The Cowboys got the victory they needed on Monday night and avoided a cat-astrophic loss. The team looked cat-atonic to open the game, but rallied nicely for a 37-18 win. Coach Jason Garrett addressed the media to discuss. (All answers are paraphrased and not actual quotes).
Importance of defense playing well to start and finish game
The Cowboys were struggling on offense against the New York Giants, Dak Prescott had an interception on the game’s first play, and Jason Garrett acknowledged that that’s never what you want to see. He added that the offense did a great job of ultimately doing their job, but that the defense playing strong to bookend the game was a big deal.
The plan was to play Michael Bennett
Jason Garrett noted that the Cowboys were planning playing Michael Bennett from the jump. He noted that Bennett handled all of the work really well and that he made a lot of impactful plays.
Attribution of redzone defense
Dallas has played well on defense in critical situations like in the redzone and on third down. Garrett noted that the team has been able to have success there and that this is obviously a huge goal for any team. He said it’s about being sound fundamentally, disciplined, and physical as a defense.
Thoughts on Sean Lee
Coach said that Lee has done a great job handling his new role in 2019 at SAM and all that comes with that, including playing less than he’s been used to. He noted that obviously Sean had more opportunities against the Giants and that he was impactful everywhere, not only in the run game but handling the tackling on the checkdowns.
Thoughts on the offensive line
Garrett said the Cowboys were very good in run blocking on Monday night, and considering Ezekiel Elliott had just about 140 yards on the ground that makes a lot of sense. He noted that he thought they got even better as the game moved along.
It’s tough to embrace a role like Sean Lee has
Coach spoke about how Sean has embraced his new role even though that is sometimes tough for veterans to play less, but all while being ready for whatever opportunity shows up like it did for the Giants. He said it speaks to who Lee is as a player and a leader.
We’ll see what Leighton Vander Esch is able to do
Garrett said the hope is that LVE gets better and better as the week goes on. He noted that he did improve last week and they hope he does again.
Xavier Woods has been playing well
The Cowboys were linked to Jamal Adams last week, Garrett was coy about that, but obviously they got some pretty strong play from a safety on their team in Xavier Woods. The head coach noted that Xavier is very instinctive and physical and that he’s capable of making those kinds of plays.
Kickoff coverage wasn’t good enough
Garrett said that some guys got blocked out of their lanes and that opened things up. He felt the team did a good job of adjusting and cleaned it up at the end so it didn’t happen again.
Thoughts on Amari Cooper limping on the sidelines
At one point Amari Cooper was on the sidelines limping, and coach said that during that time they were all just understanding that the wide receiver was trying to get himself as right as possible. He noted it was a knee bruise that Amari came back from in order to have a big impact.
Being disciplined on kickoffs is important
The Cowboys don’t get a lot of opportunities to practice things like kickoffs at full speed, and Garrett noted that while they don’t get to, it’s important to stay disciplined with what you know are the fundamentals.
Michael Gallup’s touchdown was amazing
Garrett said that the Cowboys had a running play set on this play but that the team thought they had the Giants offsides so they hurried to run it and get a free play. He noted the unreal ability of Gallup to contort his body and stay in bounds to make the touchdown.
Cowboys are optimistic on Jeff Heath
The GOAT lacerated his leg on Monday night but the Cowboys are hopeful that he’ll be able to go this week. He got 12 stitches but coach said the reports are good that he will be okay.
Expanding on the Gallup touchdown
Garrett said they coach the players to hurry up and go if they think they have an advantage. They didn’t call offsides even though he thought they were in the neutral zone, but that it’s planned to go like that if you think you got a free play.
Significance of Blake Jarwin’s touchdown
Garrett noted that he thought the score was big as the Cowboys were in sore need of a play and making something happen. He added that Jarwin has handled Jason Witten’s return quite well and is embracing the role that the Cowboys need him to play. He is becoming an all-around tight end according to coach with his blocking as well as receiving.
The cat was “interesting”
Jason Garrett had fun talking about the black cat that ran on the field during Monday night’s game and joked that he would have hated to have been the guy that had to corral it.
Ezekiel Elliott hasn’t had the big runs, why not?
Garrett said it’s “hard to know” why Zeke isn’t having any big runs but that he’s certain that Elliott is playing very good football. He noted that the running back had quite the game against the Giants and that the offensive line was doing a great job blocking for him.