NFC Notes: Dak Prescott, Cowboys, Eagles, Giants, Saquon Barkley

Cowboys

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott took the blame for the team’s loss and acknowledged that his two first-half interceptions were certainly a setback for Dallas.

“Yeah, just disappointed,” Prescott said, via NFL.com. “Guys that played their asses off. Defense, who gave us an opportunity to win this game, who played hard against a really, really good offense, a really good team. And for us to only put up the points that we did, that’s unacceptable, and it starts with me. I’ve got to be better. No other way to sugarcoat it.”

Prescott went into more detail on the two turnovers. 

“The first one, I guess just hitched one too many times to get (Michael Gallup),” Prescott continued. “Understandably, hitching three times, thought I was gonna go on a scramble, and the guy just came back to the ball, made a play. I’ve got to throw that one away or use my feet to get out of the pocket. Then on the second one, nickel [cornerback] squeezed. Yeah, tried to throw it low to CeeDee (Lamb), but he was able to make a play on it. Tip it up in the air and tip it to the Mike (linebacker). Just two throws that I can’t have. You can’t have it in the playoffs. You can’t have it when you’re trying to beat a team like that. You can’t have it on the road. And yeah, no excuses for that. Those two were 100 percent on me.”

Bottom line, Prescott made it clear that he understands he cannot continue to turn the ball over at the rate he has if Dallas is to have the success the organization craves. 

“Yeah, it’s very frustrating. Something I’ve got to get in the offseason,” Prescott added. “Take a look at all of them. As I’ve said before, they all have their own story. But two tonight. Unacceptable. Can’t put the ball in jeopardy like that. Whether they’re tipped up in tight throws or I’m late on a stop route, just can’t happen. The number that it has gotten to is ridiculous. I can promise that the number will never be this again. I can promise that.”

  • Cowboys RB Tony Pollard will undergo surgery on Tuesday after he suffered a high ankle sprain and fractured fibula against the 49ers. Pollard is hoping to be ready by the time training camp rolls around. (David Moore)

Eagles

This coming weekend’s conference championship games will feature two MVP candidates at quarterback who both are battling through injuries. Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes picked up a high ankle sprain in the divisional round win against the Jaguars, while Eagles QB Jalen Hurts has been battling through a shoulder injury for weeks. Mahomes had to be forced to come out of the game and has already said he’s playing no matter what, which is something Hurts can relate to. 

“I think when you want something, you don’t want to be denied of that,” he said via NBC Sports’ Peter King. “You know? Going back to that Chicago game, when I got the shoulder [injury], I was grimacing. Tears. Tears that couldn’t come out because it was so cold. It was very painful. It was very bad. I knew it was bad. It was bad. Being able to overcome that challenge in that game, come back to win, coming back to win the number one seed. Those are things as a competitor you just have to challenge yourself to overcome.”

Giants

Giants RB Saquon Barkley gave an update on his thoughts following the team’s playoff loss and where he stands going forward. Barkley also said he isn’t looking to reset the running back market with a payday this offseason.

“I’m not really too concerned about resetting any [running back] markets or anything like that,” Barkley told ESPN. “I’m realistic. I know what I was on pace to do. But having two years filled up with injuries and having a season not performing to the level I know I can perform doesn’t help. But I think I was able to show the type of caliber a player I am, the things I am able to do on a football field. That is something I wanted to do. That was my goal. I was able to accomplish that.”

“As I said, I couldn’t imagine that being the last time being in a Giants uniform,” Barkley added. “But that is the nature of the business. I can’t control any of that. It comes with it. I’ve been vocal about how I feel. I’m excited about the future no matter what happens.”

  • According to the Athletic’s Dan Duggan, the Giants’ offer to Barkley during the bye week was in the same range as Browns RB Nick Chubb‘s deal, which was three years and $36 million. 
  • The top of the running back market is currently held by 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey, who signed a deal worth $16 million a year with the Panthers in 2020. 
  • Duggan adds another league source pegged the number for S Julian Love at about $5 million per year on a new deal. Love is set to be a free agent this offseason. 
  • Duggan mentions that while DL Leonard Williams brought up the possibility of taking a pay cut, nothing about how Williams and his agents have operated in recent seasons suggests that should be a serious consideration. An extension would be more likely.
  • Giants GM Joe Schoen on Barkley: “We would like to have Saquon back … if it works out.” (Ralph Vacchiano)
  • Schoen spoke with Barkley’s agents at the bye week about a new deal: “We weren’t really that close. We had productive conversations. We were off on the value.” (Vacchiano)

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