The Cowboys got things turned around in a 20-13 win over the Giants. Coach Jason Garrett took to the podium on Monday to talk about the game (All answers from Coach Garrett are not actual quotes but paraphrased translations).
The offense improved, but what areas still need improvement?
Every area, throughout the whole team We need to run the ball better, protect better, but we did some good things in the game. We put an emphasis on starting fast and staying ahead of the chains. We did that but we had a false start, a couple of holding penalties that put us behind the chains. But overall we played with better rhythm.
Maliek Collins knee injury?
He hurt his knee, he’s day-by-day and we hope he can practice this week.
How about the workout today, you brought in QB Landry Jones?
We brought in 20 guys today, he was the QB but there were a number of guys. What we try to do is make sure to work guys out guys to refine our short list if something happens because of injury. This was mainly a preemptive strike. We took a look at guys who were in training camps so they were in shape.
What about Brice Butler?
We have talked to him, wanted to see his availability and make a decision. If we brought him on it would be to get deeper at the position, we could keep seven, we like him, he’s done things for us in the past. We’ll make that decision on him in a day or so. We’d probably add to the receiver position, but no final decision has been made. We like Brice, done good things, if we decide to bring him on it’s to help in passing game. We wanted to keep him this offseason but he signed over in Arizona. We’re always trying to upgrade the team.
It seemed like Eekiel Elliott was having a tough time finding room, but Dak had some good runs to complement?
We didn’t have a lot of plays, 54 total on offense, we played well early on the scoring dives, we only had eight real drives. That’s not a lot of snaps but I thought we ran it consistently. QB runs are a by-product of the focus on Zeke. Dak’s runs helps us, we look at the run total for the team, we look at all the different ways.
How is Joe Looney doing?
He is doing a good job, and Connor and Zack are doing good, they have gone against good interior guys. Connor is getting better, we’re having better communication and learning from the experience.
How were you able to get Tavon Austin more involved compared to last week?
The biggest difference is we stayed ahead of chains. In the Carolina game we had five first-half drives and were always behind the chains. When we play with rhythm we can get to things we like.
Why did the offense stall in the middle of the game?
We scored on four drives, that only leaves four. When we didn’t convert we had protection issues, we also converted a third and 1 but had holding, converted a third and 11 but had holding. If you look at it play by play, there was nothing overarching.
Does it bother you Dak wasn’t sliding on his runs?
Typically that’s how he plays, examples of that throughout his career. He makes good decisions in the game, and runs competitively. He’s tough and physical, sometimes he needs to get down but he wants to fight for yards. It inspires the team.
Talk about Rod Marinelli and Kris Richard?
They worked well from the start, a good connection and the whole defensive staff, too. Worked well in the offseason, the DNA in both guys is similar, reflects in the teaching and schemes, they are compatible. Kris a great football coach, Rod is one of the best.
Did you sense the defense was upset they gave up the TD at the end?
We want to finish stronger, we were up 20-3, they got a TD and a FG, not how we want to finish. The most important thing is you win the game so we were trying to manage that process, having said that you want to execute plays. It was a bust within the coverage.
Sean Lee’s hamstring injury? He said cramps, you said tightening?
We don’t feel like there was any damage to the hamstring, he seems to be doing better. He could have played but we were up three scores and the other linebackers played well.
Leighton Vander Esch?
He did some good things in base and nickel, made a lot of tackles. He was active around the football. The big thing was to tackle after the catch, the running back and 13, 87 and 88 are dynamic, have to tackle well. He only missed one tackle.
He’s playing better, as a base DE he has a physical style of football, doing a good job affecting the QB. He’s playing with enthusiasm, he’s active and showing up on tape. He flashed it some last year, but he’s more consistent this year.
Dak seemed more conformable in the pocket this week, more relaxed?
We did a better job offensively of staying ahead of the chains. Last week we had no normal flow. When you are ahead of the chains you can run the ball, do play-action, in better manageable situations.