NFC Notes: Cowboys, Eagles, Giants, Washington

     

Cowboys

New Cowboys K Greg Zuerlein was one of the NFL’s most impressive kickers during most of his tenure with the Rams, picking up the nickname “Legatron” thanks to a big leg and deep range. But 2019 was a struggle for Zuerlein as he made just five of 11 attempts between 40 and 50 yards in the final year of his deal. Cowboys ST coordinator John Fassel, who worked with Zuerlein with the Rams, said an injury played into that last year and Dallas is getting “Legatron” in 2020. 

“In all honesty, he was going into the last year of his contract, and he wanted to kick through a pretty good groin pull,” Fassel said via the Athletic’s Jon Machota. “So for about a six- to eight-week stretch (of) that, we didn’t even kick him during the course of the game week. And he had been so great, so reliable for us for so many years — especially a couple previous years — that we just wanted to try to ride him through it. And not to make excuses, and Greg would be the last one to do it, but that has a lot to do with it. It has a factor on your ability to swing like you normally would. So, fully healed. I expect Greg to be one of the top, if not the top kicker in the league for the next couple of years for us Cowboys.”

  • Cowboys S Xavier Woods has dealt with the specter of Earl Thomas for years with the veteran and fans pushing to get him to Dallas. But Woods is confident and secure entering his second season as the starter: “It doesn’t bother me anymore, man. I don’t even pay no mind to it.” (David Helman)
  • Cowboys OT Mitch Hyatt went down with a right knee injury during practice and needed to be carted off. He’ll have an MRI later. (Michael Gehlken)
  • Cowboys starting OTs Tyron Smith and La’el Collins returned to practice to do individual drills. 
  • Gehlken notes Cowboys 6-4 CB Chris Westry should factor into the mix for a spot on the practice squad. 

Eagles

Eagles TE Dallas Goedert explained why he and fellow TE Zach Ertz are such a lethal combination. The Eagles used 12 personnel, two tight ends, more than any other team last year, while Ertz and Goedert combined for more than 1,500 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. 

“We can get mismatches on the field no matter what,” Goedert said via Dave Spadaro of the team’s official website. “If they play base (personnel), it’s either going to be a safety and a linebacker on us or if we get both safeties (in coverage), the running back gets a linebacker (in a matchup) and there’s nobody deep for DeSean (Jackson, wide receiver), so being able to have us both, if they put in nickel (an extra cornerback), we can run the ball. And then they’re short in the run game. There are so many different things that we can do, so many things that both of us bring to the table and we can cause a little bit of nightmares for defensive coordinators.”

Giants

Giants QB Daniel Jones has added a few extra pounds of muscle, wanting to become stronger prior to the upcoming season.

“Overall strength was a goal of mine,” Jones told Albert Breer of SI. “I’m not sure I felt deficient at anything, but I knew I could use the time I had, use the offseason to make strides and continue to improve athletically. Football’s a physical game, and I was making sure my body was in a position to play at a high level, just trying to improve athletically across the board.”

  • Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News and Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post note the Giants swapped sides for first-round OT Andrew Thomas and third-round OT Matt Peart. Thomas had been working at left tackle 
  • Giants’ veteran LB David Mayo is undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus and is expected to miss at least three weeks. (Matt Lombardo)

Washington

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