It wasn’t supposed to be this way, the Cowboys losing to the Jets. Now that it has happened, we all want answers about what occurred. Jason Garrett met with the media to try and offer up some perspective. Let’s see what he had to say. (All answers are paraphrased and not actual quotes).
Assessment of the slow starts
We haven't executed, that is everything and includes coaches and players. Yesterday on offense we had a few throw and catch opportunities early that missed, that prevented drives from extending, or a penalty hurt us. We need to do a better job of execution, but the team has responded to adversity.
Players say they need to execute, that it’s not the plan
There are flashes of doing things well, but we’re inconsistent. You look at the game and look at good stuff, then find the bad stuff, you identify those things and find out why. Was it a problem diagnosing, or was it a physical issue, did we practice it enough, you ask those questions.
What’s the status of Amari Cooper and did his early exit affect the game plan
I don’t know his exact status. he has a contusion on his thigh, he tried tried to play but couldn’t, we’ll examine him day by day. He is also dealing with the ankle from before. Amari’s a good player, but with any situation, the next guy up has to go in there, Cedrick Wilson did a good job, Tavon Austin did some good things. We anticipated Cooper playing. He ran a slant and go up sidelines when he came down on the route it bothered him.
He hung in there and battled, fought, scratched, and clawed. Sometimes he had good protection, sometimes there was too much push, he did a good job pulling in the run game.
Using a lot of 12 personnel
Amari being out had a lot to do with that, but we also wanted to get to 12 personnel, we think Witten and Jarwin can work well together, wanted to get them opportunities. We can do a lot of the 11 personnel plays with the 12 personnel.
He’s doing better today, he was working hard to play yesterday but couldn’t.
Tyron Smith, La’el Collins, Byron Jones
It’s hard to know for this week. Tyron worked before the game but couldn’t go, we’ll evaluate him, same with LC and his knee, he is working hard to come back. Byron has a hamstring, don’t know his availability, Anthony Brown, too, I don’t know if he can practice this week.
Does the bye week impact injury decisions
No impact at all. all games are valuable.
Why did you use the first time out in the second half when you did
We thought it would take too much time to get back up there and run a play. We wanted to stop, take a breath, and make a call we like. It worked too, we scored right after that.
Did you consider saving it since onside kicks are never recovered?
You have to do first things first, you got to get into a play that you like.
Did you consider a time out before the 2-point conversion
We’ve done both before, called one and not call one. Sometimes you don’t want to give time to the defense to regroup, plus we had a good feel for our call.
After Zeke lost a yard on third down, why did you go for it on fourth down?
We wanted to be aggressive and try to maximize that scoring opportunity, especially inside the 10-yard line. If you don’t make it they have a long way to go, unfortunately they went all the way in one play.
They were unfortunate, they were important plays, Gallup had a couple, Dak will say he needs to get that ball down a little, but we’ve seen them make the plays before. One could have converted a third down, instead we were forced into a FG.
He made a huge kick (62-yarder) and a 50-yarder. Our operation wasn’t clean on the 40-yarder, timing of snap was a problem.
The Jason Witten TD that was called back
They called an offensive pass interference with contact, it appeared their corner initiated the contact and threw him into the other guy. I don’t want to discuss the referees.
Do you have a lot of 2-pt plays
We have a lot of them, we work on them every week in practice, they are important plays, we spend time on them.
Did the blitz surprise you
We anticipated heat, that ball can go anywhere, we had one-on-ones, fades outside or inside to Witten.
Used the running game a lot, especially in the second half
We felt like we had to be balanced, they played a lot of coverage in situations, we had a favorable box so we can keep him going. It helped protect the QB and helped to drive the ball
Assess your pass rush
Robert Quinn had a few sacks, we got some other pressure but we want more. Pass defense starts up front, rushing the QB with the down guys, it starts up front.
Are you getting enough from DeMarcus Lawrence
We want more from everybody, he is playing hard but he gets attention each week from the offensive line. He would tell you he needs to be more productive.
What happened on the 92-yard TD
Chido needs to play out there more and Heath needs to get more depth.
Dak handling the pressure of their rush
He did a good job, he got hit more than we wanted but he made throws and made good decisions. Some passes were a little high under duress, but he gave us a chance to win.
The run blocking on the 3rd and 4th down plays
It was not good enough, we didn’t block the interior on the third-down play, then we didn’t secure the edge on the fourth-down play.
How do coaches play into execution
It reflects on coaches how a player does in the game, everybody needs to create the right environment so a player can take the practice to a game, make sure you have communication, etc.
When you have a losing streak do you just keep the same consistency of approach?
Important to be consistent, have a structure, things we believe in, a base foundation and then make adjustments as you go. If you feel the team needs to respond differently then you try different ways, but you shouldn’t alter your convictions. Our team has responded well at end of games, giving ourselves a chance, you build on that. They are willing to be coachable, they are ready to go after a loss the next day in the building, those are signs to keep doing what were doing.