NFC Notes: Cowboys, Panthers, Joe Brady, Matt Rhule, Vikings


Cowboys first-round LB Micah Parsons said he used their bye week to put extra work on his game and study opponents. 

I didn’t think I had to change something. I had to find something all by myself,” Parsons said via Todd Archer of ESPN. “That’s something I had to do on my own. Nobody forced me to do it. I had to go do it because I challenge myself every week to go out there and be great and find a way to impact the game, whether that’s at end or linebacker. And I feel like it shouldn’t matter where I’m at. I’ve got to find a way to make the money, you know what I mean? And help my team win. So I’m hungry within myself to be great.”


Panthers CB Stephon Gilmore has made it clear he didn’t agree with how the Patriots handled his rehab from a torn quad that ended his 2020 season. Right before New England traded him, he said he was put through a workout regimen where he sprinted 3,000 yards in three days. Gilmore is a former All-Pro and DPOY, so he’s not averse to working hard. Their rehab program seemed excessive to him, though. 

“When you return to play, you want to rehab back to return to play. But I felt like they were doing more workouts than rehab, more working out like someone (who) was 100 percent healthy and in the offseason program. But I was rehabbing, coming back from surgery. So that’s different. I think you should take steps to come back and play,” he said via the Athletic’s Joe Person. “It was just making me do all types of running and lifting way more than I was supposed to. I’m just happy everything — I feel like God puts you in position to be in a better place. They handled it right here, and I’m on the right track. I feel good — better and better every week. And I feel more confident.”

  • Joe Person of The Athletic writes that Matt Rhule will be the next one to go in Carolina if he can’t get things turned around for the Panthers.
  • Rhule made the decision to fire OC Joe Brady on Sunday, but Person says it’s clear “the clock is ticking on Rhule, and loudly.
  • Regarding Brady, Person mentions that there were personnel mistakes out of his control. However, he seemed overmatched during games due in part to his inability to make effective halftime adjustments and poor game management.
  • Person notes that the Panthers were 28th in both total offense and passing offense entering Sunday.


  • Vikings’ HC Mike Zimmer on the state of the team after their loss to the Lions: “Obviously, our backs are to the wall. But they have been against the wall for a while.” (Chris Tomasson)
  • Zimmer did say that WR Adam Thielen has a sprained ankle and wasn’t able to continue playing against Detroit. (Tomasson)
  • Zimmer wished the team would have pressured Lions’ QB Jared Goff more on the game’s final drive: “We weren’t covering that great, so everything’s hindsight, I guess.”  (Ben Goessling)

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