Head Coach Brian Daboll
September 5, 2023
Q: Can you explain the thinking behind, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a practice squad guy go on IR, usually you just play one practice guy short, so what was the reason behind putting (wide receiver) Cole (Beasley) on IR?
A: Wasn’t ready to go, so brought another receiver in. See what happens down the road.
Q: Did he do something extra yesterday to it?
A: No, just wasn’t ready, so brought in (wide receiver) Cam Sims. Another set of legs. When Cole is ready to come back, we will see how it goes.
Q: With the Cowboys, (quarterback) Dak Prescott and the interceptions was a big thing with him, a big topic all offseason here with him. What do you make of it when you looked at it?
A: Dak is a productive quarterback, he’s got a very good skillset, he’s won a lot of games, he’s been very productive, scored a lot of points. They’ve got a good football team, so we are going to need a really good week here of preparation.
Q: Do you look at that as an opportunity to now more so than maybe, it wasn’t something he has a track record of in the past, the interceptions I am talking about specifically. Do you look at as like more of an opportunity now?
A: He’s a heck of a quarterback. Scored a lot of points for them, multiple years, so we got to have a good week of practice.
Q: I know you take things day by day and every game one at a time. Can you explain the importance of divisional games and just competing within your division?
A: I’d say just, we got 17 games. We are locked on this one. That’s how we always are. Got to put everything we have into this week of preparation, practice, how we are in the meeting room, walk throughs to get ready to play our best game on Sunday.
Q: Does (Cowboys head coach) Mike McCarthy’s history as a play caller in Green Bay have any bearing to what he will do as a play caller in Dallas?
A: I think it’s the first game and even the first part of the season, there is a lot of unknowns. Got a lot of respect for Coach McCarthy, I mean he was a coordinator back in 2000, I think, for the 49ers. So, he’s been doing this a long time. Has a good track record, been very successful. What he is choosing to call or how he’s calling it, we won’t know that until Sunday.
Q: You guys didn’t have a sack against them in either game last year. Did they do something scheme wise; did they get rid of the ball quick?
A: I think they really did a good job of controlling the game. They were playing on early downs, there wasn’t a ton of third downs, particularly in the second half, they ran the ball well. They did a good job protecting, they’ve got a good offensive line, they played good football on offense in terms of taking care of the quarterback, controlling the line of scrimmage, and then making timely plays down the field.
Q: Both those games were close, one-score games. Is it encouraging that in that specific department, you were out pressured a lot quarterback wise, but you were still so close. Does that make you say, hey, if we can even that thing out a little bit?
A: I don’t really think what happened last year or any other game really has any bearing on this game. You take a look at it, you look at the players they still have, you look at their schemes. Obviously they have the same defensive coordinator, but again it’s a new season, they’ll be a bunch of new stuff that we will have to adjust to, and we’ve got to focus on ourselves and make sure we are ready to go.
Q: What do you make of (Cowboys linebacker) Micah Parsons?
A: I think I said it last year, he’s a dynamic player. You know, these defensive ends that can rush passer and get a lot of production on the quarterback, they are like skill players, so he’s an explosive, dynamic playmaker. They line him up in a variety of spots, he’s productive, he’s hard to block, he’s a really good football player, one of the best in the National Football League.
Q: He overshadows somewhat (Cowboys defensive end) DeMarcus Lawrence, who for a long time has been a thorn in the Giants, long before you got here last year. He’s been a thorn in the Giants side, what is it about Lawrence?
A: Same thing, he’s a dynamic player too. Obviously, was very productive, particularly in that first game, but he’s been a good player in this league for a long time, knows how to play the position, got a ton of respect for him and how he goes about his business and, again, a dynamic edge player and they have a few of them.
Q: Obviously you mentioned that first game, (tackle) Evan Neal was the one who had the tough game. What did you see from Evan Neal this preseason as he goes into a big year two?
A: I think we have talked about that. I think he’s improved. Now, we will go out there and play against a really good defensive front and he’s going to have to trust his techniques and fundamentals and communicate with the offensive line, but he’s done a good job really the whole offseason.
Q: Because of the unknowns that you mentioned about week one, is your game planning, your preparation, do you almost have to be more of a wide scope going into the week, knowing that you might have to bring in some things that you weren’t anticipating?
