As the Cowboys prepare for their trip to Chicago, head coach Jason Garrett fills us in on the details. (All answers are paraphrased and not actual quotes).
Thoughts on position within NFC East
The Cowboys are in an interesting spot in their division where they keep losing but keep seeing their odds for the playoffs improve. Jason Garrett noted that the team is simply focused on playing their best football on Thursday night.
Practice outside on Monday/Thursday
Today is “Thursday” for the Cowboys and with the game being in Chicago at Soldier Field they are practicing outside to prepare for the conditions and because the game is on grass so they are practicing on grass.
Chippy practice on Sunday
Ezekiel Elliott said that Sunday/Wednesday was a chippy practice and Jason Garrett said that the players want to work hard and practice that way. He didn’t necessarily agree that yesterday was chippy and noted that the Cowboys always give it a go.
Michael Bennett didn’t practice on Sunday, he will try to go on Monday. Leighton Vander Esch, Antwaun Woods, Jeff Heath are not anticipated to practice.
Joe Looney at left guard instead of Xavier Su’a Filo?
Xavier Su’a-Filo has filled in for Connor Williams over the last two years, but there are a lot of people who want to see Joe Looney try it out. Jason Garrett noted that they see Looney as a center and want to give XSF the first opportunity at guard.
Chicago has a lot of skill on offense
Jason Garrett noted that Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is athletic and can certainly do things on the run. He also complimented all of the other skill position players, noting they have two different types of running backs, a space guy and a physical guy. He also complimented their receivers as big and strong.
Thoughts on Trubisky
Mitchell Trubisky has had a nice couple of games lately and Jason Garrett was firm in noting that he’ll be a challenge. He talked about how the Cowboys coached Trubisky at the Pro Bowl and said “it’s easy to see why” the Bears see him as a franchise quarterback.
Thoughts on Cordarrelle Patterson
The Cowboys have struggled on special teams and with a dynamic returner like Patterson on the other end of their kicks this week there will surely be a lot of people holding their breath. Jason Garrett said that sometimes conditions can help with situations like that with kicking the ball out of bounds but that you have to get down the field fast, be physical, and make sure you tackle those sorts of playmakers.
Dak Prescott’s challenge this week after two sub-par games
Jason Garrett talked about how the challenge with losing two straight games is simply getting better. He talked about how Dak Prescott knows that he has to focus and take things in sequence and that he does a great job of leadership through all of that and always stays consistent.
Ventell Bryant did a great job
The Cowboys got a touchdown from a new face last week and Jason Garrett said a lot of that (all of it) wasn’t planned. Bryant had to jump in the game due to the team needing someone in the moment and Bryant did a great job of securing the catch. He also complimented Prescott for the throw an noted Bryant made a contested catch.
Amari Cooper on the road
Asked why Amari Cooper has struggled to produce the way he does at home on the road, Jason Garrett said it’s a combination of factors.
When to check the forecast for Chicago
Jason Garrett said they check the forecast for games typically at the outset of the week as they’re preparing for practice.
Will Dak practice with a glove this week?
Jason Garrett said he did not know that yet.