NFC Notes: Cowboys, Giants, Washington


With the Cowboys selecting mainly defensive players in the draft, DC Dan Quinn laughed when asked if 2021 was a “Dan Quinn draft” for Dallas.

“No, it’s a Dallas Cowboys draft,” Quinn said, via Jon Machota of The Athletic. “I was glad with the process, but I still would have been happy if we came in here and had eight offensive players and three guys (on defense). I was happy with the process. It’s just how the board fell.”

Quinn says that the main plan was to ensure that the Cowboys had versatile pieces on both offense and defense who were capable of competing in today’s league.

“I think when you assess everything, you want to make sure from an entire package that you’re versatile enough defensively to have different packages, and also for the different styles of offenses that you play,” Quinn said. “Just think of our league today, to some who are wide open and spreading it out, to some who will pack it in and run some option stuff, the Baltimores. So you want to have enough different players that you’re versatile enough to adapt to any offensive scheme. Some are going to play in three-wide-receiver sets. Some are going to play in two-tight-end sets. Whatever size, style team you’re playing against, you want to be versatile enough to be able to say, ‘All right, this is how we’re going to match up and get it on.’”

  • Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones said despite declining LB Leighton Vander Esch‘s fifth-year option, the team wants to sign him to an extension: “Our intention is to keep Leighton around for the next four, five years.” (Michael Gehlken)


  • Giants GM Dave Gettleman said this is going to be a big year for third-year QB Daniel Jones: “This is the year that Daniel should really make a major stride. … The work he has put in, not only on the field but off the field, we’re looking forward to seeing him thrive.” (Art Stapleton)
  • Gettleman also defended the team’s offensive line and said they didn’t want to reach for a lineman: “If the value’s not there, you can’t force a pick.” (Stapleton)
  • Gettleman wouldn’t confirm that the team wanted to draft Eagles WR DeVonta Smith, but he said the offer from the Bears to trade back from pick No. 11 was too good to pass up: “It was just an unbelievable offer.” (Zack Rosenblatt)
  • Gettleman said the team is not concerned about second-round OLB Azeez Ojulari‘s reported knee injuries: “I don’t know where the knee thing comes from. That’s beyond me.” (Rosenblatt)
  • When asked about a potential trade for Packers QB Aaron Rodgers or Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, Gettleman said he doesn’t want to talk about hypotheticals, but he does due diligence on everyone: “You explore everything.” (Pat Leonard)


Washington HC Ron Rivera mentioned that they considered trading up for a quarterback, but ultimately felt better off keeping the picks.

“It was a big conversation we had, talking about the quarterback position, talking about the young men that we really liked a lot, but we also talked about an opportunity to solidify some other things, and if we dealt too much draft capital, we’d lose that opportunity,” Rivera said, via “We just thought, maybe if we slip to the right number, we could go ahead and do it. So there was a conversation. But we really felt strongly about just holding and just trying to fill the rest of the needs.”

Rivera also said they are excited about No. 19 overall pick LB Jamin Davis.

“The nice thing about what we got, is we got a young man that can run,” Rivera said. “He can play football. He’s got position flex, there’s a couple spots that he could play for us. If something were to happen, he could also play the third spot. So we just like who he is.”

  • According to the Athletic’s Ben Standig, even though Rivera wants competition at the quarterback position, Ryan Fitzpatrick is the “overwhelming favorite.”
  • Standig doesn’t think RB Peyton Barber is a lock to make the roster.
  • Standig mentions that the “expectations” are for Washington and DL Jonathan Allen to engage in contract extension negotiations now that the draft is over.
  • ESPN’s John Keim reports even though Washington needs a free safety, free agent Tre Boston isn’t an option for now.
  • According to Neil Stratton, area scout Matt Evans is leaving the team to look for another opportunity.

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