The reported rift between Giants head coach Brian Daboll and defensive coordinator Wink Martindale has gotten weird. After recent reports of tension between the two coaches and rumors that both the team’s coordinators are in danger of losing their jobs, New York elected to deny, deny, deny. And then deflect, deflect, deflect.
The day of our initial report, a New York Post contribution by Mark Cannizzaro relayed multiple accounts from players and staff pushing back on the idea of a rift. Daboll himself expressed his “respect” for Martindale to the media last week telling them, “I’d say the biggest argument that Wink and I have had is who has the last piece of pizza.”
Daboll is known for running a bit of a closed-door operation intent on eliminating outside distractions, so taking his statements at face value is difficult to do. Especially when the following day, Pat Leonard of New York Daily News provided a description of a press conference in which general manager Joe Schoen and Daboll failed in their attempts to play it cool.
For the second straight day, Daboll made a joke about him and Martindale being avid eaters, saying, “I just met with Wink a little while ago. We had donuts.” This was followed by Schoen repeatedly deflecting questions about Martindale’s future with the team to Daboll, claiming that Daboll had already discussed these things with the media, which he hadn’t.
It seems like opinion for now, but those in the room seem to firmly believe in the supposed rift between Daboll and Martindale. The Giants’ attempts to get the media looking in the opposite direction don’t seem to be effective.
Here are a few other rumors from the NFC East:
- Our own Adam La Rose recently provided a strong breakdown of the potential extension situation for Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. In it, La Rose relayed the team’s plan to wait until the offseason to solidify a new deal for their two-time Pro Bowler. Well, today, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network provided a bit more detail on the situation, cluing us in to a potential deadline for an extended contract. Rapoport speculates that, since Prescott is due a $5MM roster bonus on the fifth day of the new league year, if an extension is going to happen, it’s going to be before then. The 2024 League Year is set to start on March 13, giving the team until March 17 to get a deal done.
- A few weeks into the season last year, we saw Cowboys cornerback Jourdan Lewis undergo season-ending surgery for a Lisfranc injury. At the time, we questioned what the injury meant for Lewis’s future as he was set to enter a contract year and an injury plus the breakout of then fifth-round rookie DaRon Bland could threaten his job security. Apparently, we should have been worried about his future for a different reason as Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News told us recently that Lewis’s injury had the potential to threaten his football career. The team’s director of rehabilitation, Britt Brown, told Gehlken that “a lot of guys…wouldn’t have come back from that.” Brown continued, “When that initially happened, his career was immediately in jeopardy.” Lewis, though, fought to return and has played in every game past Week 1 for the Cowboys this year, displaying impressive resiliency in the face of dour odds.
- The Commanders had to turn to some new leaders on the defensive side of the ball this week after firing Jack Del Rio a little over a week ago. Cristian Garcia, who was recently tabbed as the team’s interim defensive backs coach, is reportedly whom head coach Ron Rivera will rely on, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The 29-year-old assistant coach was asked this week to “handle a larger role in game planning and on gameday.” While it’s surely an exciting challenge for Garcia, facing the Dolphins in his first week with increased responsibilities was certainly a daunting task.