NFC Notes: Cowboys, Eagles, Giants, Washington

     

Cowboys

Cowboys QB Andy Dalton indicated that he intends to look for the best opportunity to start in free agency this offseason. 

“There’s a lot to be decided this offseason,” Dalton said, via Pro Football Talk. “This is my first time being a free agent when the new league year starts, so I’ll go through the process of everything and weigh all of my options and see what I got.

“Like I said, I’ve really enjoyed my time in Dallas. Just a good chance to play back at home where I’ve had a lot of family and friends that are able to come to games. I’m very thankful for the opportunity that I had this year, with the ability to play and just put some tape out there. We’ll see what happens come March.”

“I feel like I can play, and I feel like I can help a team win,” Dalton added. “Hopefully, with the film that I put out this year, people see that and value me in that way. I obviously feel like I still got a lot of good football left, and we’ll see how it all plays out.

  • Per the Athletic’s Jon Machota, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said a new deal for QB Dak Prescott is “certainly right there at the top” of their offseason priorities. 
  • Jones added they would love to have QB Andy Dalton back but as a backup: “But at the end of the day, and Andy knows this, this is Dak’s football team. We’re obviously very committed to getting Dak signed.” (Machota)

Eagles

  • Per NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo, Eagles GM Howie Roseman said they view QB Carson Wentz as an integral part of the organization: “When you have players like that, they’re like fingers on your hand. You can’t imagine that they’re not part of you, that they’re not here. That’s how we feel about Carson.”
  • Asked specifically about potentially trading Wentz, Roseman said, “That is not anything we’re talking about right now.” 
  • Eagles HC Doug Pederson said that his relationship with Wentz is fine but that it’s up to him as the head coach to fix it: “The relationship is good, it’s fine. It’s something we’re going to continue to build upon. I know Carson is disappointed.” (Garafolo)
  • Roseman was also asked about drafting Jalen Reagor ahead of Vikings WR Justin Jefferson, who set the NFL record for receiving yards as a rookie: “We went into the draft trying to find the right guys for our team and in terms of what we thought we needed to have a better offense.” (Jeff McLane)
  • Roseman didn’t really disabuse the idea that TE Zach Ertz‘s future with the Eagles is in doubt: “Relationship has been great, but it’s not always perfect. I sometimes have to be the bad cop.” (McLane)
  • Ertz has a year left on his contract but he wants an extension and is a strong candidate to be traded or cut without one: “My time in Philadelphia has been the best experience I’ve ever had. … I want to be here. I don’t know what’s going to happen next year.” (Garafolo)
  • Ertz was emotional thinking about the potential end of his time in Philadelphia: “I think this city is the best city to play for and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. This city means a lot to me, means a lot to my family. And I’m thankful.” (Zach Berman)
  • Pederson defended his decision to put in QB Nate Sudfeld during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss to Washington: “Nate has obviously been here for four years and I felt he deserved an opportunity to get some snaps. … The plan this week was to get Nate some time. I felt it was time to get him into the game.” (Berman)
  • Eagles second-round QB Jalen Hurts said he would welcome a competition if that’s what 2021 brings: “I’m a competitor. …I put my best foot forward in whatever situation I’m in.” (Berman)
  • Wentz declined to speak with reporters on Monday. (Jimmy Kempski)

Giants

The Giants took care of what they needed to do to make the playoffs on Sunday by beating the Cowboys. But at 6-10, New York still needed help from division rival Philadelphia to beat Washington in order to make it in. That didn’t happen as the Eagles submarined themselves, perhaps intentionally. But Giants CB Logan Ryan, who’s quickly become one of the team’s leaders in his first season, said they can’t blame the Eagles for themselves not finishing with a better record. 

“Wish I could give you the explosive stuff you wanted,” Ryan said via NBC Sports’ Peter King. “There will be a lot of opinions about whether they were trying to win. You want to play the game to win, but I don’t play for the Eagles, I don’t coach for the Eagles. It’s their team. Winning six games doesn’t give us much right to get pissed off about this. We didn’t play consistent enough all year to earn it.”

  • SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano writes that all indicates are the Giants plan to bring back GM Dave Gettleman for at least one more season.
  • Several people who know Gettleman tell Vacchiano the 69-year-old has no plans to retire and he plans to speak to the media on either Tuesday or Wednesday. 
  • Giants TE Evan Engram said he doesn’t need a change of scenery and wants to play his fifth-year option season in New York: “Yes, I want to be here.” (Matt Lombardo)

Washington

Someone had to win the NFC East this season. But for it to be Washington, with a cast of characters like QB Alex Smith and HC Ron Rivera who have individually overcome so much to play and coach this season, seems fitting. 

“I think it speaks way more about the team and the character we have,” Smith said via Pro Football Talk. “You know everything stacked against us. Going obviously all the way to the offseason, coaching change, new staff. All the COVID stuff. For us to get off to the slow start that we did but to find a way to battle back. Then to finish it off like this I think says a lot about the character we have in the locker room. Good or bad, day in and day out, these guys come to work and put in the effort.”

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