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Jason Garrett addresses firing of Paul Alexander, hiring Colombo, Houck, and integrating Amari Cooper

It’s been a crazy bye week. Coach updates us on the state of the Cowboys.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

We’re back. The Cowboys are in regular prep mode starting today for a Monday night game and that means a press conference with Jason Garrett. (All Garrett answers are paraphrased and not actual quotes).

Why did you make the Paul Alexander decision?

Jason Garrett noted that every decision that the Cowboys make they make in the best interest of the team. He said that after they analyzed where they were that they felt moving on from Alexander would make them a better football team. Marc Colombo and Hudson Houck were of course mentioned and Garrett specifically noted how them working together would be beneficial.

Hudson Houck was a big part of the decision

Marc Colombo obviously is inexperienced compared to most, and that’s where Hudson Houck comes in. Jason Garrett affirmed that having Hudson and Colombo as a pair is seemingly the ideal situation as far as what they want to do with the Cowboys. Noted that they have similar philosophies.

No detail on what the offensive line was struggling with

Jason Garrett declined to get into what exactly the offensive line was struggling with under Paul Alexander, he simply kept noting that this was the move that Dallas wanted to make. He cited Colombo’s resume and did say that it was a decision that he specifically wanted to make.

Hudson Houck’s legacy is well known

Jason Garrett noted he has a long history with Hudson Houck. He talked about how Houck has been a great mentor and adviser for him. He said the team had been in contact with Houck over the years because he works with guys who are preparing for the draft and the combine. He’s been active in football. Everyone seems to be content with their roles in both Houck and Colombo.

Houck is here for a combination of reasons

Hudson Houck is with the Cowboys to help Marc Colombo and to help players. Garrett noted that usually the senior guys is in charge but they wanted to give Colombo a chance at the head of the room and have Houck there to back him up.

Jason Garrett informed Paul Alexander of the change on Monday morning

Much has been said about why the Cowboys didn’t make this move during the bye week. He declined to answer that and simply said that he informed Paul Alexander on Monday.

Jason Garrett isn’t concerned with the World Series narrative

Garrett said he is not real concerned with the optics of that decision. He noted on a bye, they practice a few times, and then they try to evaluate the entire organization, do a comprehensive review. He encourages people to get away from football over the weekend, get out of town, go see family, go to the beach or the mountains, whatever it is they like to do. It’s a chance to refresh and recharge. He noted that as a team they believe in that. He did say it’s harder for coaches and that they worked all weekend on stuff and he felt good about it.

Reset button being pushed?

Jason Garrett discussed wanting to have clean the slate, so to speak, with the bye week. He discussed how getting away and giving yourself a chance to get recharged is important plus how the week gave them the opportunity to make some moves.

Amari Cooper spent “a lot” of time with Sanjay Lal (and Dak Prescott) over the weekend

We knew that Amari Cooper would be spending time with the Cowboys receivers coach over the bye week. Jason Garrett did discuss that they spent three days together and went a bit in detail of what they went over... sort of. He noted that much of the time was spent getting Cooper up to speed on how the offense runs including formations, adjustments and mentioned that Cooper talked to Dak Prescott on Facetime for an extended time. FACETIME! Welcome to 2018.

Marc Colombo was considered for the offensive line coach job before Alexander was hired

You’ll remember that the Cowboys interviewed Marc Colombo for a position on their staff over the offseason... the tight ends coach position. Jason Garrett did say that Colombo was in discussion for the offensive line coach but that they chose to roll with Alexander and are obviously shuffling that up at this point.

What do the moves suggest about the rest of the season?

The Cowboys made a lot of moves in Amari Cooper, Paul Alexander, Marc Colombo, and Hudson Houck. As far as what they say Jason Garrett said that the moves suggest the Cowboys are “trying to get better.” It definitely is important to adjust what needs to be adjusted, kudos to the Cowboys for doing that.

Geoff Swaim, Randy Gregory, Tavon Austin, and Joe Thomas will not practice on Wednesday, Zack Martin won’t practice fully

Both Swaim and Gregory will work with trainers off to the side. It’s a game week which means injuries are back on the radar. He did note the hope is that Swaim, Gregory and Martin will practice more as the week progresses and hopefully play.

Dalton Schultz is getting better

The Cowboys are going to need tight end help if Swaim isn’t able to go and Garrett discussed how he’s getting better. He cited Schultz’s history at Stanford and how he’s a complete tight end who’s a great blocker. When asked if they looked at trading for a tight end he said not specifically, but they had conversations about a lot of players before the deadline.

Cowboys are happy at safety

When asked if they looked at trading for a safety, Garrett did say that you’re always trying to get better but he did note that they are happy with what Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods have done at safety. He indicated trading for a safety wasn’t a priority as he has complete confidence in the players they currently have.

Perception during the bye week doesn’t seem to matter

Jason Garrett started off a question about Jimmy Johnson by acknowledging that he has the utmost respect for Jimmy and that he holds him in the highest regard... and that was it. He wasn’t going to go further on the World Series subject.

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