NFC Notes: Cowboys, Eagles, Washington

     

Cowboys

Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott said his bout with COVID-19 cost him some workout time this offseason. 

“I’d probably say I didn’t work out for a month. Because there’s some complications COVID can cause to your organs. So you’ve got to make sure your heart and lungs are working all together before you get back out there. It was frustrating for sure,” Elliott said via USA Today’s Jori Epstein

When he did return to the practice field, Elliott said he spent a lot of time working on his receiving game this offseason. 

“This offseason I really didn’t do anything from the backfield,” Elliott said. “I did a lot of stuff from out at receiver, in the slot. Just trying to evolve my game there, just so I can be more of a viable source in the pass game.” 

  • Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy has been wowed so far by LB Aldon Smith, who’s coming back after a five-year absence: “If you walked away from practice, you would say, ‘Hey, who the hell is No. 58?’ You can see his power, his length is extraordinary. …I’m very happy with where Aldon is right now.” (Ian Rapoport)
  • Cowboys QB Dak Prescott echoed McCarthy’s praise: “He’s a monster. Damn sure doesn’t look like he hasn’t played in five years.” (Jon Machota)
  • Cowboys LT Tyron Smith left practice Thursday with a tight hamstring, though the team doesn’t consider the issue serious. (Calvin Watkins)
  • Cowboys RT La’el Collins also missed practice after being involved in a car crash Thursday morning. Thankfully the Cowboys also consider that situation minor: “He’s OK.” (Michael Gehlken)
  • Cowboys CB Jourdan Lewis is believed to have a “minor” ankle sprain after leaving practice Thursday. (Gehlken)

Eagles

  • CBS Sports analyst and former agent Joel Corry writes there could be some difficulties between the Eagles and TE Zach Ertz on a contract extension.
  • Corry explains the 49ers deal for TE George Kittle pushed the bar to $15 million per year and Ertz has a legitimate case to exceed that given the Eagles reset the market for teammates like G Brandon Brooks and OT Lane Johnson.
  • However, the Eagles will point to the deal Chiefs TE Travis Kelce signed as a more relevant comparison. Like Ertz, Kelce had two years left on his contract, the two players entered the league the same year and are around the same age.
  • Kelce signed a four-year extension worth $14.312 million a year but Corry points out it’s incredibly team-friendly and didn’t give the veteran enough money to give the Chiefs basically four team options starting in 2022.
  • Ertz is unlikely to agree to that structure because he already turned down an extension offer from Philadelphia late last season because it was too team-friendly, per Corry. 
  • If Philadelphia is unsuccessful in extending Ertz this year, Corry believes the team could explore a trade next offseason either to free up salary or because Ertz wants a change of scenery. 
  • He also notes the Eagles have TE Dallas Goedert to think about, who will also be eligible for an extension starting this offseason and might not want to come back to play second fiddle behind Ertz. Both players’ contracts expire after 2021. 
  • Eagles HC Doug Pederson said QB Nate Sudfeld is still the primary backup ahead of second-round QB Jalen Hurts. (Zach Berman)
  • Eagles CB Avonte Maddox remains in the lineup as the No. 2 cornerback ahead of Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones (injured) so far during camp. (Berman

Washington

Washington HC Ron Rivera said first-round DE Chase Young is dealing with a hip flexor. 

“You’ve got to be smart,” Rivera said, via the Washington Times. “You don’t want to overwork him or wear him down and the next thing you know he’s going to miss four or five days, so we’re just trying to be smart about that.”

  • Per Richmond.com’s Michael Phillips, Washington HC Ron Rivera had high praise for RB Bryce Love: “This is a guy that could be an every-down back for you. He’s an explosive, dynamic player.”
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