Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett
October 15, 2020
Q: There’s been a lot of talk about Daniel getting comfortable in this offense and how that’s a process. Can you just give an example of something for a quarterback in your system that’s challenging? What is something that takes time and he has to get comfortable with?
A: I think as much as anything else, you’re trying to make it a quarterback friendly system. I think everybody is trying to do that. Quarterbacks, like all the players, it’s just a matter of repetition. Being in different situations, running plays against different looks. It just takes time to do that, it takes some experience to do that. I think there have been a lot of positive things over the course of the first five games for Daniel and for our offense. Obviously, there is plenty of areas we need to improve upon. Hopefully, over time there will be more positives and few negatives. I think we have improved, I think we have made strides. I think everybody is getting more comfortable. I think we have played against good defenses and I think we’ll learn and be better from those experiences. Across our offensive line with our tight ends and receivers, our quarterbacks and our backs. Hopefully we’ll grow week-by-week.
Q: Between the end around to Evan for a touchdown, the two-point conversion to Andrew Thomas, we saw a lot of what outside people would call creative play calling. I’m wondering if that is Dallas specific last week based on matchups you saw or was that stuff that was in there the first four weeks that you just didn’t have a chance to use? Did it take a while to get to it because of the limited offseason, you just couldn’t get to that next level stuff? Why break all that out last week?
A: I think you’re always trying to find ways to make plays. Plays like that are typically in game plans week after week and you’re looking for the right opportunity to call those kinds of things. Some weeks you might be more apt to call them based upon where you are or what the defense is doing. Other weeks, you might have them in but a little bit less likely to call them. Sometimes just situations in the game dictate those kinds of things. You always want to attack the defense different ways. It starts with run and pass, using tempo, formations, movements. What you try to do to compliment your base stuff. Hopefully in those situations, you call them, and you can execute them.
Q: You’ve called Evan Engram your most explosive offensive player. Why do you think it hasn’t worked out into deep passing usage and overall significant frequent touches for him?
A: Evan has done a really nice job for us. There have been some really positive plays that he’s made over the course of the first five games. Certainly, areas where he can get better and we can get better. Offensive football is a collaborative thing, it’s everybody. The success you have running the ball, blocking them up front, protecting with your offensive line will impact all your skill players. At times we’ve done a really good job in our run game protecting in our run game and in our protections. Again, that will impact how we can get the skill guys involved. I think Evan has done a good job taking advantage of some opportunities we’ve given him and certainly we are trying to create more and more for him and for all our guys.
Q: What was your Dallas return like for you emotionally? I’m sure you have communicated with Dak, obviously a player that means a lot you. What was that like seeing that and being there for that?
A: I thought it was important going into the game to be focused on what we needed to do to play our best football. That’s what we tried to do last week leading up to the game. It was certainly fun being back there seeing a lot of people that I had been around. I think the games for all us are a little bit odd and different not having the normal game day atmosphere that you would have with fans and everybody around. I did get a chance to visit with some of the players, some of the coaches and other people in the organization and I had great visits with those guys, that was a fun experience for me. In regard to Dak, obviously very sad that he had the injury. One thing I know about him, he’s as tough as they come. His mentally tough, he’s physically tough. Surgery seemed to have gone well. Our communication over the last few days have been positive, it seems like he is in good spirits. Wish him nothing but the best, he’s a special guy.
Q: I wanted to ask you about Darius Slayton and your thoughts on him throughout the first five weeks and how you see his role kind of evolving down the stretch?
A: Darius has done an excellent job for us. Talk about a guy who has taken advantage of opportunities. It seems like any time we go in his direction, he’s able to make plays for us. Whether they are little plays or big plays. He’s continued to do that week after week. He had a big game the other day in the ball game against Dallas. He continues to grow as a young player that’s not played that much football as this level. Really doing some positive things. His approach is outstanding as a professional, he really wants to know all the details. He works very hard in practice. He’s been able to carry that to the game. He’s certainly off to a very good start for us.
Q: How big challenge does Andrew Thomas face when he’s up against Chase Young? How do you make sure his confidence remains high?
A: Andrew has faced really the elite rushers of the NFL in his first five games. If you think about the guys in Pittsburgh, then you go see Mack and Quinn in Chicago. They guys in San Francisco, their a little banged up but still pretty stout up front. The Rams, obviously the best defensive lineman in football. They have really good defensive ends that he had to block in that game. You go to Dallas and you’re going against two really elite defensive linemen play in and play out in DeMarcus Lawrence and Aldon Smith. He’s certainly gotten his indoctrination to the National Football League by playing against really good players. That’s really the nature of his position. The biggest challenge that he’ll have and that all offensive tackles in this league have is, you’re not going always going to win. The other guys are good too. They are going to have success pushing the pocket, getting around the quarterback. You just have to keep coming back and learn from the experiences. I think about a guy like Tyron Smith who we had in Dallas. When we first got him there, he was going against DeMarcus Ware in practice every day. To be honest with you, right at the start he didn’t do very well. DeMarcus Ware really got after him. As it went along in training camp and is it went along when they competed against each other, Tyron started to win some. Then he started to win some more of them and then it would be back and forth and then it was 50/50. Then he started to win more than half. That’s really what these guys have to do. They have to keep battling, keep learning from their experiences. Be mentally tough, be physically tough. Technically, become better and you’ll grow and improve as a player over time. There’s no questions it’s one of the most challenging positions in football. To block these elite rushers every week – Andrew has done a nice job so far. He’s going to get better and better as we go.