For the last time before the Cowboys face the Rams on Sunday, coach Jason Garrett spoke to the press to discuss all things Cowboys. (All answers are paraphrased and not actual quotes).
Sean Lee’s health
Coach said he probably won’t do much today if anything but that they have seen some improvement. When asked if he’s off today like he normally is, coach responded that happens when he can practice on Wednesday and Thursday and that hasn’t happened this week so ‘interpret that as you will.’ He noted that it’s all hands on deck with the backups.
Benefit of showing the good plays highlight reel
Yesterday Garrett showed the team a compilation of good highlight plays they have made over the last few seasons to emphasize what they are capable of doing. When asked about it, Garrett noted that you always want to uphold a standard in the game of football. He mentioned that coaching is about a lot of both positive and negative reinforcement.
Absence of Jeff Heath
Jeff Heath has been absent here as of late and Garrett noted that Heath is a good player that they’ve missed. He mentioned Heath’s communication abilities to get everybody playing together and that he’s a physical presence. He said that Darian Thompson has played well but they’re hopeful that Heath (who will practice on Friday) can get back.
Heath and Antwaun Woods importance against the run
Coach complimented both players and noted they are starters for a reason. He said Woods is a playmaker and affects the run and the pass game. When they are out it’s the next man up, but noted that it’s good to have them healthy to play.
The Los Angeles Rams have been doing really well since Todd Gurley found himself lately. Jason Garrett noted that it’s going to be a challenge to stop a player of Gurley’s caliber. He said the Rams are better when they can attack you in different ways and everything works off having a run game.
No concern on Chris Jones
He should be able to punt this week.
The Cowboys have struggled to play complementary football lately and Jason Garrett talked about how difficult it can be to do week in and week out. He noted that you have to keep playing while handling the successes and adversity of the game. He put it down to mental toughness.
Cowboys pass rush recently
Coach noted that the pass rush could be better but opposing offenses try a variety of things to stop it like play-action, max protect, quick passes, so each week it’s a challenge.
Do you disguise what you do on defense enough and have enough variety to be effective?
This topic has been a hot one this week since Troy Aikman brought it up on the Bears game broadcast. Garret said it is important to affect the offense in different ways, but that the first thing you really need is execution. He conceded you need variety, but said that once the ball snaps it’s all about execution. He said the Cowboys use different fronts, pressure packages and coverages, and that they do work to disguise what they do and that they always want to do it better, but continued to harp on execution as the key.