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 head coach Jason Garrett. I also scanned the Dallas area media websites and the Cowboys website to see what else the Cowboys players and coaches are saying about this week’s matchup with the Lions.
Here’s what they had to say:
1. The Cowboys have gotten off to a slow start offensively this season. They rank 31st in points scored (13.7) and 30th in total yards (277.7). Garrett said despite the early problems on offense, he doesn’t plan on any personnel or coaching changes this week.
2. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and the Cowboys' offense have gone five straight games now throwing for less than 200 yards a game. This is what guard Zack Martin told the Dallas Morning News Wednesday about the passing offense:
“Guys, listen, I'd love to tell you, put a finger on something, it's just that we have to play better,” he said. “At the end of the day, we have to block our men long enough for the quarterback to make a throw down the field. Bottom line, end of story.”
Meet this weeks opponents, the Dallas Cowboys.
3. Some of the things that stood out to Garrett watching film of Lions rookie running back Kerryon Johnson were his vision, feel for running and how difficult he is to tackle with just one defender. He seemed particularly impressed with the yards after contact totals from Johnson.
4. How will the Lions' defense challenge Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys' offense?
“They challenge you with scheme,” Garrett said.
The Lions pride themselves on being multiple on defense, and it seems the number of different fronts and personnel groupings the Lions have shown they like to throw at teams early on have made for some long film study in preparing to play them.
5. It’s amazing what a 159-yard team rushing game and having a single running back rush for more than 100 yards for the first time in 70 games does for an opponent's perspective of the Lions' offense. Garrett used the term “multidimensional” in describing Detroit’s offense, which is a word that hasn’t been associated with that unit for a few years.
“Every time they break the huddle, they challenge you with the run and the pass,” Garrett said. “They’re multidimensional. They attack you a lot of different ways.”