NFC Notes: Cowboys, Eagles, Washington


Cowboys DC Dan Quinn believes LB Leighton Vander Esch has stood out in practice.

“I’ve been really impressed, not just from the OTA time,” Quinn said, via “Every once and a while you can just see a person that’s on a mission, and I think that’s what I’ve seen from Leighton from the time I arrived. You could just feel the energy and intensity that he’s putting into his workouts to change his body, to get as strong as he could. From then on, the questions, in the meetings, you could feel the urgency to go.

“I guess, just a quick story for him: the tackling. ‘Hey, I want to improve on this spot.’ The work that we did and the techniques to do it. It’s been so impressive to see him find little things to work on over and over again to complete his game. He’s been very impressive to me so far.”


Eagles OG Brandon Brooks believes he can fully recover from last year’s Achilles injury.

“The biggest thing everybody’s forgetting is: I tore my Achilles before, and when I came back, I was the best. Period,” Brooks said, via Zach Berman of The Athletic. “What tells you it will be any different this time?”

Brooks also admitted that the team considered trading him, but he restructured his contract to stay with Philadelphia.

“We can just get that out there,” Brooks said. “Something happened, right? How do I feel about it? This is a business, man. The second you lose sight this is a business is the second it gets to you. For me, I get it, right? I’m an older guy, I was coming off an injury, we were cap-strapped, making a lot of money. Like, I get it. It didn’t hurt my feelings. … The only thing I wish about that, actually, was instead of hearing it from my mom — my mom being like, where are we going? — it would be nice to get a phone call (saying) this is what’s going on. Other than that, it’s a business, I would never lose sight of this. If something happened, the thing I would miss is the fans and the city.”

Offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland mentioned Brooks looks great in practice thus far.

“I mean, it’s unbelievable,” Stoutland said. “I did not know what to expect, I’ll be honest with you. … He came in blazing off the ball. Now I know it’s no pads on, but he was striking the bag now. The young fellas that were holding that bag, they felt him.”


  • NBC Sports’ JP Finlay says that although Washington QB Taylor Heinicke flashed during OTAs, it would be surprising if he were to beat out Ryan Fitzpatrick for the starting job. 
  • Finlay adds that although he’s firmly the No. 3 guy at this point, Washington QB Kyle Allen is still pretty close to a roster lock. 
  • While undrafted RB Jaret Patterson has impressed, Finlay notes it could be hard to find room on the final roster for four running backs if Washington keeps Peyton Barber as the No. 3. 
  • Finlay also sees an absolute brawl of a training camp battle coming for the final one or two receiver spots between Kelvin Harmon, Antonio Gandy-Golden, Steven Sims and seventh-round rookie Dax Milne
  • Finlay mentions there’s a good chance Washington S Landon Collins starts training camp on the PUP list as he works back from a torn Achilles. 
  • Washington worked out RB Craig Reynolds on Monday. (Aaron Wilson)

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