NFC Notes: Cowboys, Eagles, Giants, Washington

     

Cowboys

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said the primary reason for the team releasing veteran DT Dontari Poe was that he is “30 pounds overweight.”

“When you’re 30 pounds overweight and you’re not doing anything about what’s keeping you from performing well on the field, there is no reason to get into the other stuff,” Jones said, via Chris Mortensen of ESPN. 

Jones refused to elaborate on whether the “other stuff” was Poe choosing to protest the National Anthem, but added that Poe was “not up to the standard” of the Cowboys. 

“I understand your question and I’m deliberately not going to answer it,” Jones said. “We have a platform here but the platform on the football field has a high standard, and he [Poe] was not up to the standard. He needed to correct that and he did not. I’m going to leave it at that.”

  • According to Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News, a team official promptly shot down any thought of the Cowboys trading WR Michael Gallup.
  • Cowboys RG Zack Martin (concussion) said he’s “confident” that he will be available for Week 8’s game against the Eagles. (Gehlken)
  • Martin added that he expects to start at right guard but will play anywhere he is needed: “I’m going to do anything the team needs me to do.”

Eagles

Eagles WRs coach Aaron Moorehead praised WR Travis Fulgham‘s progress since Week 4. 

“As a coach, you kind of have to wait and see,” Moorehead said, via E.J. Smith of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “He was able to do that against San Francisco, and he’s just gotten better and better each week.”

Moorehead said Fulgham has felt a “sense of comfort” this season and started making plays “all of a sudden.” 

“Maybe it’s some things are going on in your personal life, maybe it’s you and the quarterback aren’t on the same page, maybe it’s you and the coaching staff that aren’t on the same page,” Moorehead said. “I can’t say that one thing or another has happened to Travis, but I know this: When he came here, there was a sense of comfort. Something about him, as soon as he got here, he started practicing — I don’t know if it was some weight off his shoulders, maybe he didn’t feel any pressure — but all of a sudden, the guy just starts making plays.”

Moorehead is hopeful that Fulgham will continue being a “big part” if their offense going forward. 

“There seems to be a guy or two every year that this happens to,” Moorehead said. “Recruiting isn’t an exact science when you’re talking about high school kids in college, and the draft isn’t an exact science when you’re talking about college into pros, and free agency isn’t an exact science when you’re talking about guys later on. But I’m hopeful that Travis continues to do what he’s done and continues to work hard and continues to be a big part of this offense this year.”

  • John Clark reports that rookie WR Jalen Reagor has received medical clearance to return and play in Week 8’s game.

Giants

  • Fansided’s Matt Lombardo lists the Bills and Bengals as strong candidates to potentially trade for Giants G Kevin Zeitler. They have the salary space and need at guard to be able to pay the mid-round pick the Giants are likely asking for. 
  • However, the Giants’ potential depth issues on the offensive line due to a positive COVID-19 test Thursday and multiple close contacts could kill any trade talks with Zeitler, per NJ.com’s Zack Rosenblatt.
  • Giants HC Joe Judge said fifth-round G Shane Lemieux will replace Will Hernandez in the starting lineup Monday: “We were planning to work him in any way. We have confidence in Shane. I expect him to play regardless.” (Ralph Vacchiano)
  • Giants OL Hernandez, Lemieux, Andrew ThomasNick Gates, Cameron Fleming, Spencer Pulley, Chad Slade and practice squad WR Binjimen Victor were all absent from practice, presumably as close contacts of Hernandez who was placed on the COVID-19 list. (Dan Duggan)
  • That left Zeitler, third-round OT Matt Peart, OL Jackson Barton and C Kyle Murphy as the only offensive linemen at practice. Giants TE Eric Tomlinson filled in at tackle. 
  • Giants QB Daniel Jones declined to discuss any potential team discipline for being caught on video out in New York City not wearing a mask: “We’re going to handle it here as a team. I’ve certainly talked to coach and we’re going to handle it here inside. That’s our policy.” (Vacchiano)

Washington

Washington DE Ryan Kerrigan became the franchise’s all-time leader in sacks this season, but the veteran pass rusher has seen his playing time drop precipitously in the final year of his deal. The team is loaded at defensive end with young pass rushers Chase Young and Montez Sweat but Kerrigan has still been effective with four sacks in seven games. That’s also led to some trade speculation given how needed pass rushers are around the NFL but HC Ron Rivera pointed out how valuable Kerrigan is even in his reduced role. 

“I know it’s tough because I know he wants to start,” Rivera said via Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post. “But you look at the young guys we have there, there’s a role for [him]. This is the role, is that you’re going to get your spot chances and when you get those spot chance, you’ve got to make hay. And he does. And that’s the thing that’s been perfect about this is when he’s been popped out there and we’ve needed to come up, he has.

“That’s the importance of having a vet that sits there and accepts the responsibility and the role. And by doing so, you got Chase and Montez that sit there and they admire the guy, First of all, they admire him because they watched him play when they were growing up. Second, they admire him for the type of leadership that he’s displaying. Every day he goes out there, he practices the way you’re supposed to, then when he gets the chances to play, he’s made hay. That’s the important thing.”

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