As the Cowboys prepare to play NFC East rival Washington, they are practicing at the Star. Coach Jason Garrett met with the media on Thursday to update everyone on the latest Cowboys news. (All Garrett answers are paraphrased and not actual quotes.)
Communication is a buzz word of every minute of every day
Communication has been discussed a lot by the Cowboys lately, and Jason Garrett definitely knows the importance of it. He noted that it exists all throughout football games and that they need to get everybody on the same page.
Jason Garrett did mention that communication gets challenged when you go on the road, but he talked about how they use crowd noise to simulate some of that because they recognize its importance. He said some of the bad plays in road games recently came from communication issues and not having all the guys working together.
There hasn’t necessarily been a “Jaylon is back” moment
Jaylon Smith has been one of the stories of the season so far for the Cowboys, but Jason Garrett noted that there hasn’t exactly been a singular moment where everyone knew he was back (Eli Manning disagrees). Garrett said it was a great moment just to see him playing in a game last season, although obviously Jaylon wasn’t playing at this level a year ago.
Garrett did acknowledge that things got better for Jaylon when he took the brace off over the offseason, and that’s something that makes a lot of sense. He noted that his work around the goal line in the Texans game was special.
Did Dr. Cooper play a big role in taking Jaylon Smith?
ESPN’s Todd Archer asked one of the more interesting questions of the Jaylon Smith time period in Dallas, whether or not the Cowboys would have taken Jaylon Smith had Dr. Cooper not been the one that performed his surgery. Obviously Jason Garrett didn’t bite on this, but he did say that there were a number of factors that went into selecting him. He did say Dr. Cooper is so trusted that his word on the situation was a big influence, and that they went through all the plus and minuses.
Sean Lee made a good progression on Wednesday
This is good news for The General, and Jason Garrett did note that the Cowboys would have to be mindful of the number of snaps Sean Lee could in fact see. He emphasized that they still have to see how Lee progresses throughout the week before deciding on if he plays. He was firm that they can now rest Lee some in games because of the play of Jaylon and LVE.
Chidobe Awuzie is also progressing
Coach noted he had a good day yesterday.
David Irving is at the Star and will practice
Coach said Irving is at the facility and will practice. when someone asked about Irving saying he “didn’t have his legs” yet, coach said that will come because he practices hard.
Dak Prescott’s running ability is a decision that he has to make
Zone reads are part of what everybody wants to see the Cowboys continue to employ. Jason Garrett acknowledged that “many” of Dak’s 11 runs against Jacksonville were scrambles as opposed to designed runs. He said maybe 4-5 were zone reads which is pretty normal.
The Cowboys like “eight guys up” along the defensive line
We’ve seen Dallas utilize a lot of players along the defensive front and Jason Garrett reaffirmed that this is what they want to do. Rod Marinelli certainly likes having platoons of people ready to go, and that’s exactly what the Hot Boyz are. Garrett noted it keeps them fresh to rotate them but they do give some players more snaps, but in the Jacksonville game they didn’t have a lot of overall snaps on defense since they forced three-and-outs and they controlled the clock.
Dak Prescott is a good runner
When it comes to Dak Prescott running the ball he obviously has to be careful with it (like anyone). Asked whether or not they teach Dak techniques to slide or get out of bounds to any degree Jason Garrett did acknowledge that during his rookie year there were times he’d run to his left and stiff-arm players with his right arm and that they cautioned him against that. He said sometimes it’s hard since Dak is so competitive but they want him to get out of bounds or to slide after maximizing the run.
No word from Tavon Austin’s second opinion
It looked like he had a rough time on his plane ride, though.
Tavon Austin had quite the experience on a plane on Wednesday pic.twitter.com/GSxQZe3AkL— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) October 17, 2018
There are similarities in the “competitive spirit” between Ezekiel Elliott and Adrian Peterson
Jason Garrett didn’t want to get into comparing Zeke and Peterson, but he did note that they both have an extreme competitive spirit and will to finish plays.
Jordan Reed looks like he’s back
According to Jason Garrett, Jordan Reed is hard to guard. We all agree.
Alex Smith does the things at the quarterback position that “help his teams win”
Jason Garrett shared that when he was coaching in Miami in 2005 that they held the number two overall pick when Alex Smith went number one to San Francisco. He talked about getting to know Smith in that time and how one of his biggest takeaways was that he always had success in that he was a quarterback who helped his teams win. Sounds simple enough.
Jeff Heath is a very productive player
In all seriousness, Jason Garrett did discuss how Jeff Heath has seemingly always found a way to be around the ball. We’ve definitely seen Heath make plays over his career with that unique ability, he’s a special player in that regard.