NFC Notes: Cowboys, Eagles, Giants, Washington


Cowboys RB Tony Pollard has only had minimal opportunities behind feature back Ezekiel Elliott the past couple of seasons. But he’s impressed in those. This past Sunday as Dallas’ lead back, Pollard impressed again, looking more explosive than Elliott has all season on his way to 132 total yards and two touchdowns. Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones was asked this week if he thought Pollard could be a lead back. 

“In this day and time, there’s not many that do that,” Jones said in a radio interview on 105.3 The Fan via the Dallas Morning News. “I certainly wouldn’t bet against him. I think when we first drafted him, it was more of a change of pace, complementary guy that was going to be great in the return game and spell Zeke. Certainly surprised every step of the way in terms of the number of times he can touch the ball. As I said, I think they’re a great complement to one another. I wouldn’t bet against Tony if he had to touch the ball. I think he ended up touching it 20 times — I think it was 12 rushing, and I forget the exact number, eight to 10 passes he caught. So, whether he can run the ball 21, 22, 25 times a game, I don’t know that, but as I said, I wouldn’t bet against him.”

  • Elliott said his calf injury actually felt “way better than I did last week. …I actually got out there a little bit in practice and ran around some.” He added he’s “looking for good for this weekend” against the Eagles. (Michael Gehlken)
  • Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy says S Xavier Woods will be “challenged” to play this week with his rib injury. (Gehlken)
  • McCarthy noted G Zack Martin is improving, and while he won’t play this week he could return for the regular-season finale. (Jon Machota)
  • McCarthy mentioned he sees QB Dak Prescott down in the training room and his rehab appears to be going well: “Dak’s doing very well. Frankly just saw him a little while ago in the training room and all of the guys on IR are down there. So it seems like they tend to be there the same time most days. They’re all in good spirits. They’re all making progress. Dak’s just like you’d think he would be – very positive, very upbeat and just attacking his rehab.” (Todd Archer)
  • Cowboys OC Kellen Moore has been linked to a number of reports to the head coaching vacancy at Boise State, where Moore played as a quarterback. His contract with Dallas does not run past this season, though he’s impressed McCarthy as a play-caller this year. (Archer)



A few weeks ago, the Giants had surprisingly beat the Seahawks to stake their claim to the top of the NFC East. Two losses late and New York is all but eliminated from playoff contention. But HC Joe Judge said that shouldn’t take away from the progress the team has made in 2020. 

“I don’t think our progress as a team is going to be measured necessarily on making the playoffs . . . I’m not downplaying playoffs,” Judge said, via ESPN’s Jordan Raanan. “It’s the National Football League. We’re all here to compete. We’re all here for the highest prize in all of sports. We all know what that is. I’m a firm believer in just keeping our sights on what the immediate goal is and the long-term goal will take care of itself.”

  • Judge said he’s been impressed with Giants QB Daniel Jones throughout this season and feels comfortable going into next season with him as the starter: “This guy’s definitely earned my respect. I kind of made it hard on him in a lot of ways, and he didn’t blink….Daniel Jones is our quarterback.” (Ralph Vacchiano)


  • According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, Washington QB Dwayne Haskins has had his captaincy stripped from him following the incident where he was photographed maskless at a strip club. 
  • Haskins was also fined $40,000 by the team. (Rapoport)
  • Washington HC Ron Rivera said they immediately contacted Haskins after being made aware of the incident on Monday. He said Haskins was “genuine and truthful” with them. (Kimberley Martin)
  • Rivera believes the punishment for Haskins so far is sufficient: “There are a lot of things I could’ve done. But in conversations with the league and looking at things that were done around the league, we felt that we would fine him and move on.” (Nicki Jhabvala)
  • Haskins was at practice taking first-team reps while QB Alex Smith was at practice but limited. (Jhabvala)
  • Washington and the NFL reached an arrangement to allow Haskins to practice. He will attend meetings virtually, though. (John Keim)
  • Haskins will start in Week 16 if Smith isn’t healthy enough to play. (Jhabvala)
  • However, Smith “absolutely plans on being out there” to play Sunday: “I’m doing everything I can to make sure that happens. There is a progression here as the week goes on.” (Keim)
  • Haskins asked to speak to the media and issued an apology for his actions. He says his girlfriend had a birthday party at a private venue, not a strip club, but it was still a poor choice to go and he accepts responsibility. (Rhiannon Walker)

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