HomeFootball DirtDak Prescott, Ron Rivera, Commanders, Cowboys, Eagles: Key NFC Notes

Dak Prescott, Ron Rivera, Commanders, Cowboys, Eagles: Key NFC Notes

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Commanders

Regarding the Commanders parting ways with former DC Jack Del Rio, HC Ron Rivera said they intend on only doing things they “feel really good about” going forward. 

“We had a chance to visit with the players, went through some things…What went into my decision-making and just basically the biggest thing I told them was it was on us. Now, we’re going to do the things that we feel really good about. We want to make sure the things that we’re doing give you guys the best opportunity to be successful,” Rivera said, via CommandersWire. 

Rivera is now focusing on the defensive side and position coaches are also stepping up. 

“So just being focused with the defensive guys, it’s been great too because we’ve kind of given different responsibilities to the defensive coaches. I think they’ve handled those things very well,” Rivera said. 

Rivera is assuming play-calling duties and is confident they’ll be able to adjust. 

“We’ll get used to it…One of the things that we will do is we’ll communicate, and we’ll talk, and we will always give ourselves the opportunity to get together and discuss as we get into each series.”

  • Rivera expects CB Emmanuel Forbes (elbow) to return at some point this season: “Oh yeah. He’s gotten better. We had a custom brace for him, he’s been getting his treatment. … Now it’s just a matter of time. If we played next week (they have a bye), I believe he would play,” per Nicki Jhabvala. 

Cowboys

  • Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones said he expects free-agent LB Shaquille Leonard‘s decision sometime after the Eagles play in Week 13. Leonard is currently deciding between Dallas and Philadelphia as his next team: “I don’t know. They said they’re going to get back with us this weekend, probably after Philadelphia plays is my guess. But we had a great visit, and that’s pretty much the way we left it,” per Calvin Watkins. 
  • Cowboys QB Dak Prescott isn’t putting any stock in recent praise after receiving a lot of criticism earlier this season. “I understand nobody’s opinion defines me. …I don’t care about their opinions now any more than I did when they were calling for my spot,” per Michael Gehlken.
  • Jones praised Prescott’s leadership around the entire organization: “We’ve never had a better leader. … Dak Prescott is the best pied piper for everybody. I’m not just talking about the team, I’m talking about the coaches. He is the pied piper of the team,” per Jon Machota. 

Eagles

Eagles DB Reed Blankenship played 116 snaps against the Bills. He said that he’s up for the challenge and is willing to do whatever the team asks of him.

It’s a lot of snaps, but if my name is called upon, whatever it is, however many snaps, I’m up for it,” Blankenship said, via PFT. “I know they trust me as a player and as a person. It doesn’t matter what I’m asked to do. I love the game so much, I’m up for anything.

Blankenship also played 21 snaps on special teams in addition to 95 on defense.

I can’t speak enough great things about Reed Blankenship,” special teams coach Michael Clay said. “Going into the game, we weren’t anticipating him playing all those special teams plays, but talking to him on Saturday night, saying, ‘Hey, you may have to play these,’ he didn’t bat an eye. Ready to go. That just shows the determination that Reed Blankenship has. It shows the level of endurance he has to play at such a high level, not just on defense but also on punt and on kickoff. He’s our captain of our punt team. It’s just something that you’re in awe of as a coach.

  • Recently retired WR DeSean Jackson sees some similarities of himself in DeVonta Smith, who he considers among the top receivers in the NFL: “He might be a little taller than me, but the stature and frame is kind of the same. But the way he goes up and catches the football, I definitely see the similarities in him. He’s one of the top receivers in the league. Special player. I love watching him play,” per Josh Tolentino. 

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