NFC Notes: Ron Rivera, Commanders, Cowboys, Giants


Commanders HC Ron Rivera has no illusions about his standing with the organization. He’ll be going into his fourth season with the team and likely answering to new owners sometime soon. If Washington doesn’t show progress, which probably means a playoff berth, Rivera knows his job will be on the line. 

“There will be a discussion about what happened over the last three years,” Rivera said via the Athletic’s Ben Standig. “I’ll be honest. I’ll be upfront. Tell the truth. I’ll talk about the vision … and what I think will happen. … The owner has got to be able to believe in what I’m talking about. Hopefully, I can do that. And if not, I’ll be gone in a year.”

However, Rivera said his goal is to avoid sinking into desperation to save his job. 

“I’m not going to be desperate,” Rivera said. “If you’re desperate, the players are going to feel it. … Don’t play for me. Play for the team. That’s going to be my message. I will appreciate the opportunity and try to take advantage of it.”


  • Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy felt it was a no-brainer to acquire CB Stephon Gilmore and WR Brandin Cooks this offseason and it was only a matter of the trade compensation: “Frankly, it was more about if we could get it done from a business perspective,” per Jon Machota
  • Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones on releasing Ezekiel Elliott instead of offering a pay cut: “The last thing you want to do is anything that would be insulting to a great player like Zeke, who is one of the best players to ever put on a Cowboys uniform. He gave us everything he had. Great competitor. Wish him nothing but the best if it turns out that he doesn’t return. We never rule anything out around here. There are sensitivities when you get into making offers in this game.” (Machota)
  • McCarthy said they are considering lining up OT Terence Steele at guard: “We’re talking about it.” (Machota)
  • Ensuring they have strong pass protection for QB Dak Prescott is a priority, and the Cowboys believe OT Tyron Smith is better in that area of the game than Steele. Right now Dallas envisions Steele as a backup swing tackle and is mulling cross-training him at guard. (David Moore)
  • The Cowboys hosted Purdue QB Aidan O’Connell for a private workout on Tuesday, according to Tom Pelissero. 
  • Stephen F. Austin WR Xavier Gipson will attend the Cowboys’ local pro day. (Tony Pauline)
  • Southern Mississippi CB Eric Scott met with the Cowboys at his pro day. (Pauline)
  • Oklahoma State DL Tyler Lacy has a top-30 visit scheduled with the Cowboys. (Justin Melo)
  • Dallas had a private workout and lunch with Tulane RB Tyjae Spears. (Ryan Fowler)
  • Mississippi RB Zach Evans has multiple upcoming visits including with the Cowboys and Panthers. (Aaron Wilson)
  • TCU OL Steve Avila has top-30 visits set up with the Cardinals, Commanders, Cowboys, Lions, and Steelers. (Ryan Roberts)
  • Mississippi State DB Emmanuel Forbes has visits scheduled with the Cowboys, Eagles, Lions, Patriots, Steelers, Titans, and Vikings. (Jon Sokoloff)
  • The Cowboys would still like to re-sign DL Carlos Watkins even after they re-signed DL Johnathan Hankins. (Jon Machota)
  • Hankins signed a veteran salary benefit contract. He receives a $1.165M salary with a $152,500 bonus. (Michael Gehlken)
  • LSU DT Jaquelin Roy has a top 30 visit scheduled with the Cowboys. (Mike Garafolo)
  • Oklahoma TE Brayden Willis had a top 30 visit with the Cowboys. (Justin Melo)


  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler mentions other teams are keeping an eye on the Giants and RB Saquon Barkley after the team pulled their extension offer off the table after giving Barkley the franchise tag. 
  • ESPN’s Jordan Raanan reports Giants GM Joe Schoen and HC Brian Daboll met with TCU WR Quentin Johnston over dinner prior to his Pro Day on Thursday. 
  • South Carolina CB Cam Smith will have a Top-30 visit with the Giants. (Art Stapleton)
  • Cincinnati WR Tyler Scott had a formal meeting with the Giants at the NFL Combine. (Justin Melo)

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