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Jason Garrett discusses defensive woes and playing time for Jason Witten vs. Blake Jarwin

An update on the Cowboys from coach Jason Garrett.

Dallas Cowboys v Chicago Bears Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Cowboys game against the Rams is getting closer. Let’s see what Jason Garrett had to say about the Cowboys preparations. (All answers are paraphrased and not actual quotes).

Thoughts on Wade Phillips

Wade Phillips is the defensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Rams. Jason Garrett noted that Phillips has a long tack record of success and that he has a defensive scheme he believes in while also evolving his pass rushes and the coverages behind that.

What has changed defensively for the Rams recently?

Los Angeles struggled at times this season but here lately they have been turning things on defensively. Garrett noted that every level of the Rams defense can play the game at an elite level.

The acquisition of Ramsey

Garrett said that he didn’t believe the Rams have changed dramatically since adding Jalen Ramsey but that he is obviously very good and helps them.

Thoughts on Taylor Rapp

The Cowboys considered drafting Taylor Rapp when they took Trysten HIll. Garrett said they thought he was a smart player and an active player and they are not surprised with his success.

Any issues with Dak’s fingers

Dak Prescott had his finger taped on Wednesday for practice but Garrett said he didn’t see any issues.

Sean Lee health

If he does practice on Thursday he will be limited. He was limited on Wednesday.

Any thoughts about limiting Lee’s reps

Garrett conceded this is a valid point with a lot of players, but sometimes players just have to continue to play even when they are banged up. They do want to have a good linebacker rotation.

Jeff Heath and Antwaun Woods health

Both are expected to practice again today

Cooper Kupp

Asked if he thinks Cooper Kupp’s size as a slot receiver would challenge Jourdan Lewis, Garrett noted that you have to be aware of your leverage against him and that this is a challenge every week.

Playing time for Jason Witten and Blake Jarwin

There have been many people wondering whether Blake Jarwin should play more than he has been. Garrett said that the Cowboys try to go into each game with a plan as far as how much they want Jason Witten and/or Blake Jarwin to play. This includes certain plays and situations that he wants either Witten or Jarwin in the game for. He noted that Witten has definitely played more but that he feels like it’s been a positive situation for both of them and that Jarwin has had an impact.

Is Dak pressing like the defense seems to be

Garrett noted previously that he thought the defense was pressing and trying to do too much at times and this has lead to undisciplined play. When asked if this is true with Dak recently, he said he doesn’t want to make a generalization for all the players but that they work hard and sometimes try to do too much. He reminds the whole team that everybody has a job, they are all 1/11th of the offense or defense and they have to execute their job.

Thoughts on defensive scheme affecting young QBs enough

Young quarterbacks versus the Cowboys defense has been something of an issue. Asked if they are doing enough to affect young QBs, Garrett said the goal every week is to affect the quarterback, to make him uncomfortable. He said you need to execute to do that and emphasized taking away the run is a big thing in making QBs uncomfortable. He conceded that disguising overages is also part of it, but went back to execution of the plan as the biggest thing.

Thoughts on leadership group

Garrett said he feels that the leaders on the Cowboys have done an excellent job providing an example as to what you have to do each and every day, including during the team’s current losing streak. He noted that leaders need to show up and talk but that they also have to serve as an example.

Tackling goes beyond the physical art

Garrett noted that tackling is about more than just the physical act of tackling. He talked about the intricacies of it all and discussed proper alignment, reading your keys, good technique, taking good angles to the ball, sprinting to the ball and making the tackle. He concluded that even the best defenses are always trying to be better tackling teams because ultimately that’s how you end plays.

Matchup with Eric Weddle

Asked about the matchup with Eric Weddle, Garrett called him “a hell of a player.” He noted that the Cowboys will have to be very aware of him because Weddle is very good at communicating and making the whole thing go for the Rams.

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