 
  • The Cowboys announced that OL coach Joe Philbin and assistant strength and conditioning coach Kendall Smith were placed in COVID-19 protocol ahead of Thursday’s game. 
  • Cowboys DC Dan Quinn said he does not regret calling man-to-man in Thursday’s loss to the Raiders when CB Anthony Brown was called for pass interference in overtime. (Calvin Watkins)
  • Quinn said DE DeMarcus Lawrence (foot) is hitting “all of the markers” regarding his return from the injured reserve and they will evaluate him ahead of Week 13: “He’s hit all of the markers that you want to hit in terms of the healing and training and getting ready. We are definitely looking forward to getting him back.” (Michael Gehlken)



New Giants OC Freddie Kitchens is taking over the play-calling job (probably) at midseason for the second time in his career after doing the same for the Browns in 2018. Kitchens oversaw an offensive improvement that was enough to get him a shot as the head coach in Cleveland a year later and the hope for the Giants is that he can provide a similar jolt. 

“What I like about Freddie is Freddie has a very aggressive approach to the game,” Giants HC Joe Judge said via the Athletic’s Dan Duggan. “I think Freddie’s done a good job in terms of using his players and creating matchups and situations where they can have success, and he calls it with a degree of multiples and variables, which present problems to opponents. He sees it through the lens of the player, if that makes sense, in terms of creating plays for the player. I think that’s a valuable asset.”

  • When asked if former Giants OC Jason Garrett‘s firing sent a message to the coaching staff, DC Patrick Graham responded that their performance is judged based on the players’ production: “We get judged based on how our guys play. We all know what we signed up for.” (Zack Rosenblatt)
  • As for their Week 12 game against the Eagles, Graham called Philadelphia’s rookie WR DeVonta Smith an “elite level” player and praised his “toughness, ability as a blocker, and overall skills as a receiver.” (Zack Rosenblatt)
  • Giants STs coordinator Thomas McGaughey believes the entire organization is “on notice” after Garrett’s dismissal: “Everyone’s on notice. This is the New York Giants. You’re always on notice, we’re in a high-performance business, so when you don’t perform at a high level, that’s just the way it is.” (Ralph Vacchiano)
  • Ralph Vacchiano says that the pressure on Giants’ QB Daniel Jones will be at an all-time high over the final seven games of the season following the team’s decision to fire OC Jason Garrett and give the playcalling responsibilities to former Browns’ HC Freddie Kitchens

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