It was a much happier press conference for Jason Garrett after a convincing rout of the Rams, 44-21. Let’s check in on what coach had to say. (All answers are paraphrased and not actual quotes).
In the locker room after the game you talked about recapturing your DNA
I don’t want to get into too much detail about what we talk about in the locker room, but we needed to play our game in all three phases. The o-line did a good job of controlling the line, our ability to run the ball was big. On defense our number one priority was to stop the run. We got aligned right on defense, we played fundamentally sound, and were physical at the attack, we tried to make them one-dimensional.
Did you wonder “where has that been?”
Not really, we emphasize consistency, the biggest issue we’ve had is consistency, we’ve showed signs of it at times during previous game but none of that is relevant now, what we do now is go forward.
Best advice for staying loose with a big game coming up
We emphasize what we can control right now, don’t worry about the past or the future, lock in on Monday’s preparation, prep for the Eagles starts now.
Do you have a playoff mentality for this game
Our approach is the same every day, be our best, it’s a challenge to go to Philly.
How did you guys contain Aaron Donald
It was a combination of things, he’s a great player so we respect him. He is hard to block, we challenged the guys up front to get after it against their the d-line. Xavier Su’a-Filo and Zack Martin did good jobs, and when Donald lined up at end the tackles did too. Frederick was a physical presence, we couldn’t help all the time on him so we had to block him single, and guys did a good job of that.
Is that the kind of offense you want with the run game
Our approach is to attack different ways, to run and pass effectively. Sometimes it’s effective but it doesn’t mean you get a lot of yards in one or the other. Sometimes things happen in a game that prevents balance. In this game we ran more, but passing game came through in critical moments, we were efficient.
Antwaun Woods impact
He played well, very active. He had to be sound fundamentally and disciplined, then make plays and he did that. He was in his gap, then shed the guy and made tackles. He provided a presence.
You’ve talked a lot about being fundamentally sound and disciplined on defense
It’s really the foundation of our defense, at different times we haven’t been good so we had to get back to that.
Sean Lee helping get guys lined up
Lee was very impactful, he made tackles, had a sack and INT. A big part of his impact is communication, he is smart and prepared, he and Jaylon worked well together. We got lined up on defense with their tempo and were ready to play.
How have you had success in Philly recently
It really doesn’t matter, only this week matters.
Dak was reported to have a hairline fracture in his finger going into the game. As a former QB, how challenging is that?
I’ve never had that before, others have had jammed fingers and its hard, having the ball in your hand and feeling good is important. Dak is tough, just goes and does his job.
Does Dak have a hairline fracture
I don’t want to get into medical part, he has an injury.
Your pre-game speech on players picking up other players when things are tough
It’s important for any team, you have success and adversity in games, the NFL is hard. Different units have to pick each other up. If the offense struggles, then the defense does something, and vice versa. The best teams do that, fight, scratch and claw for 60 minutes.
Luke Gifford has a fracture, he’ll be out for a bit, don’t know his roster status yet. C.J. Goodwin fractured his thumb, he’s having surgery today, we’ll see his status coming up to the next game. Joe Thomas is day-to-day with his knee.
Will you add a linebacker
Probably, you can still poach practice squads.
Did Dak’s finger affect his throws
I don’t think so.
What about the WR production
It was a function of how game went, we rushed for 260 yards, there were limited opportunities in the passing game. They got open and made plays, Coop made a big play on a third-down conversion, and they did a great job blocking in the running game. That’s the dirty work we’re talking about.
The Witten catch for TD
It was a hell of a play, Dak made a good throw, you might want it out in front a little more but there was not a lot of space. Dak ripped it, Witt finds a way to get the job done. He’s made a lot of plays to help team. It was important to cash in on that drive.
Did Witten spiking the ball surprise you
He’s as passionate of a player I’ve ever been around. He keeps it in check a lot, but it was a sign of his passion.
A few years ago Dak/Zeke brought a young energy to the team, does it work the same way when older players like Witten and Lee do what they did?
You are dead on, everybody has respect for those guys, coaches, players, they are just a great example. Their commitment to help the team, they are inspirational guys and damn good players. They make big plays. Lee’s INT was big time, the Rams want to make it a one-score game before halftime and we make it a three-score game. He showed off his Pop Warner RB moves on the return.