Practice makes perfect, according to the Tree...
That was certainly a good start to a season. The Dallas Cowboys won, on the road, against an NFC East team, who just happen to be the reigning Super Bowl champs. Seriously, it doesn't get much better than that. So, what did some of the key players in the drama have to say after the game. Turn on the quote machine:
Do you see a lot of mental toughness in this team?
I did see it. We talk a lot about demeanor and you play the world champs at their place on the opening night of the NFL season, there are going to be some things that go well for you, but there is going to be some adversity you are going to have to deal with too. We had to deal with adversity in all three phases of our football team. I thought our guys did a really good job maintaining the right demeanor, understanding that it's a 60 minute ball game. They just kept playing. They didn't blink when things didn't go well for us and when things did go well for us we just kept going knowing that team was going to come back. I thought in a lot of ways it was a good night for our football team. I thought they showed mental toughness. I thought our conditioning was outstanding. I thought we got stronger as the game went on and I thought that was a big part of the win.
Our own Tom Ryle had a post about mental toughness earlier this week, looks like the Cowboys have it, at least for one night. They had a lot of things go against them last night, some self-inflicted, but they overcame.
Much more below:
More Jason Garrett:
What are your thoughts on Kevin Ogletree's performance tonight?
Yeah Kevin did a great job. He got some opportunities and he won on some underneath routes. He did a really good job winning on his releases on the slants. He had a number of big plays in the ballgame converting third down situations into first downs. Obviously the one at the end was huge as well. He made the big plays for touchdowns and just had a good feel for playing. I thought he played really comfortably and it really follows what he's been doing all offseason. He came back really determined to show us the kind of player he is and did that all through the offseason and all through training camp. I think this is an extension of that.
The slant play absolutely killed the Giants. Here's what Tom Coughlin said:
We had trouble stopping the slant all night long. It was if we had never seen a slant before. Hilarious!
How good was Cook coming in at center?
Yeah again the adversity issue comes up when your starting center goes down after play three and you bring a guy in who just got here. I thought our team handled that well. First of all, that's the reason he is here. He is a veteran player, he is a smart guy, he has handled the ball a lot in his career so we thought that was an important thing for us and he went in and played like a veteran. I think the guys around him played well and communicated well. It wasn't perfect, but I thought they handled it as well as they could.
Check out Tom's story on Ryan Cook this morning.
Q: Where did Ogletree come from?
A: I forgot where he was born but he’s had a great camp. I know sometimes as journalists and writers you can go off of the games and see the stuff that is happening when someone does certain things but for me I’m going off of the guy in practice every day. The guy who’s consistently getting a good release from press coverage. The guy who is consistently where he needs to be at the right time. The reason he (Ogletree) got that job was because he was doing that day in and day out and it showed tonight his commitment that it took. It’s a hard job going to training camp as a wide receiver especially when your top two guys end up getting hurt because you’re taking every rep. You were taking some before and now you’re taking even more. I talk to him every day and talk to him about that same commitment level that this is important, just as important as yesterday. You have to wake up and reassess in your brain and say "start over right now" and if you keep doing that every day, you stack them all together and that’s what Kevin (Ogletree) has done.
Q: Thoughts on the second quarter goal line stand and what that meant to your team:
A: We always talk about, "whatever happens on offense, whatever happens on defense, we have to have each other’s back." Something happened on the offensive end that didn’t go our way, so it’s like, what are you going to do in this adverse time. We sort of just picked it up on defense; they only got three points instead of the touchdown. I think a couple of series after that the offense was able to go down there and score and get things rolling. To be able to do that is what it’s about.
Q: Thoughts on your performance tonight:
A: It was a good win, a great way to start off the season. Great payoff for a very strong training camp, which I thought we had, and building that continuity as an offense, defense, special teams. Everyone kicked in today and it was very fulfilling.
Q: How did you manage to be Romo’s escape route every time he got in trouble?
A: Just doing what we practice. Trying every down, every opportunity I get, to be reliable, be accountable, be where I’m supposed to be, and make that play for my team.
Q: Thoughts on your chemistry with Tony Romo?
A: Trust doesn’t come with one game, or one play, but we’re going to continue to work and hopefully that relationship continues.
Hopefully so, then we can cross that 3rd-WR thing off the list.