Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett
Conference Call, December 6, 2017
Q: Can you recall what some of the challenges are for an interim head coach and how you made it all together when you were in that position?
A: It was a collective challenge. We had to somehow, someway, process what had happened and then get our sights set on a ball game that we were going to play in six days. I thought our coaching staff did a really good job and our team did a really good job somehow processing it and just really getting focused and locked in on what that preparation day was and how important it was to us and we were able to do that the rest of the week. That was really the big challenge and the thing that we focused on.
Q: What is the most important thing for an interim coach to establish right off the bat in the organization?
A: I think every situation is different. I can only speak to my situation. Again, the biggest thing I wanted to do is to focus on what was ahead of us not how we had gotten to that position and again, I thought our coaches and our players did a really good job responding the right way.
Q: What kind of jolt does an interim coach bring to the morale of a locker room that has been struggling?
A: I can only speak to our situation here when it happened and I do think our guys responded the right way. It really was about just getting back to work and focusing on what we needed to do each day in our preparation for the game and thatís really what we focused our attention on.
Q: Do you think that your win over the Redskins gave your team a jolt of confidence that can help down the stretch?
A: Well, I donít think thereís any question when you win a game in the NFL it makes you feel good and it makes you feel more confident and again, I thought our team did a good job responding to the stretch of games that we had and just came out and put that behind us and just went and played. It starts with your preparation and we had a long weekend and now weíre just back at it getting ready for the next challenge.
Q: Do you have any concern that the Giantsí move back to Eli Manning will also give them a change that might affect your team?
A: Again, our focus is really on us. We have great respect for the Giants, their coaching staff and all their players. But, the biggest thing we try to do is just focus on what we need to do each day to prepare to play our best. So, again, a healthy respect for everything about their organization, but we got to get focused on us and our preparation.
Q: How do you feel that youíve adjusted to the absence of Ezekiel Elliott?
A: Well, Zeke is a really good player obviously. Heís someone that is very productive for us both in the running game and in the passing game and someone who did a lot of different things for our team. He helped the guys on offense around him and not only did he help those guys, but he had a big impact on the rest of our team to control the football and play the way we wanted to play offensively. I do think we did a good job in the game the other night fighting through some issues early on offensively. We had some three and outs early on in the ball game. Everybody just kept battling and fighting and Alfred Morris, as the game wore on, really did a nice job for us in helping us control the game and playing the way we want to play.
Q: How different are these two teams three months after they met?
A: Well, I think every team grows and evolves over the course of the season and the experiences that you have hopefully are ones that you can benefit from both success and adversity. So, itís hard for me to speak to the Giants. I can speak to our team and some of the positive things that have happened. I think weíve done a good job building on some of the adversity. Weíve done a good job fighting through. So, hopefully a lot of the younger players have grown, guys who havenít played before who have a role for us now. Hopefully, theyíve grown over the course of the early part of their careers and the same thing with our team in general.
Q: Do you bring the playoffs up to your team or do you just say letís win today?
A: We talk about letís practice well today and obviously weíre focused on one game at a time, but really youíre focused on one dayís worth of preparation at a time and thatís really the world we live in.