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NFC East notebook: DeMarcus Lawrence on Jalen Hurts, Ron Rivera fires off on media, more

It’s been a busy week in the NFC East

Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Welcome back everyone to this week’s edition of the NFC East notebook. The NFC East continues as a whole to impress. Still, there was a lot of player and coach interaction with the media that made this a story-driven week.

Dallas Cowboys

It’s a big week on Sunday Night Football as the 4-1 Cowboys take on the 5-0 Eagles. The Cowboys are facing arguably the hottest team in football and facing one of the hottest offenses led by quarterback Jalen Hurts. Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence though, isn’t buying into the hype.

“Has he played us?” Lawrence said, per the Dallas Morning News. “All right. All you need to write is he hasn’t played the Cowboys yet, so we don’t know how good he is. ... We ‘dem ‘Boys. Remember that. Don’t worry about it. ... Ya’ll will see it on Sunday.”

Lawrence then doubled down when asked about the Eagles’ offense overall.

“You know, you’re asking me questions like I should be worried about them,” Lawrence said. “Never worried, never scared, never quivering from any situation.

“I just want y’all to understand we’re coming to play, too.”

Lawrence has a history of being vocal when it comes to the Philadelphia Eagles. Lawrence stated how much good it feels to humble previous quarterback Carson Wentz after his record-breaking contract. While Lawrence may have a point that the Eagles have yet to face a defense like the Cowboys, The Eagles have been one of the NFL’s best offenses. This should add yet another level to what should already be a great game.

It looks like this will still be Cooper Rush’s offense for this big divisional matchup. Quarterback Dak Prescott officially started throwing again in practice on a limited basis. While things are moving in the right direction for Prescott, McCarthy seemed pretty set on who will be starting Sunday night.

It makes sense that even as big of a game as this is, to not rush Prescott back against an aggressive Eagles defense. The more realistic target will be for Prescott to return next week, with a more favorable matchup against the Lions and a full week of practice to prepare.

Philadelphia Eagles

Death, taxes, and a Philadelphia Eagle being named NFC player of the week. Five weeks into the season and now the Eagles have five players that have taken home the honor. Rookie kicker Cameron Dicker was named NFC special teams player of the week. Dicker was signed to replace Jake Elliot and now the honor enabled the Eagles to become just the second team in NFL history to win consecutive player of the week awards in each of the first five weeks of the regular season.

The only other team to earn conference honors over the first five weeks was the 1991 Buffalo Bills, who finished 13-3 and lost to Washington in the Super Bowl.

With the Philadelphia Eagles establishing themselves as contenders, it’s no surprise that veterans will view the birds as a team to join to try to push for a Super Bowl. One surprise name that has now publicly stated he is ready to join is wide receiver DeSean Jackson.

Appearing on the I Am Athlete podcast, Jackson revealed that he is not retired and wants to keep playing in the NFL.

Jackson had no shortage of highlight plays during his first stint with the Eagles. The wide receiver hauled in 379 receptions for 6,512 receiving yards and 35 touchdowns from 2008-’13 and had one of the biggest highlight punt returns and the unfortunate expense of the New York Giants.

Unfortunately for Jackson, there does not seem to be much-reported interest in his services. So while Jackson has not officially retired, it seems like a long shot of him having another choice. Regardless, Jackson’s highlight reel will make him one of the most unforgettable players of his era when it’s all said and done.

Washington Commanders

Dan Snyder is yet again in the media cycle and it looks like this is going to keep getting uglier. In an ESPN story, it’s reported that Snyder told an associate he has enough secrets to “blow up” several NFL team owners, as well as the league office and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, a notion reiterated in the story by former Commanders executives and other anonymous sources.

Tensions among league franchise owners could keep Snyder in charge, or at least allow him to bring the house down with him.

There are a few stand-out quotes from the article. Snyder reportedly stated, “The NFL is a Mafia.” And that “All the owners hate each other.”

An anonymous owner reportedly stated, “He’s backed into a corner, he is behaving like a mad dog cornered.”

On top of the multiple legal issues involving workplace toxicity and sexual harassment, one major factor for these owners wanting Dan Snyder out is, of course, their bottom line.

“His gate is the lowest in the league, his revenues are significantly low and trending lower. He is costing his fellow owners significant money.”

With everything going on in ownership, Ron Rivera has long been a steadying presence for a dysfunctional Washington Commanders team. This week though, the coach has found himself consistently in the media’s attention. Initially, Ron Rivera said it was the quarterback position as the reason the other NFC East teams were 4-1 while the Commanders then were sitting at 1-4.

The following day Rivera started to try to clarify the comment a little more.

“My whole point being is when you have a quarterback that’s been around and been around your building for a specific period of time, the players know the guy,” Rivera said, per The Post. “They develop this cohesiveness and this bond. We have a quarterback, he’s been here for his first season, and as he continues to work and develop with our guys and assimilate to what we do, I think we will be progressively better.“

Rivera had since apologized to the team and Carson Wentz for being a distraction. This all came to a boiling point after the Commanders’ Thursday Night Football, after another game in which Wentz struggled. Rivera was asked about the reports of Dan Snyder being the one who wanted Wentz and not Ron Rivera, which prompted a fiery response from the coach before storming out.

“I’m going to speak my mind for a second. Honestly, it’s been hard, it really has. You lose four games in a row, and everybody wants to get you — just get on you. And they’ve played their asses off, they have. They play their asses off for everybody, they come out and they show up, they work hard, all right? They don’t complain, OK? They hear all this stuff, they’ve got to deal with it. I get that, I respect them for that, ‘cause they’re resilient, they come back.

Everybody keeps wanting to say that I didn’t want anything to do with Carson. Well, bulls—. I’m the f—ing guy that pulled out the sheets of paper, that looked at the analytics, that watched the tape in the freakin’ — when we were in Indianapolis (at the NFL Combine).

Well that’s what pisses me off. The young man doesn’t deserve to have that all the time. I’m sorry. I’m done.”

It’s been a rough season both on and off the field for the Washington Commanders and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon, even after a win.

  • See SB Nation’s Hogs Haven for more about the Commanders