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 Monday. Here’s what he had to say (all answers are paraphrases of Garrett, not direct quotes).
Jason Garrett thinks Kris Richard is a welcome addition
There’s no denying what Kris Richard has brought to the Cowboys a few weeks into training camp. Jason Garrett discussed the personality, and more importantly the swagger, that Richard has brought to the Cowboys.
The secondary has been in sore need of an attitude like this, and Richard has brought it. It’s been impressive especially considering how young the secondary is.
Garrett believes the whole draft class is coming along nicely
When asked who has “had the light come on” for them throughout camp, Jason Garrett pulled a Jason Garrett and elected not to specifically answer anything. He noted that the entire rookie class has done a great job and he did specifically note that Leighton Vander Esch made plays sideline-to-sideline yesterday, was more comfortable in coverage and that Connor Williams has been working with the 1s from the beginning.
Even Jason Garrett is aware that Dorance Armstrong won’t wear #74 in the regular season
Dorance Armstrong has impressed a lot of people so far throughout training camp, but he’s kind of committing a cardinal sin within the Cowboys. Dorance is wearing #74.
This number has only ever been worn by one Dallas Cowboy ever, Mr. Cowboy himself, Bob Lilly. Jason Garrett noted that rookie numbers change, and Dorance’s likely will soon enough. He did note Armstrong is showing up every day, he loves to play, you can coach him hard, and he watches the vets and listens to the coaches.
Garrett acknowledges that Rico Gathers’ basketball background helps him
We’ve spent so much time discussing Rico Gathers and what he is and isn’t with the Cowboys. We know that he’s an aerial weapon, and we know that he used to play basketball. Garrett is aware of this, obviously. It’s a strength that he’s a big body and can catch over his head and is good when a play breaks down. You can throw the ball high and firm and he has natural instincts to go get it.
There doesn’t seem to be any focused concern on Jaylon Smith
It wasn’t that long ago that we were closely monitoring what Jaylon Smith was and wasn’t doing at training camp. He’s not wearing a brace anymore, and it seems like the Cowboys aren’t keeping him on any sort of pitch count. He’s a normal football player.
Jason Garrett said that the Cowboys “don’t really have a plan” for Jaylon and that he was full go with no limitations. That’s great to hear.
Randy Gregory will have his reps “ramped up”
There’s still no practice in pads coming for Randy Gregory, but the Cowboys are dialing up his work usage a bit. Jason Garrett noted that he’ll have his reps “ramped up” which means we’re progressing. Slow and steady wins the race. He will be in uniform, but won’t participate in practice for a few more days at least.
Tavon Austin is clearly someone the Cowboys believe in
Jason Garrett discussed Tavon Austin’s speed, athleticism, and playmaking abilities throughout his presser. We saw Tavon make the play of the blue and white scrimmage practice on Sunday, and there’s no question that his role on the Cowboys is going to be larger than many originally thought.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
Jason Garrett brought up how much Rico could practice again
A few months ago Jason Garrett discussed how Rico Gathers could practice “five times a day and that it still wouldn’t be enough.” He said something very similar on Monday, but he noted that this was a good thing for Rico.
He also said that Gathers is still learning and that he plays a challenging position. He is involved in the run game and the passing game so he needs to know a lot of scheme and protections. He said Gathers is embracing the learning.