Cowboys’ HC Mike McCarthy and RB Ezekiel Elliott were among those who were unhappy with the team’s loss to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
“I’m disappointed,” McCarthy said, via Jon Machota of The Athletic. “I think now that we have four games under our belt, we need to start games better. We need to do a better job of bringing our preparation to the performance and that starts with me. When your team performs and makes similar mistakes, four weeks is a pattern. So this pattern needs to stop. That starts with leadership. That will be the focus come tomorrow.”
“We got to figure this thing out,” Elliott said. “We got to figure out how to find some confidence. We got to figure out just how to come out hotter. We are coming out with no confidence at the beginning of the game, and it is showing.”
With a majority of the team’s problems coming on defense, Cowboys’ DC Mike Nolan has come under fire. Star DE DeMarcus Lawrence said he feels the team isn’t playing well as a unit.
“It’s not my job to worry about the scheme or worry about where the next man is going,” said Lawrence. “I already have a hard enough job myself. It’s all about just attacking, and I don’t feel like we are doing that at all as a unit. We got to hold ourselves to a higher standard. We got to play together as one. And I don’t feel like we are holding ourselves accountable, including myself.”
- McCarthy said Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch will start working his way back in by doing rehab work on a side field. (Michael Gehlken)
- Vander Esch appears to be about three or four weeks away from returning on an optimistic timeline as he continues to heal from a broken collarbone. (Jane Slater)
- McCarthy said the team felt good enough about its depth to release veteran CB Brandon Carr: “We feel good about (Anthony Brown) coming back and some other young guys. Just part of our roster management.” (Machota)
- Cowboys DE Randy Gregory returned to practice. He still has two more weeks to serve on his suspension before he can play. (Todd Archer)
- Eagles HC Doug Pederson said both WRs Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson are nearing a return, with Jackson set to do individual drills in practice Wednesday. (Jeff McLane)
- The Eagles are hosting LB Dante Olson for a visit this week. (Albert Breer)
- Eagles re-signed RB Adrian Killins to their practice squad.
- Eagles designated DE Vinny Curry and CB Craig James to return from injured reserve. (NFLTR)
- Per Fansided’s Matt Lombardo, a current NFL general manager expects teams to call the Giants at the deadline this year to explore potential trades: “They’re going to get calls on guys playing on the last year of their deals, you can bet on that. So, that probably rules Golden Tate out at his age and salary. But, guys like Evan Engram, Markus Golden, and Leonard Williams will possibly draw a lot of interest.”
- Lombardo also mentions Giants S Jabrill Peppers and DB Logan Ryan as players who could potentially draw interest.
- Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer says Washington QB Dwayne Haskins‘ grasp of the offense had been an issue so far in 2020.
- Haskins didn’t appear to take any reps at practice in the portion open for viewing, even behind practice squad QB Steven Montez. (Matthew Paras)
- Washington HC Ron Rivera said he’s been looking at the team’s softer upcoming schedule and considering if QB Kyle Allen gave the team a better chance to win for a while: “The biggest thing is looking at where we are in terms of our schedule and circumstances. This has been thought out by me for a while.” (Nicki Jhabvala)
- Rivera seemed to allude to Haskins still being behind as a reason the switch was made: “I just based on the things that have gone on with Dwayne, based on his development and where he is, we’re better off going with guys that know our system …” (Jhabvala)
- Rivera told reporters his decision “is not an indictment on Dwayne” but more of an indication of his current development: “It’s just one of those things where he needs more time.” (Jhabvala)
- Rivera mentioned Haskins reacted about as expected: “He was disappointed obviously, and I would expect a competitor to react no other way.” (Jhabvala)
- He reasserted this doesn’t mean this is the final word for Haskins: “It’s not fair. I get it. … Believe me, I know how he feels to be sat down. How he comes out of it on the other end is up to him.” (Jhabvala)
- Washington OC Scott Turner said there were repeat mistakes Haskins made that led them to this decision. (Jhabvala)
- Allen for his part is eager to make the most of his opportunity: “I’m ready. I feel great. … I’m glad we’re in the middle of a playoff race. … It’s a great opportunity.” (Rhiannon Walker)
- Washington’s medical team has cleared QB Alex Smith and he’s ready to play if needed as the No. 2 quarterback this week. (JP Finlay)