The Dallas Cowboys have completed OTAs and been going through their minicamp. Jason Garrett took to the podium on Thursday to break it all down. Here’s what he had to say. All answers are paraphrases and not actual quotes.
What’s the message to the players at the end of these practice sessions?
Jason Garrett praised the way the Cowboys have handled all of the offseason work, the effort has been outstanding through offseason programs. He voiced an idea of finishing strong and preparing the right way before training camp.
Why isn’t there some sort of team bonding activity?
A lot of NFL teams will cancel the last days of minicamps in order to do something like go to a movie or something similar. Jason Garrett mentioned that the Cowboys U event held last week sort of serves as the environment for the team to cultivate the camaraderie that they are looking for.
Dak Prescott was a little competitive on Wednesday
Garrett discussed working hard and competing and he noted that it can get quite competitive when roster spots are on the line. He described how competition can better each other and that it’s all very good for the team.
As far as Dak Prescott’s involvement in this sort of thing, Garrett described how Dak is a natural competitor and that his leadership skills tend to shine in those kinds of moments.
What kind of job has Kellen Moore done?
Garrett is staying sort of ambiguous in his answer to the Kellen Moore questions. He mentioned that Moore has done a great job of leading his offense while working in lockstep with people around him (like Jon Kitna). Garrett praises the work being done without much detail.
How different will the offense look?
As far as to what degree the Cowboys offense will change, coach said you are always trying to evolve. This includes studying trends across the league, evaluating your own talent, and trying to have success in the best way possible. He noted they are doing this on both sides of the ball, offense and defense.
Thoughts on what will be on his mind when arriving in Oxnard
Garrett noted that he’s always trying to lay the foundation and prepare to evaluate players. He mostly discussed just focusing in on what needs to be done and preparing for the season. Nothing of great detail was discussed.
Key memories of Tony Romo’s evolution as a quarterback
Coach said that a lot of it came from the result of just playing. When Garrett arrived in Dallas (2007) Romo had yet to start a full season. He noted the more Romo gained experience in the NFL the smarter he became.
Will Byron Jones and DeMarcus Lawrence be the only guys limited at training camp?
Garrett noted that he didn’t want to be definitive about that. He said that everyone else is on track to be healthy which is ultimately the best news possible.
Status on Ezekiel Elliott?
Asked if he knows whether or not Ezekiel Elliott has spoken to the league about the status of his incident in Las Vegas, Jason Garrett said he did not know. He didn’t know if anybody in the organization had but said he hadn’t personally talk to the NFL.
Leighton Vander Esch motivation for this year?
Coach said he had a great year but has a long way to go. Said he is so driven and that his approach is outstanding even in the meeting rooms since his injury. He is engaged and wants to get better, he will tell you that he has got to get better.
Demarcus Lawrence rehab?
The focus is on rehab, he is in with the training staff and in the weight room, all reports have been positive. He’s not at all practices because of rehab but when he is out there he is encouraging others, he is a leader now. Shows leadership in his consistent example and approach, how hard he plays, etc.
How did the offensive line get better with Marc Colombo?
We grew as a team, we were young and we played young early last season, not playing consistently. Each of those things are learning experiences so as a team we grew and learned. Getting Amari Cooper helped and Marc Colombo was able to help them grow.
Robert Quinn impact?
He’s done a nice job, we were impressed when we played against him, he is an elite rusher for a number of years and an underrated run defender. He plays with determination, a real pro, serious-minded about his job, he is helping to set the pace.
Coach also mentioned at the end that Noah Brown had a knee scope last week and should be back for training camp.