A: I think the biggest thing in the early parts of the year for games is making sure that you are really focused on the things that you can control, which is your execution of the plays, whether it’s an offensive play or the defensive looks that we get out here and really focusing on your fundamentals, your techniques, your communication, all the things that help you play well. That puts even more of a premium on it in the early part of the season because, again, you usually have a log of a few games here in the beginning part of the year after, call it, October. We are going to have to do a good job of executing our stuff against a really good team.
Q: Do you have anybody not practicing?
A: We’ll get into that tomorrow with the injury report.
Q: Is there anything you’re changing this year in the game week leadup from last season?
A: For this particular week, it's pretty similar. Yeah, it's pretty similar. Reps are pretty similar. Scheduling is pretty similar. Again, talking with the sports science people and the trainers, we kept it pretty similar to what we had going into Week 1 last year.
Q: You mentioned this week specifically. Are you thinking of anything changing for next week, or is it just kind of seeing how this week goes?
A: Let’s get through this week, get through today here.
Q: Going into camp, what were you looking for or hoping to see from (running back) Saquon (Barkley), and what did you see from him?
A: I was with Saquon for a year. I know his mindset, how he practices, how he prepares. So, he had a good camp. He’s ready to go.
Q: Talk about going against (Cowboys defensive coordinator) Dan Quinn and his defense.
A: He's been doing it for a long time. I've known Dan for a long time. We worked together back in ’07, I think it was, ’07-’08. He’s had a really good track record as a play caller, and I was a position coach. We competed against him in some games there towards the end of the year, and he's got high energy. I think the players really respect him. He's got a good reputation in the league. He's smart.
His defense flies around. They have a specific way they like to play. They create turnovers, they get off to fast starts. He's a heck of a coach.
Q: Is that one of the biggest traits of a Quinn defense? The speed, they’re always fast.
A: They’re fast, yeah. Whether it was at Seattle when he was there, or Atlanta, or when he was down in college, those guys play fast. They execute well. They’re tough to block up front. They create a lot of turnovers. He’s a heck of a coach.
Q: Is Cam Sims’ ability to play gunner on punt attractive to you guys?
A: Yeah, he’s a good—we had some guys in working out like we always do. He had a good workout. He definitely has had some production in the league, I’d say both at receiver and as a gunner, too. He’s a big body guy. I had him at Alabama back in ’17. Really haven’t spoken to him really until yesterday since he’s left. He had a good workout.
Q: Do you need (quarterback) Daniel (Jones) to kind of pickup where he left off at the end of last season?
A: I don't think you can pick up where you left off. I think it's a new season. We’re going to have to do the things we need to do leading up to this week. He’s had a good training camp, and now we’ve got to turn the page and get here on Dallas, which we've been the last couple of days, and go out there and practice and make sure we correct the things that are going to happen and ultimately play well and make good decisions and move the ball down. That's his role. But he's had a good camp.
Q: Do you ever worry about guys at any position who got a big contract in the offseason and then coming out and trying to do too much, trying to live up to it, and it wearing on them?
A: No. No.
Q: What do you think of the idea that Saquon is really out with a point to prove? He’s out to prove his worth.
A: I just think Saquon’s a competitor. I saw him compete last year and I know he’ll compete this year.
Q: What about him in camp stood out to you?
A: He just executed the offense well, did his job, competed, came in here prepared, studied, worked on things. If it wasn’t great one day, worked on it the next day. Had some good leadership about him. Again, really, now it's all about Dallas and going out here and have a couple of good days practice here.
Q: How much better was camp because he made the decision he made to come in, and there were no distractions? It became about you getting your team ready.
A: Camp was camp. It was a good camp. I said it before, glad everybody was here, and I think we took steps each day.
Q: Do you have to adjust anything with the weather being a little bit more unseasonable the next couple of days?
A: No. We talked at length, I'd say, before they left for break, and even when they got back, for the hydration plan, whether it was a plane trip, or we knew the weather was going to be a little bit more humid and hot this week. So, our nutritionist spoke to the team, our training staff spoke to the team. We’ve got pros, and hopefully they hydrated the right way, they ate the right way, and we planned for this here the next couple of days.
Q: A lopsided divisional series, can that play on players’ heads a little bit?
A: I think we’re focused on this week and trying to get ready for a really good team.
Q: I know you look ahead, you’re not looking at last year or anything, but some of these players have almost never beaten Dallas. Can that get in there somewhere?
A: I think the only thing that we’ve got to focus on is coming out here, practice, prepare, do the things we need to do to get ready to go on Sunday.