NFC Notes: Cowboys, Eagles, Washington


Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy said DE Randy Gregory has a good idea of all the areas he needs to work on to improve this year.

“I think if he was sitting here, he would tell you ‘all the little things,” McCarthy said, via Cowboys Wire. “Just having a chance to watch Randy work- I think it was in Thursday’s work last week, just in a one-on-one pass-rush instruction segment with A.D. [defensive line coach Aden Durde]- just the questions that he was asking. Just to clean up the details of the expectations of how we want to play in certain schemes. Just building that game plan, that pass rush game plan week in and week out. I think it’s helped him immensely. He looks very comfortable out there.”

McCarthy also mentioned Gregory’s strong finish to last season gave him a good foundation to work with this year.

“When I looked at Randy’s personal evaluation, I gave him two arrows pointing up,” McCarthy said. “If you recall, I think it was six games he was working in individual drills over there with [director of rehabilitation] Britt Brown for the first six weeks, and then we tried to integrate him, and we were trying to be smart. I think that you get to the end of the season, you look at his production and you’re like, ‘Coach, why the hell didn’t he play more?’ Yeah, I get it. But if you go back to the path that he was on, not having a chance to work with him before that; he hasn’t been on the football field. So, clearly I think his path last year was just he continued to rise with every opportunity that he had. Now, going through a full offseason, I definitely think he could be a premier, primary player for us on defense.”

  • McCarthy didn’t rule out using WR CeeDee Lamb on special teams: “Special teams is going to be a priority here. I don’t view players as graduating from special teams. …You need more than one returner, too. We understand that.” (Michael Gehlken)
  • Gregory admitted he wanted more playing time last year: “A lot of factors that played into it. I wasn’t happy with the playing time that I had. …It was obvious that I wanted to be out there, and conversations were had.” (Gehlken)
  • Gregory also said his motivation this year is to earn his next contract: “It’s a contract year. It’s all about earning everything now. I’m going to do that on the field. Barring injury, I think I’m going to be all right.” (Gehlken)
  • Veteran CB Anthony Brown said he wants to be a leader in the cornerback room: “I definitely want to be a big brother to all of those guys. I want them to look up to me.” (Gehlken)
  • Cowboys OT Tyron Smith mentioned it hurt to miss 14 games last year: “It sucked. It was miserable. I’ve never sat out a year like that.” (Gehlken)


  • Bo Wulf and Zach Berman of The Athletic take a look at the Eagles’ current expiring contracts, including that of TE Dallas Goedert, who the duo note has never been the full-time tight end and has missed six games due to injuries over the past two years.
  • The Eagles may have to end up considering one of several talented tight ends slated to hit free agency next season, including Mark Andrews, Evan Engram, O.J. Howard, Hayden Hurst and Mike Gesicki.
  • The duo also agree that if the Eagles believe OT Jordan Mailata has a high potential, it would make sense to extend him now before his price gets any higher.
  • Any extension for Mailata would likely discourage any ongoing battle with former first-round OT Andre Dillard and also lower the value for Dillard in any potential trades.
  • Eagles’ HC Nick Sirianni on the presence of QB Jalen Hurts: “He is a relentless worker. I just saw him take command of the offense, and really just take command of the offense and was just on it. You ask him a question, he’s on it. It’s really translated into walk-throughs on the field and in drill work.” (Zach Berman)


  • Washington OT Charles Leno Jr. said although he was surprised when the Bears released him, he is happy to be in Washington: “I look good in the burgundy and gold. It fits my complexion well.” (John Keim)
  • Leno has also been impressed by DE Chase Young: “The way he reacts he’s just playing ball. That’s one thing you love to see in a young player.” (Keim)
  • Young mentioned he had a hip pointer issue prior to last season. (JP Finlay)
  • Young said he has high expectations for the defense: “On paper we could be the top defense in the league…now we just have got to do it.” (Keim)

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