NFC Notes: Cowboys, Giants, Washington

     

Cowboys

Cowboys DE Randy Gregory is back on the field after a long road with multiple suspensions for marijuana use. He’s benefited from the league’s softening stance on the use of recreational drugs, which have been one of the tools he’s used to deal with his long battle against anxiety. 

“Any person that knows my situation or knows people dealing with my situation knows this is not a straight line to success,” Gregory said via USA Today’s Jori Epstein. “You’re going to take some detours, you’re going to have some hiccups. I’ve had a lot of those. I’ve been in this same spot before in the past where people are questioning whether or not I could stay on the straight and narrow. My anxiety is going to be something I deal with on a day-to-day basis. It’s not something I can really X out of my life. But I really truly feel like I have all the tools in place, all the resources and most importantly the right mindset to stay available.”

Giants

  • According to NJ.com’s Zack Rosenblatt, league sources familiar with the Giants’ thinking say the team still believes in QB Daniel Jones despite the turnovers and losing record: “They love him. They’re pleased with Daniel internally there. He’s not going anywhere.”
  • SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano outlines the seven big decisions facing the Giants, first of which is the future of GM Dave Gettleman. Despite being seen as a dead man walking, Gettleman is not a lock to be fired and could end up retiring at the age of 69 even if he’s not. 
  • If Gettleman remains, there’s no chance the Giants move on from Jones. Vacchiano adds it’s unlikely New York makes that move unless they somehow end up with the No. 1 pick. 
  • Vacchiano notes finding an elite pass rusher should be New York’s top priority this offseason, though the Giants’ limited projected cap in 2021 means it’s more likely to come through the draft. 
  • Vacchiano doesn’t think a new general manager would bring back DL Leonard Williams but if Gettleman remains in charge he wouldn’t rule it out. 
  • With young players playing on the offensive line like LT Andrew Thomas, RT Matt Peart, G Will Hernandez and G Shane Lemieux, Vacchiano says the Giants are optimistic their line will improve with experience together. 
  • The Browns and Patriots also put in a claim for WR Dante Pettis, who was claimed off waivers from the 49ers by the Giants. (Field Yates)
  • Giants ST coordinator Thomas McGaughey said the hope is Pettis can contribute as a returner: “Dante Pettis is one of the best punt returners in the history of college football. He’s had some success in the past and hopefully once he gets here we’ll find out what he can do.” (Vacchiano)
  • Giants WR Golden Tate returned to the team and HC Joe Judge said they would move forward “business as usual.” (Art Stapleton)

Washington

Despite the trade speculation, Tuesday came and went with QB Dwayne Haskins still on the Washington Football Team. From the outside, a read of Haskins’ future with the team looks bleak, as the 2019 first-round pick was demoted all the way to third-string by a head coach in Ron Rivera who wasn’t with the team when Haskins was picked. However, Rivera continues to say publicly that the end of Haskins’ story in Washington hasn’t been written yet. 

“It’s funny, I benched the guy and it’s like everybody thinks his career is over here in Washington. It’s not. There’s potential, there’s opportunity. The kid has an NFL arm, it’s just a matter of him developing,” Rivera told Rich Eisen via NBC Sports’ JP Finlay.

“Everybody forgets he played 12 games of college football and then last year he really didn’t get into the swing of things until the end of the year,” Rivera added. “I did everything I could to give him 11 weeks as the No. 1 [quarterback].”

  • Asked specifically about his belief level in Haskins, Rivera said it “is probably somewhere in the 70s.”
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