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Jason Garrett: Zack Martin’s back is bothering him, will get an MRI

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The coach held court at a press conference today.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys-Training Camp Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys are ramping up their preparations in Oxnard for the 2019 season. As is customary, Jason Garrett will hold regular press conferences throughout the team’s time at training camp. Here is the recap of today’s press conference. (All answers are paraphrased and not actual quotes).


With officials coming in for practices, what do you try to accomplish from coaching standpoint and player standpoint?

It’s a valuable time for us, three days for us, we want to maximize the opportunity. They spend time with the coaches and talk about new things, points of emphasis, rule changes, then they will present that to the whole team. We encourage both sides to create lines of communication, what they are trying to accomplish with calls, why they call this and not that.

Do yo have questions for the officials?

Want to know specific ways they will call things. Obviously the pass interference change is a big one, we tried to convey that change to the team. When the tape comes up and we look at film, we want to know from the officials what are you guys looking for, what can we do or not do, how can we coach it better. They will share their emphasis.

Pass interference changes?

Most important part of replay is the standard use to overturn a play, they are using clear and obvious now. That’s where it comes in and most impacts the call. Are they aggressive to overturn, are the standards high? When it comes to PI you just have to find out that standard. Al Riveron has been clear that the standard is high. Good thing that in the final two minutes it goes to the booth. We will all find out the standard.

The reason it goes to New York is to get consistency. One dynamic is in the preseason coaches will be aggressive to see a strike zone, to find that standard, consistency in officiating is something we all want. Always strive to have crews officiate the game the same way.

Zack Martin absence earlier today?

His back was bothering him and will get an MRI. Trainers felt it was best to see but he is moving around fine.

How has Michael Gallup grown?

Grown as a player, that has to do with experience and his approach. He’s a young player, but played a lot of football last year, wasn’t always consistent last year but played his best at the end of the year. He handled a tragic situation (death of his brother) and he was amazing. So mature in how he handled it.

That was a situation that will be with them for the rest of their lives. He handled it beautifully, we try to provide resources. He’s been strong.

He’s had similar growth to a lot of young players. Early on their brain is working so hard smoke is coming out of the ears, there is so much work to process what is going on. Typically causes players to slow down. We want to get to a point through work and experience where they get more comfortable and play. He’s much further along than last year. More instinctive.

Lot of offseason discussion about upgrading safeties. Woods and Heath, what do you like about them?

Like them a lot. Me, Jerry, Stephen say we always try to improve, we had discussions about safeties in free agency and the draft. Sometimes visits take a life of their own, but we are always looking at guys. Not a reflection on those guys, we’re really happy with them. They handle it well, we want competition.

Luke Gifford?

Big, athletic, good feel for the game, toughness, instinctive, makes plays. Want to see more of him, want to see him play more and see his growth.

Linebacker depth?

Feel good about the guys we have Leighton Vander Esch, Jaylon Smith, Sean Lee, we like those three and how they play together. Sean will be back in a little bit. We have some vets, Thomas, March-Lillard, want so see more of guys like Covington, Quiero.