NFC Notes: Commanders, Cowboys, Packers


Commanders DT Daron Payne was asked about several things during his press conference including his contract and QB Carson Wentz.

“I’m playing, playing hard, I love playing football,” Payne said, via “That is what I am doing. I get a chance to go out here and show my stuff. That’s what I do every day. I’m always looking to improve my game. Get bigger, faster, stronger, and get more in shape. I want to rush the passer. I want to stop the run, improve in everything, trying to piece together my pass-rush game. I feel like I am doing a good job. It is always a learning process; always things you can get better at.”

“I’m here for the football,” Payne said annoyed when asked about his contract. “You get the contract for playing football, sir.”

“He’s a good quarterback,” Payne said of Wentz. “He’s slinging the pill around. I’m excited to have him on my team.”


Cowboys owner Jerry Jones dabbled in some poker this offseason to try and keep DC Dan Quinn, who was one of the hotter head coaching candidates. It led to a little extra speculation about the job status of HC Mike McCarthy thanks to Jones being vague on where he stood, but in the end both stayed in Dallas for 2022. 

“I very much early wanted the NFL to wonder if Dan Quinn would be my head coach,” Jones said via the Athletic’s Jon Machota. “I wanted to deter somebody else from getting him because I wanted him to be our coordinator. I was playing poker. I wanted people to think they might be up against a tougher negotiation.”

Asked if that was fair to Quinn, Jones responded, “He did excellent on the deal, let’s put it like that.”

  • Jones talked up Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott as someone he wants to see as the focal point of the offense while adding there should be room for touches for RB Tony Pollard: “[He] has to be our featured (back). And he is our featured (back). We can feature him in a lot of different ways. It’s critical that we make Zeke really the focus of what we’re doing. Now, there is (also) plenty of room for (Tony) Pollard.” (Jon Machota)
  • Cowboys S Malik Hooker also drew praise from Jones: “He really gives me a lot of hope for this team. I think he may be kind of the story of the team. … He’s got a chance to be one of the more dominant players over there. … I think he’s got a chance to really show up.” (Machota)
  • The lovefest continued with first-round OL Tyler Smith: “I’m liking everything that I’m seeing. …I’ve seen him have the instincts to pick it up when they’re playing games on him. He’s doing it naturally. …He’s just so strong, and he’s really so gifted in terms of smart on picking it up.” (Michael Gehlken)


Packers first-round WR Christian Watson explained that he opted to undergo minor knee surgery after OTAs due to some discomfort he was dealing with. 

“It was something that started bothering me during OTAs,” Watson said, via “Definitely a relief. It wasn’t anything major, really just something that, talking with my agent and the training staff, just something more beneficial to get taking care of, in the long term and the short term. I’m definitely feeling better and better each day.”

“I’m happy with the decision that we made,” Watson added. “Just so it wasn’t something I’d had to worry about, something that wasn’t lingering, something that wasn’t stopping me from performing at the level I want to play at.”

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