5 Quick Hits from Coach Garrett This Week
In this week’s press conference, Jason Garrett touched on everything from how to defend Zach Ertz, Travis Frederick’s likelihood to play this season, and more.
Backs Against the Wall
The Cowboys enter Sunday’s game against the Eagles with the top spot in the NFC East. A Cowboys loss could change that, however, Garrett said the team isn’t focusing on that aspect of the game. “We’re just focused on what we need to do,” Garrett said. “Our backs are to the wall, they’re always to the wall…we come in and focus on our preparation.” Dallas is on a 4-game win streak that started against the Eagles in Week 9.
Getting the Most Out of the Defense
Garrett believes Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli and Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard complement each other nicely.
He said they have the same beliefs in terms of what they want to instill in the defense and the players, which is an important dynamic as a player to have consistency among the coaches. Marinelli and Richard go about their coaching in different ways, but still inspire and teach the players the same message in a positive way.
Matt Slocum via AP
Defending Eagles TE Zach Ertz
Garrett notes that defending Ertz will be a challenge because he’s a dangerous player all along the field, “He’s someone (the Eagles) like to go to and it’s obvious why”. Entering Sunday’s game, Ertz has 93 receptions and is on track to break former Cowboys TE Jason Witten’s record (110) for most receptions in a season by a tight end. In the first meeting between Dallas and Philadelphia this season, Ertz recorded 145 yards and 2 touchdowns, so the Cowboys will need to adjust accordingly to the challenges Ertz creates.
Mini-Break Was Important
The Cowboys just completed a stretch of playing 3 games in 12 days and now have 10 days between last Thursday’s Saints game and Sunday’s game against the Eagles. Garrett said he was proud of the way the team took care of their bodies during that demanding part of the schedule and that this break is important for every player. “NFL football is physical, it’s tough,” Garrett said. “When the game’s over these guys feel it…it’s good to get the break, get yourself back a little bit, come back refreshed and ready to go.”
Center Travis Frederick Unlikely to Play This Season
Earlier this week, Cowboys Chief Operating Officer Stephen Jones said Frederick is unlikely to play this season. Frederick hasn’t played this season after he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a condition that affects the nerves, prior to the start of the season.
Garrett said they’re taking Frederick’s recovery one day at a time, but he’s not close to practicing right now. Even though he hasn’t been playing, Frederick has been working with his teammates in meetings and during games. Garrett said Frederick is doing everything he can to get himself back to playing, but his generosity by assisting Offensive Line Coach Marc Colombo with the offensive line has been greatly appreciated.