Every week during the regular season we get an opportunity to talk with the opposing head coach via conference call. This week it was Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett. I also scanned the Dallas media websites and the Cowboys website to see what else Cowboys players and coaches are saying about this week's matchup with the Lions.
Here's what they had to say:
1. What do the Cowboys know about Lions backup quarterback Jeff Driskel, who started in Chicago Sunday, and could be in line to start again Sunday vs. Dallas with Matthew Stafford still dealing with hip and back injuries?
It turns out more than you'd think. Garrett actually coached Driskel the week of the Senior Bowl when Driskel was coming out of Louisiana Tech. Garrett said he was impressed back then with Driskel as player and overall athlete, and he said he saw those traits in the Bears game last week.
2. Running back Ezekiel Elliott had just 47 rushing yards on 20 attempts (2.4 average) in Sunday's loss to the Vikings. It's the second lowest total he's been held to in his career when he carries the ball at least 15 times. Dallas had just 50 rushing yards as a team.
"We can make some adjustments in our run game and give us some better results," Cowboys owner, president and general manager Jerry Jones told 105.3 The Fan Tuesday morning. "I see us utilizing what we're basically developing, and that's the ability to use our quarterback and run-pass option game. That's going to, with some adjustments we can make in our blocking, that we can do better than we did Sunday."
3. Garrett couldn't say enough good things about Lions third-year wide receiver Kenny Golladay, who leads the NFL with eight touchdown receptions, when talking to Dallas reporters Wednesday on dallascowboys.com. Garrett used adjectives like big, athletic and talented in describing Golladay.
Later Wednesday, in the conference call with Detroit reporters, Garrett said the biggest thing that sticks out to him about Golladay's play right now is how much trust Lions quarterbacks have throwing to him down the field because he's making so many plays for them.
4. Detroit's defense has been inconsistent most of the season, but Garrett pointed to the fact that the unit has had some good games this season against some pretty good offenses. Dallas enters the contest No. 1 in the NFL in total offense.
Meet this week's opponents, the Dallas Cowboys.
5. The Cowboys come into this game battling injuries upfront along their offensive line. Left guard Connor Williams, right guard Zack Martin and right tackle La'el Collins all missed practice Wednesday. Collins and Martin are dealing with a back and elbow injuries, respectively, and Garrett told the team website he was unsure what their participation level would be. Williams underwent a knee scope on Tuesday and will be out at least a couple weeks.
Xavier Su'a-Filo stepped in for Williams at left guard, Joe Looney was playing right guard for Martin, and Brandon Knight played right tackle for Collins in practice.
Garrett commended the toughness of that group upfront, and said if there's any chance they can play, they will.