The Dallas Cowboys and Eagles are expected to battle it out next season for the NFC East crown. The rest of the division is tough to predict. The Giants overachieved in 2022 and could be headed for regression, while the Commanders have the same talented core in place but once again have major questions at quarterback.
Incredibly, though, Washington is content staying mediocre at the position. Rather than sanction an all-out assault for Lamar Jackson, the NFC East bottom-feeders are happy with Jacoby Brissett and Sam Howell as its QBs.
In case you haven’t heard, the Commanders released Carson Wentz and Taylor Heinicke returned home to play with Atlanta as a free agent.
It’s not like Washington has any further financial commitments to Wentz. They have ample cap space and draft capital — more than enough to lure Jackson, a former unanimous MVP, from Baltimore to Landover.
Ron Rivera has already stated the team is out on Jackson, and general manager Martin Mayhew echoed that sentiment Monday at the owner’s meetings, saying Washington is moving forward with Howell and Brissett.
This is all music to the ears of Micah Parsons.
Cowboys star Micah Parsons can’t believe the Commanders aren’t pursuing Lamar Jackson
A former first-round pick of the Cowboys who spent eight of his nine NFL seasons in Dallas, Marcus Spears still roots hard for his former club.
At this point, though, he wants the league to do right by Jackson, and the Commanders rolling with an unproven second-year quarterback in Howell and a vet journeyman in Brissett as its two gunslingers is franchise malpractice.
Parsons, meanwhile, speaks for all of Cowboys Nation in wanting Jackson nowhere near the NFC East. If it were up to Parsons, Jackson would stay in the AFC. Forget playing Jackson twice a year in-division. Avoiding him altogether in the playoffs until the Super Bowl would go down as a win for the Cowboys.
For whatever reason, Washington believes it has its franchise QB in Howell. Get a load of what Rivera had to say about why the team isn’t pursuing Jackson, but do so without chuckling if you can.
"“We think Sam is going to be a good football player. We really do,” Rivera said. “We were fortunate he fell to the fifth round because it was perceived to be a poor draft class. I don’t think it’s as a wild shot as people think it is.”“Part of it is watching a young man like Brock Purdy have the season that he had last year and you’d like to think, ‘Wow, we have a player that has the same type of ability and skill set.’"
Brock Purdy? 2022’s Mr. Irrelevant who became the fifth rookie quarterback ever to start a conference championship game? The Commanders are hoping to replicate that needle in a haystack with Howell instead of trading a few draft picks and paying Jackson a reasonable salary?
From where we and maybe 25 other fan bases are standing, trust us when we say taking Howell over Lamar is as wild as it sounds, Ron.
Parsons and Cowboys Nation thanks you for your service.