NFC Notes: Mike McCarthy, Cowboys, Giants, Washington


Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy had one of his worst seasons as a coach in 2020, as Dallas languished to a 6-10 record in his first season. Losing a top quarterback like Dak Prescott after just a few games was a stroke of bad luck, but McCarthy didn’t use that to absolve himself of all blame. He re-examined a lot of things about his coaching approach this past offseason with the goal of refining things coming into 202. 

“The reflection has really helped,” McCarthy said via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “It made me really go back to the basics. Most of the reflection was really confirmation that we did things the right way in my last stop—just don’t get too far away from it. I felt like at the end there, we had some things change in the dynamics of our football ops, and I was affected by it. This is a totally different organization, the setup is totally different, but just stay true to what you’ve done, how you’ve done it.

“I’ve done this a long time, got a lot of experience, everybody has the way they want to do it. And it really just brought me back to a center of sticking to my beliefs. You really gotta utilize the resources around you and play to those strengths. I think I got away from that some at the end [in Green Bay].”

There’s been some speculation that McCarthy could be on the hot seat with another bad season. But Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones, like his dad and team owner Jerry Jones, has publicly exuded nothing but confidence in him. 

“Mike did a great job of hanging in there and we were relevant all the way till the end,” Jones said. “It was tough, but I see what made Mike a championship-caliber coach—he’s got great communication skills, the players trust him, he likes to take care of his players, he’s a pro’s coach. And you just see his experience, and what he’s about.”


  •’s Zack Rosenblatt expects Giants TE Kyle Rudolph to come off the PUP list at some point this week and to play a major role for New York as a Jason Witten-type player. 
  • In an effort to facilitate a trade, Rosenblatt thinks the Giants could keep K Ryan Santoso on the initial 53-man roster. 
  • While the Giants continue to handle first-round WR Kadarius Toney with kid loves, a source close to the rookie tells Rosenblatt they’re confident he’ll see action this year: “The coaches are doing well with him. He’s going to be needed for the season. He’s doing better.”
  • Rosenblatt predicts the Giants will keep two fullbacks. with Elijhaa Penny a roster lock, per him, and Cullen Gillaspia a key special teamer. 
  • Rosenblatt writes Giants CB Sam Beal has been on better behavior but has not played well. Still, the Giants could look to keep him on the practice squad. 


Washington HC Ron Rivera said S Landon Collins has seamlessly fit back into practice. Collins is coming back from a torn Achilles that ended his 2020 season.

“He’s done a great job from the beginning, he really has. That’s just one of many plays he’s made so far. He’s done a nice job in terms of his return. I love the way he’s handling things, the way he’s working within the scheme, working with his teammates, developing that rapport that you need, and getting back on the field. He’s done a very, very good job with that,” Rivera said via the Athletic’s Nicki Jhabvala.

  • Jhabvala reports Washington ST coordinator Nate Kaczor tested positive for COVID-19.

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