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Jason Garrett discusses the injury status of Leighton Vander Esch, also getting Michael Bennett acclimated

Coach Garrett updated the media for the final time this week.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The rare Saturday press conference for Jason Garrett as the Cowboys schedule is pushed back a day due to playing on Monday. Let’s see what coach had to say. (All answers are paraphrased and not actual quotes).


Jason Witten this season

Coach noted he’s done a great job, that he’s the same guy as a person, a leader, a player as he was before. He also said they had talked about him playing less coming back in order to keep the young TE’s involved but Witten still has played a lot of snaps. Garrett commended his dependability as a receiver and his good blocking

Witten’s leadership role after young leaders stepped up last year

Coach was complimentary of the way Witten has handled fitting back in, saying he has handled it beautifully. Coach acknowledged that younger players realized he wasn’t there last year and they stepped into the void of leadership, and now Witt comes back but he recognizes that and has to fit himself in. Coach noted he still has a voice but he also had to find his place.

Brandon Knight as third tackle

Coach simply said he has done a good job with the opportunities given to him and they would just have to see.

What does Devin Smith need to do to make the 46-man game roster

The challenge for Devin, according to coach, is to find a place on special teams and added they have been trying him at kickoff returns. Garrett said he’s getting better as a teams player and he will compete for a spot.

Will Leighton Vander Esch do some team today

Coach was unsure about LVE’s status noting he would probably still be limited but felt he was doing better and better each day. He commented on Sen Lee embracing his role this year and that he can play different spots at linebacker just like Joe Thomas. He ended by saying they are hopeful on LVE but we’ll see.

Getting Michael Bennett acclimated

Garrett discussed how Bennett has been playing and practicing this season and that he has been physically active, so the biggest thing is learning the system. Coach noted he has some familiarity with it, he just needs to learn details and the nuance. He closed by saying Bennett has done a good job in practice.

How would you do play-calling if the communication in the head set went out

Coach said the the basic thing is the QB needs to be able to call plays on his own and that you say “Dak you got it.” He also commented that you can send a player in with plays and that it becomes more old-school, but that Dak can handle it. He offered that they used to just run to the numbers and get the play.

Ezekiel Elliott targeted less in the passing game this year

Garret said they love Zeke and want to get him the ball, that he’s a capable receiver when they line him up on the line or coming out of the backfield. He did say they are just getting the ball to other people more, spreading it around and that’s a good thing.