Training camp is rolling along and our coverage rolls along as we check in with the head coach at his press conference today.
Jason Garrett took the podium on Sunday. Here’s what he had to say (all answers are paraphrases of Garrett, not direct quotes).
Maliek Collins is “progressing”
Shockingly the Cowboys are taking defensive tackle Maliek Collins day by day. Jason Garrett said the Cowboys are going to see if he’ll be able to practice in the next week or so, but he did acknowledge that they are optimistic about him.
Kony Ealy is getting better and starting to understand what Dallas wants
When asked about Kony Ealy, who’s been disappointing so far through camp, Jason Garrett noted that he’s doing all of the right things. He said he’s getting a better feel for techniques and scheme. When pressed about whether he likes him at defensive end or tackle he simply acknowledged that they like his versatility. Go figure.
Ezekiel Elliott has evolved... finish this haha
Jason Garrett heaped a lot of praise on Ezekiel Elliott’s game. He talked about how Zeke hears things once and implements them to the point of ultimate understanding, he really emphasized that Zeke is a smart player. He said that Zeke has continued to grow and mature, acknowledging that he now has more experience, and was generally very happy with the star running back. They are trying to take advantage of all he can do, good runner, good hands, can line up around the field.
Sean Lee’s impact in practice is obviously huge
The General practiced fully on Saturday which is fantastic news to hear. The Cowboys are being somewhat careful with their elite linebacker given his checkered injury history.
Jason Garrett spoke about what Sean Lee brings to the team and even said that practices are louder when Lee is on the field. He noted that Lee has an intensity at practice and that he has great conviction about what he’s doing and will let others know. No matter how hard you try you can’t emulate what Sean brings to the Cowboys, and it’s great to see him fully going again.
Kavon Frazier might have a knee issue
In regards to Kavon Frazier leaving practice on Saturday, Jason Garrett said that the other night Kavon had a knee issue. The situation is, shockingly, being taken day by day.
It was a good start for Randy Gregory
The Cowboys got to see Randy Gregory going for the first time as well on Saturday. Jason Garrett was pleased with what they saw from the pass rusher and acknowledged that the situation is one they’re taking very slowly. They may give him a little more to do at today’s practice and see how he responds. Any progress is good progress.
Cole Beasley won’t practice on Sunday
More opportunity for Lance Lenoir to shine.
Tavon Austin was someone who the Cowboys were excited about all along
Jason Garrett said that the Cowboys feel fortunate not to have paid a top 10 pick for Tavon Austin, but they love what he’s all about. Austin has been somewhat of a leader for the Cowboys so far through camp, and Jason Garrett corroborated that.
Garrett also noted that when the Cowboys got Tavon they felt that he was versatile. They feel he can play on the outside, the inside, in the backfield, and as a return man. Garrett noted that he didn’t want to say it was a “pleasant surprise,” but raved about how Tavon has provided a great return on the investment that Dallas made. He noted he’s very competitive and practices hard, and they love his spirit.
The Cowboys won’t do a lot of situational work on Sunday
Jason Garrett noted that the Cowboys have obviously been in training camp for a while now. He said that there wouldn’t be a lot of situational work on Sunday and that it would be more of a “bone on bone” type of practice. This is good to hear as players need to have the level of intensity measured appropriately through the training camp and preseason period.
The Cowboys have already started to prepare for Week 1
Jason Garrett said they’ve already done work to look forward to the Carolina Panthers in Week 1. He elaborated to the point of saying that they do work on some of their earlier opponents ahead of time. Obviously this is a difficult balance to strike as between now and then so much will change including the rosters of both the Cowboys and Panthers.