Philadelphia Eagles News

Game Vs. Cowboys: Head Coach Jason Garrett

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Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett

On losing QB Tony Romo and how the team overcame adversity to win the game:

"There was a lot of adversity that we had to overcome today and I thought our team did a really good job just continuing to battle and fight. And again, we emphasize mental toughness – being your best regardless of circumstance and there was a lot of circumstances to deal with. First off, coming on the road, playing against a division rival and then how the game unfolded. A lot of different penalties put us behind the sticks and then having to deal with a few different injuries throughout the game, the most significant being [QB] Tony Romo. I thought everybody rallied around him. [QB] Brandon [Weeden] came in and did a really nice job. He's a professional. He's ready for that opportunity. He came in. He had poise. He had composure. He ran the offense. He made the plays he needed to make. I thought everybody else on offense rallied around him too. I thought we controlled the line of scrimmage, ran the ball a little bit better. The guys outside made some plays for him. I do think the story of the day though was the defense. The defense just did a fantastic job right from the start of this ballgame. The number of times we had three-and-outs early on in the game, the stops we made, the tackles for loss, disrupted a very, very good offensive football team. And not only did it happen early, but it happened in the middle and it happened throughout the ball game. So I thought they handled the challenges of that offense really, really well and set the tone for the day. From a special teams standpoint, the blocked punt and [LB Kyle] Wilber's touchdown was huge. We were doing a lot of good things on offense. Driving the football, got bogged down on the one drive when we got down there close. The scoreboard didn't register the success that we were having and for us to make that play to go up 13-nothing, I thought that was a significant play in the ballgame and I think everybody rallied behind that."                       

On whether the team might be "snake bitten" considering it lost WR Dez Bryant and Romo back-to-back:

"We just focus on what we do. Guys are ready to play. Guys stepped up. If you think about the guys that went in for them, they were the guys that made the significant plays throughout the ballgame. Brandon Weeden threw the big slant route at the end of the ballgame to [WR] Terrance Williams, throws on an all-out blitz and wins on a slant and runs in. The mindset and mentality is 'control what we can control. Be our best regardless of what the circumstances are and be ready for our opportunities.' And those guys were ready. I thought our team was ready and responded really well to that adversity and I think it certainly helped us – the mindset and mentality – to win this ballgame today."    

On whether he has any reason to believe Romo won't be back this season:

"Yeah, all that is early. He has to get examined tomorrow and we'll see what that says. The initial report is that he broke his collarbone and we have to see the extent of it. We'll examine him more in the morning and make some determinations about how long he may be out."

On whether Weeden can play at a high enough level:

"That's his job. That's his job. He's a good football player and we have him in that role for a reason and he's been able to come in and play well for us in his time with the Cowboys. He's a veteran player and I think he's more and more comfortable with what we're doing and I think a lot of that showed in his play today. Again, the big play at the end of the ballgame. We had to run it a couple of times in that situation, force them to use timeouts, but then you're going to get to a critical third down situation. [Offensive coordinator] Scott Linehan did a great job getting to a call that we liked. They pressured us. He saw it. He made a great throw. Terrance finished the job. I have a lot of confidence in Brandon and more importantly, his teammates have a lot of confidence in him. He'll start getting the workouts started on Wednesday."       

On what LB Sean Lee adds to the defense this year:

"Well I don't want to compare this year to last year, but I know he's a damn good football player and it's great to have him back. He's a great leader for our football team, but equally important he just makes a ton of plays. He makes a ton of tackles, makes a lot of plays on the ball and he raises everybody's level. He's just a damn good player. It's great to have him out there. It's great to see him back. He's leading our football team."    

On what the defense did to make it tough for Eagles QB Sam Bradford today:

"I just think our defense did a good job playing good, sound, fundamental defense. And we did a good job setting edges in the running game, good job being in the gaps. I thought we covered well in the backend. Single-high, man-to-man coverage that we played when we went to zone.    I thought we did a good job with our eyes, our awareness in zone. We tried to pressure the quarterback. I think he felt people around him throughout the day. So I think it starts with stopping the run. When you get them on their heels a little bit when they can't run the football, it makes it challenging, just like it does for everybody in the league."     

On the performance of Dallas' run defense:

"It was pretty good.  And again, just because of the offense that we are going against; they are a damn good offense.  They have a lot of different weapons that are a challenging scheme, and I just thought we played fundamentally sound.  That's really where it starts.  I thought we tackled well and really didn't let them get started.  I thought that was the key to the whole thing and everything fed from there."

On WR Terrance Williams and Dallas' receivers stepping up in the absence of WR Dez Bryant:

"I thought they did a good job.  The biggest challenge for us offensively was the penalties.  We had three penalties against us in the game on Sunday night against the [New York] Giants.  We had 18 today.  Apparently we didn't coach very well this week.  [That's a] 15 penalty differential.  We have to get that stuff cleaned up.  A lot of those self-inflicted wounds hurt us.  We were behind the chains too much in the ball game.  When we weren't, we drove the football and had some success.  That's an area we've got to get better at.  We're going to coach them hard this week, and players are going to understand that.  When we stay on schedule offensively, I think we are a good offense.  We can run the football, we can throw it, and we can make the plays we need to drive the ball and score points.  When we get behind the chains because we are making penalties, it is really difficult to keep the rhythm we want."

On LB Sean Lee's interception in the end zone helping with the emotions of losing QB Tony Romo:

"The biggest thing that we talked about is you've got to keep fighting.  You've got to be a relentless athlete.  Regardless of what has happened up to this point: good, bad, or indifferent, you play this play, and you keep coming.  I thought it was a great example by our defense.  Tony goes down, they drive the football, they have us on our heels a little bit, but we just kept battling.  For Sean to make that play and not allow them to cash in on that drive, I thought that was a significant play in the game and then we come back and we can extend the score.  A lot of good things happened.  I think a lot of it had to do with just the relentless nature of our team."

On the decision to alternate OL La'el Collins and G Mackenzy Bernadeau in today's game:

"It's hard to know.  I don't know from my vantage point right now how those guys played.  We'll watch the tape, but it was good to have them both out there."

On TE Jason Witten being in and out of the game:

"He hurt his ankle.  Then he hurt his other ankle.  Then his hurt his knee.  But typical Witten – he wasn't going to be out long.  He did a good job as that game unfolded.  He made some plays.  Running those stick routes and those options routes inside allowed us to move the football.  He's a warrior.  He's one of the greatest I've ever been around."

On changing the offense now that Romo is injured:

"We are going to run our offense.  Obviously, Tony is a special player.  He has been a great leader for our football team for a number of years now.  The next guy has got to go in there and play.  [QB] Brandon [Weeden] did a good job today.  He has done a good job in the past, and he has that opportunity to run our offense.  Our standard is high for anybody who goes in and plays, and he understands that.  He'll prepare well, and he'll play well."

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