NFC Notes: Cowboys, Falcons, Washington


Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy said he is “encouraged” by OLB Leighton Vander Esch‘s recovery from a broken collarbone and is on track to play in Monday night’s game against the Cardinals. 

“I’m definitely encouraged,” McCarthy said, via Todd Archer. “Everything points forward … All arrows are pointing up right now.” 

  • Calvin Watkins reports that the Cowboys tried to sign QB David Blough off the Lions’ practice squad, but Detroit opted to promote him on Saturday.
  • According to Watkins, Blough wanted to return to his home state of Texas. 


Falcons QB Matt Ryan believes their offense has not been able to score the way they are accustomed for the last two weeks after losing to the Packers 35-16 in Week 4 and Panthers 23-16 in Week 5. 

We haven’t scored the way we need to score the last two weeks,” Ryan said. “That’s what we’ve got to fix. I think we had eight possessions last week. We scored on four of them, but you have to turn those into touchdowns. You have to quit coming away with three points when we’re down there low and quit turning the football down in the red zone.”

Ryan still feels that the Falcons will be “just fine” once they are able to correct the mistakes they’ve been making. 

“If we clean those things up, we’re going to be just fine, but we really just need to make a play or two when we get our chances whether it be first down, second down or third down in those red areas. When we get our chances to attack, we’ve got to nail it.”

Falcons OC Dirk Koetter said everyone around the organization feels a “sense of responsibility” in former HC Dan Quinn getting fired. 

“Everybody here is hurting for (Quinn) because we all had a part in that,” Koetter said. “We all had a sense of responsibility. It’s been a difficult week but none of our opponents care about that. That’s the business side of the NFL. You still have to be prepared and be ready on Sunday to play our best.”

Falcons interim HC Raheem Morris said they want to “change it up” offensively and has spoken to Koetter on plans going forward. 

“We want to do some different things that are going to change it up, shake this thing up,” Morris said. “Let’s get our players on the field and get them to do what they do best. My conversations with Dirk are in-line. I have a lot of confidence in Dirk. I know exactly who he is. I’ve worked with him for eight games. I played against him for a bunch more than that going way back to Jacksonville. So, my respect for Dirk and who he can be and what he’s going to be in these upcoming weeks is really high.”


  • Nicki Jhabvala reports that Washington continues the process of  “evaluating” the possibility of allowing a limited amount of fans into FedEx Field.
  • Washington promoted TE Temarrick Hemingway to their active roster. (NFLTR)

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