The Cowboys assemble as they prepare for the incoming Eagles. Coach Garrett took to the podium to give us all an update. (All Garrett answers are paraphrased and not actual quotes).
Health of the team?
Tyron Smith might practice today but would be limited. Sean Lee, Tavon Austin and David Irving will not practice. Cole Beasley should practice.
Cowboys have the same message every day: be your best
Jason Garrett isn’t concerned with the Cowboys being a young team and having little experience with a playoff push. The message remains the same, focusing on each day at a time.
Rod Marinelli and Kris Richard complement each other very well
Obviously the Cowboys defense has been incredible this season, and both defensive coaches are a big reason why. Jason Garrett discussed how two different voices emphasizing the same thing is a very powerful tool and that it helps inspire players.
Jason Witten spent Monday Night Football gushing over Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, and Jason Garrett corroborated how good he is. He made sure to mention that the Eagles have a lot of different weapons beyond Ertz that Dallas will have to guard against.
Preparation for the second game against a division rival is interesting
Divisional rivals know each other really well, that’s obvious. Jason Garrett noted that you rely on the first meeting of a season a lot when it comes the second game against a rival, but knowledge of who each other are is already there. He also noted each game is different and that what happened last time will not have a bearing on this time.
There is no difference in big games versus... not big games
Asked if there’s a difference between a December game where first place on the line and an October contest against an AFC opponent, Garrett said there is no difference. All games are equally important and valuable. He said if you treat one as more important, then you have to ask yourself how you were treating previous ones.
Has the o-line been grading higher lately?
Coach said they have done a good job but are not perfect. They have been working together and the substitutes have done a good job. Communication is a big thing on the o-line and they have done that well. Coach also said Marc Colombo is doing an excellent job.
Are the sacks an o-line issue or is the problem elsewhere?
Garrett noted everybody has a piece of the sacks. It starts with the o-line but tight ends or backs can be part of the blocking scheme. Wide receivers might not be getting open, the quarterback’s decision-making process and pocket presence can factor in. You can point to all those things but in the end coach said they just have to be better. He noted the offense has been more efficient recently except for the sacks.
This rest over the mini-bye was very important
The Cowboys have had an opportunity to pick up a lot of rest and Jason Garrett discussed how important that can be. Good for the Cowboys getting a chance to recharge and good for Ezekiel Elliott who had a ton of touches in the recent three-games-in-12-days span.
Coach thinks Travis Frederick is a long way from football right now
Coach Garrett was asked about the idea that Travis Frederick wouldn’t play this year, and while he wouldn’t come out and say that, he did note Frederick is a long way from practicing. He then noted how much help Frederick has been to the offensive line and Marc Colombo by helping out in meetings, walk-throughs, etc.
Anthony Brown was wearing the Championship Belt
Jourdan Lewis had the exclamation point against New Orleans, but Anthony Brown had a huge game from beginning to end. Coach noted his pass breakups, his tackling, always being around the ball, getting a sack; he thought Brown has and outstanding game.