Dallas Cowboys

What Jason Garrett said after Cowboys big win: ‘We took the ball away and we cashed it in’

Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett discussed a plethora of topics after his team beat the Philadelphia Eagles 37-10 Sunday night at AT&T Stadium.

He dismissed Philadelphia Eagles’ coach Doug Pederson predicting a win last week being any sort of motivating factor for his players, Dak Prescott’s performance, Amari Cooper playing through an injury and why he went for it on 4th and 1 near midfield.

Here’s an edited version of Garrett’s post-game press conference after Sunday’s win:

On if Eagles’ head coach Doug Peterson guaranteeing a victory had anything to do with the emotion the team came out with:

“That didn’t have anything to do with it. We focus on us and each day of preparation and the task at hand. Our guys did a great job preparing for this ball game. They really did a good job playing for 60 minutes in all three phases.”

On two turnovers in their territory in the first five minutes. How big is that?

“Huge! That is something we emphasize on obviously, having not done a good enough job so far this season. Those are the difference-making plays of the game and we took the ball away, we cashed it in, we took the ball away, we cashed it in. The offense did a great job winning in those sudden change situations. I think it was four take aways for the game. You do that and stay plus three on the turnover ledger, that’s giving you a lot of chances to win football games.”

On what he saw in film this past week that the deep passes were going to go well tonight:

“The biggest thing against this team is you have to block their players out front. Their biggest players out front are an outstanding defensive line and are aggressive all throughout their defense, so I thought our offense did an excellent job allowing us to be balanced. We protected well and ran the ball well throughout the game. I think Kellen [Moore] did a great job staying persistent with that and tried to attack in different ways. He tried to get the ball out of our hand, he tried to move our quarterback, take shots down the field. We had a number of opportunities. Dak made a number of big time throws. Receivers did a great job on the other end.”

On Dak’s performance tonight from start to finish:

“I thought he played an outstanding game. I thought he was really in control of everything. He made great decisions throughout, made a number of great plays. Plays with his feet, plays with his arm, played really well in critical situations catching our players in the endzone on some drives for us and just really did a nice job. He was really in command of everything and played really well in situational football.”

On if he put any new plays for the game tonight:

“I don’t think so. Typically we do what we do. We try to game plan and attack the defense in different ways with a style of offense that we play.”

On why he went for it on 4th and 1 on his own 49, while up 14-7

“We just needed to that. We needed to stay aggressive. We needed to convert that and continue to have confidence in our guys, and our guys did a great job backing us up and making the plays and continuing down to allow us to score points to go ahead by a couple of scores.”

On the whole strategy of the field goal at the end of half:

“I just thought it was a good sequence for us. We’ve worked on those sequences over and over and over again. I thought Dak made a number of great decisions understanding how much time we had on the clock and how we had to manage that. Our goal was to give Brett an opportunity. We got to the 45-yard line and they all looked at me and said ‘let’s go.’ He kicked the 63 yarder, a bigtime operation by LP and Chris. Fantastic protection was clean and Brett made a good kick for us.”

On if it’s still a little hard to think that it’s a field goal opportunity at 45:

“Yes. I had to thing twice about it, but he’s been so good. He’s been good beyond 60 for us. I think that’s probably his third or fourth one in the last couple of years. He’s very confident in those situations, I thought the guys were confident. Again I thought Dak and the offense handled that situation really well.”

With all of the injuries, is the bye week is coming at a good time for him?

“Again I thought those guys did a fantastic job working their way back. To have Tyron back and LC in the tackle for us and Amari and RC coming back in receiver and making the plays they made tonight. Byron Jones, fighting his way back. I think those guys did a fantastic job. They make a difference for us. The guys who played in their place, played hard and battled and they grew from the experience, so we are better team for it. Hopefully in the next 10 days or so our guys will get healed up and we’ll be ready to go again.”

On what DeMarcus Lawrence was able to do tonight and set the tone:

“DeMarcus is a hell of a football player, and it goes so far beyond being a good pass rusher. He’s created a pride being a run defender, being around the ball, he’s always sprinting to the ball. He plays with relentless spirit. He certainly was going after the quarterback. He was around a lot, made a lot of plays on the ball. It was bigtime.”

On him mentioning how strong the Eagles defense is. His thoughts on Zeke having another 100+ yard game and him controlling the game:

“I’ve got great respect for them. They are a fantastic team and have been. We’ve played some great games with them the last few years and battled them. Every time we go out there it’s a war. It starts upfront. Offense and defense and you challenge those guys to win their battles. That’s where it starts and our guys really stepped up tonight.”

On beating the Eagles three times in the last two years. How important is it to keep the pressure Carson Wentz?

“Critical. That’s one of our goals every week. You have to affect the quarterback. Our guys did a really good job. He (Wentz) is so allusive. He’s strong in the pocket. He escapes, he gets away from his tackles. He keeps his eyes up, and he keeps making a number of big plays, so you have to just stay after him. You have to be disciplined you have to be relentless. I thought our guys did a great job in doing that tonight.”

On him doing a great job keeping the receivers under control the whole game:

“Again as far as upfront you have to affect the quarterback. Our guys did a really good job in the back end. Both in zone coverage and man coverage against some big-time players. They got some play-making receivers, big guys, fast guys. Their tight ends are outstanding. Really good runners. So our guys stepped up. Again it starts upfront across the board. I thought we played really well on defense.”

On what he learned about Amari Cooper tonight after not practicing much before the game:

“I didn’t learn anything about him. It’s stuff I already knew and reaffirmed. He’s a big-time player, he’s as tough as they come. He battled back from this thing and just played at a really high level. He’s a difference play-making player for us. He’s so capable of making impactful plays in the game. He does it consistently and he gets a lot of attention from opposing defenses and time and time again he does the best for us.”

On the win being important, and does he think this is the most consistently played game to give the team some confidence

“I agree with that. The challenge was to play in and play out for 60 minutes. That’s in all three phases. We knew certainly after besides getting off to a good start, but even when we didn’t they knew they’d come back. That’s the kind of team they are. That’s what the NFL is all about. You had to keep playing, you had to keep battling. Had to keep executing. Again, I thought we did that really well in all three phases of our team.”

Any news on Leighton Vander Esch and Robert Quinn injuries?

“We’ll find out more. Obviously, none of those guys finished. We’ll find out more in the morning. Leighton, I think is dealing with a stinger and Robert, went to get his ribs x-rayed so we will just see what that is.”

On what he liked most about Zeke’s performance today:

“He’s just tough. Zeke’s a really, really good football player. When it comes to Zeke Elliott its all mental and toughness. He loves carrying the football, he loves making the dirty yards. He loves blocking. He was a run blocker tonight he was a pass protector tonight. He’s just tough and our team feeds off of him.”

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Stefan Stevenson has been covering sports for the Star-Telegram since 1997. He spent five years covering TCU athletics, which included two BCS bowls, two trips to the college World Series and the move to the Big 12. He has covered the Texas Rangers since 2014 and started reporting on the Dallas Cowboys in 2016.