NFC Notes: Cowboys, Eagles, Washington


  • Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy said recently hired Ben McAdoo will act as a coaching consultant and help the offensive and defensive coordinators with game-planning. “It was a very easy decision because I know what Ben can bring to a staff.” (Jon Machota)
  • McCarthy mentioned that third-year RB Tony Pollard has gotten some reps at receiver in OTAs. (Jon Machota)
  • Cowboys OT La’el Collins said he feels back to normal after recovering from hip surgery: “Just starting to feel like myself.” (Jane Slater)
  • Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch doesn’t feel that the organization declined his fifth-year option is added motivation for him: “I’ve always been motivated. I don’t have to use that to be motivated to play better or work harder. I’ve been on a mission since the season was over because we just can’t have a season like we did.” (David Moore)


Eagles LB Alex Singleton said he is excited about DC Jonathan Gannon‘s system and explained that their “principles” are to quickly pursue the ball and cause turnovers. 

“I’m excited for everything we’re going to be doing,” Singleton said. “The principles of our defense are playing fast, being around the ball, getting to the ball, causing turnovers.”

Singleton mentioned that Gannon and his staff have “harped on” causing turnovers and they routinely practice creating fumbles. 

“A lot of teams talk about it,” Singleton said. “Everybody knows that if you win the turnover battle you’re going to have a good chance of winning [the game]. But this staff, every day we’ve talked about a turnover fundamental. It’s something we’ve harped on. It’s something we’ve practiced. It’s something we’re going to do a ton of on a weekly basis.”

Eagles S Anthony Harris reiterated that creating turnovers will be a “focus for us” going forward. 

“You’ve got to take a look at what wins games,” said Harris. “What category can you get better in? Which category can you improve in to get the ball back? How can you limit points and give your offense more possessions? Turnovers is one of them. You look at turnovers and explosive plays. Defensively, you want to limit the explosive plays. And then you want to try and turn the ball over as much as possible. That’s going to be a focus for us. Coaching guys up on what to look for in terms of [turnover] opportunities. Being in the right position to force a turnover.”


Washington OC Scott Turner knows that the knowledge of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick can be just as much of a weapon as his onfield play considering how many different teams he has been successful with.

“The biggest thing with Ryan is that he’s a good player that’s been proven to be successful, especially if you look at the past few years of his career,” Turner said, via Ben Standig of The Athletic. “We talk about the numbers and production that he has had and just adding that a guy that clearly can make all of the throws, sees the field well so that the ball comes out on time and where it’s supposed to. That’s huge to have that.”

“There might be a concept that (Fitzpatrick) had 100 reps on,” Turner said. “He might have a little more insight that I haven’t even thought of based on stuff he’s seen in the past. Just those conversations you can have with someone like that helps me grow. Obviously, he can see it and execute it on the field so we can get the most out of every play.”

New Washington WR Curtis Samuel spoke about the time it could take for the receivers to develop a rapport with Fitzpatrick prior to the season.

“It’s a little process,” Samuel said. “Just the quarterback understanding your mindset, you understanding the quarterback’s mindset, understanding where you want the ball placed, where he wants you to be. It takes a little bit of time. That’s why we’re here for OTAs, to get that timing down pat so by the time the season comes, everything is smooth.”

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