As the Cowboys prepare for the biggest game of the season, Jason Garrett spoke to the press to discuss preparations for the Eagles. (All answers are paraphrased and not actual quotes).
Tyron Smith eye, Dak Prescott shoulder injury
Jason Garrett started things off by announcing two injury-related things. It’s important to note that this is rarely the case, he generally has to be asked about things like this.
He announced that Tyron Smith has something happening with his right eye (he added that they don’t believe this is football-related) to where it is currently closed. He said that Smith would not practice on Wednesday.
What’s more is that Garrett added that quarterback Dak Prescott had his right shoulder get banged up in the victory over the Rams. He noted this will keep Dak limited on Wednesday saying that it’s “hard for him to function” at the moment, but considering that the MRI was negative on it and that Dak finished the game against the Rams they’re confident moving forward.
Malcolm Smith addition
Coach noted the team wanted to add a linebacker and that Smith had played in their system before and that he was still in shape, they just need to get him up to speed. He noted that Sean Lee would be limited in practice.
Eagles run defense and Zeke’s success
Ezekiel Elliott has historically had success against the Philadelphia Eagles despite their generally very good defensive linemen. Jason Garrett reiterated this on Wednesday and cycled through how they have the utmost respect for the Eagles.
Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert will be factors
Obviously the Eagles don’t have too many healthy/reliable receivers right now but Jason Garrett was firm in noting that there are definitely options for the Eagles to use in the passing game. He noted that Ertz has been a star for them for quite a while and that Goedert is emerging.
Coach said his surgery went well and he is in a cast and that they will see how functional he can be as the week progresses.
Key to run game success
Garrett said fundamentals are the key, you have to be technique sound and win the line of scrimmage. He added you have to be physical, get a hat on a hat and the tight ends and wide receivers are also important with their blocks.
Not known whether Dak will wear tape on fingers
Dak Prescott wore tape on his fingers against the Rams and Jason Garrett said they would make the determination on whether he will do it against the Eagles later in the week.
Travis Frederick is a Pro Bowl player
Jason Garrett gave the Cowboys center a lot of credit in terms of what he does in the run game and pass protection but noted that sacks are a team thing (in terms of avoiding them). He added that receivers have to get open, everyone has to block, and the quarterback has to make a great decision. He added that Dak Prescott has done a great job of avoiding negative plays.
Tony Pollard’s improvement
Garrett noted that Pollard showed his abilities right from the start and that he works hard with the right approach. He pointed out he can run inside with power, he can function in space, he can pass protect, he can catch passes and they can line him up anywhere.
Asked what the goals for Kai Forbath are Jason Garrett said that they want to continue to get better and obviously not have any kickoffs go out of bounds.