Things are good for the Dallas Cowboys right now. A huge win over a division rival in Week 1 will do that. Jason Garrett spoke with the media today, let’s see what he had to say. (All answers are paraphrased and not actual quotes).
What most impressed you?
Jason Garrett thought that the Cowboys had a “good mix” and noted that the pass protection was outstanding (Dak Prescott was not sacked once). He noted that the team was efficient yet explosive and said that after the first drive the Cowboys scored touchdowns on their next five drives, an accomplishment he was pleased with.
Garrett did say that the Cowboys want to finish stronger (he noted that they had the lead) and emphasized that the team has to be able to run the ball better.
Use of play-action
Coach Garrett talked about how important play action is to the offense and praised Kellen Moore for how he used it.
How different is the offense with Kellen Moore?
Jason Garrett has never been fond of comparisons and he stuck to that tune when talking about how different Kellen Moore is from anyone that came before. him. He simply talked about how the Cowboys are focused on maintaining success and that you can’t be results oriented, you have to be process oriented. He thought they could go back and clean up some execution. He also discussed balance a lot, between run and pass, and balance of using different weapons on offense. He said you want to do that, but you have to be able to execute that.
Limited usage for Ezekiel Elliott
The Cowboys didn’t utilize Zeke to the degree that we’ve seen over the years and Jason Garrett noted that the team wanted to be mindful of his situation. Obviously Elliott wasn’t in camp with the Cowboys so the team made sure to keep things balanced. Garrett made sure to emphasize how great of a football player Zeke is, it sounds like things went about as great as they could have with this plan. He noted that they were going to use Jamize Olawale a lot on third down, and they were going to give Tony Pollard some series too.
The rookie running back wasn’t used a ton throughout the game against New York, but Jason Garrett liked what he saw. He noted that Pollard didn’t back off of anything which is important but added that Pollard “hasn’t been in awe” of any situation he’s faced.
“You just want to attack on offense”
Asked about particular details of the offensive gameplan, Jason Garrett kept it simple. He said you just want to attack. He noted that Dak Prescott was a very good decision-maker throughout Sunday’s game and added that this was true at all phases, down the field or checking down.
The Cowboys like using their receivers in different ways which is a very good thing. The fact that the top wideouts in Dallas are versatile makes their offense all the more difficult to stop.
How is Amari Cooper so QB-friendly?
Coach Garrett said that Cooper wins his battles, presents himself to the quarterback well, and is a clean route-runner. Coach also lauded his ability to recognize man and zone coverages and find the open holes in the zone.
Michael Gallup plays fast
Jason Garrett gave kudos to the ball location from Dak Prescott on Sunday which he attributed as part of the reason that players like Michael Gallup were able to have success. He went at it in a long way, but he complimented Dak Prescott’s ability to hit his receivers, Gallup included, in stride. He noted that Gallup is comfortable running through the catch and getting moving instead of settling down for the catch.
Michael Gallup’s growth is due to a lot of things
Obviously someone like Michael Gallup benefits greatly from Amari Cooper, and while Jason Garrett agreed with this he was also firm in mentioning that Gallup is improving because he’s playing more and gaining more experience.
Jeff Heath got banged up, Randall Cobb has “a little rib thing”
As far as injuries go the Cowboys, good news here, escaped from Week 1 relatively unscathed. Garrett did acknowledge that Jeff Heath got “a bit banged up” and that Randall Cobb has a “rib thing”. He said Zack Martin came through fine and they took him out because they could, not because of any signs of injury.
It’s a competition every week for inactives
Asked about why Trysten Hill and Taco Charlton were inactive Jason Garrett basically said it’s a competition to see who puts on the jersey every week. He thought that the versatility of some of the guys like Joe Jackson and Kerry Hyder helped with limiting the snaps of guys like DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford.
What does a perfect passer rating mean to Jason Garrett?
“I don’t know.”
What happened on the Saquon Barkley run?
One of the bigger plays for the New York Giants was the Saquon Barkley run early on. Jason Garrett expressed disappointment in this and noted that you can’t let it happen. He blamed the issues on some pre-snap miscommunication and the fact that gap control was poor on the play. He did give credit for Chidobe Awuzie to make the stop that he did.
Jason Garrett noted that Xavier Woods did some great things against the Giants. This might have gone unnoticed to some, but Woods forced a fumble on the first play of the game (New York recovered it). He thought he tackled pretty well although coach noted they needed more helmets on Barkley sometimes when in space.
Jeff Heath on defense and on special teams
Coach really wanted to credit Heath for his hard work on both defense and special teams. He noted that not all players can play defense and stand out on special teams. Coach cited Heath’s speed, strength, and his nose for the ball as the key to his special teams capabilities.
Coach Garrett said that Tank played “very well” against the Giants (Tank also forced a fumble) and played about the number of snaps that the Cowboys thought he would, as did Tyrone Crawford.