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Commanders owner Josh Harris plans to evaluate Ron Rivera after season, barring unforeseen circumstances

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When Commanders owner Josh Harris officially took over the franchise in July, he made no sweeping changes, choosing to take the year to thoroughly evaluate the team he had purchased.

The planned patience includes the job status of coach Ron Rivera and the rest of those currently in charge in Washington, along with those in the front office. Sources say the goal has been to take the entire season.

Harris and the team's brass still anticipate evaluating Rivera's body of work after the final game of the regular season (if the Commanders don't make the playoffs) as they enter a crucial offseason.

Yet the Commanders head into today's Thanksgiving Day game against the Cowboys reeling from a defeat that Rivera admitted was "a low point for sure." That brutal loss to the Giants, a team that started undrafted rookie quarterback Tommy DeVito, has stung.

What's unclear for the team going into Thursday's game is if last week's crushing loss to the Giants, coupled with a blowout loss to the Cowboys (if that were to happen today) would change the plans.

History has shown that an ugly nationally televised outcome can trigger movement -- even if the hope going in was just the opposite.

Rivera is among the most respected coaches in the NFL, sporting a 102-97-2 career record, with the last 26 victories coming with the organization he took to the playoffs in 2020.

The organization stood behind him when he beat cancer, and Rivera stood up front fielding endless questions from the media amid multiple off-the-field investigations into the franchise during Dan Snyder's ownership (Snyder sold the team during the offseason).

Rivera has also forged a strong relationship with Harris. The two have a mutual respect, and they have engaged in lengthy football conversations. Making a move during the season is not the team's desire.

After the season, it will be up for evaluation.

And regardless of if there is a change, there is a lot to like looking toward 2024. Ownership remains optimistic long term, specifically with the expected nearly $90 million salary-cap space, significant draft capital thanks to the Oct. 31 trades of Montez Sweat and Chase Young and a well-resourced ownership group.

The goal would be for the Commanders to show some progress the rest of the season, to prove they are going in the right direction, and a strong showing today would help.

Harris also knows, sources point out, that rarely does a coaching change trigger any sort of stabilization of a situation. Sometimes after an initial bounce, the team can descend into much worse territory that would not help anyone.

All the more reason why the hope is for status quo until Week 18, if the on-field product allows.

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