Daily Archives: December 17th, 2013

COWBOYS VS. PACKERS GAME TAPE: Jason Garrett press conference | Gameday film study

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Jason Garrett press conference: Game breakdown after game film review (23:20)

Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett speaks to the media after having a chance to review the tape of Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers game (Watch Video | Play Audio)

Garrett discussed:

  • How Jason Garrett asserts himself in game time offensive decisions
  • Why it’s hard to remain (appear) stubborn regarding the run in running situations
  • Any way to defend Tony Romo switching to the pass when a run is called
  • What Jason Garrett could have done differently to prevent that (turnover) from happening
  • Communication during an actual call in critical situations (run, no pass option veto)
  • How often has Jason Garrett told Tony Romo specifically what to do on a play call
  • Instead of hindsight, why aren’t adjustment decisions made during the course of the game
  • Second guessing Escobar not being in-motion to block the sack on Romo
  • Any point in the second half where Jason Garrett was second guessing
  • If he feels like he signaled Tony Romo out in the postgame press conference (below)
  • Steps to put the “overlay” into decisions during critical situations (situational awareness) 
  • How ineffective 3rd downs affect decisions with play calling on 2nd downs
  • DeMarco Murray’s sideline frustration in 2nd half; disservice to him by not running
  • How Dez Bryant decision to leave field was addressed; thoughts on issue
  • Was Dez Bryant fined by the team (for leaving the field early)
  • Is play calling/game planning being driven by inability to stop teams from scoring
  • Is this defense forcing the offense to become more aggressive
  • Does offensive gameplan change at halftime when headset goes down; Rookies
  • Why was DeMarcus Ware so ineffective in the Green Bay game
  • How concerned is Jason Garrett about the secondary; Morris Claiborne
  • Was pass rush improvement seen in this game compared to Chicago game last week
  • How DeMarco Murray’s run percentage plays are factored in to each game
  • The specifics of the play where Cole Beasley was targeted, but resulted in an INT
  • What do you say to fans that are looking for reasons to be optimistic going forward
  • Sense of urgency factors placed on players/coaches because of recent losses
  • Challenges of harnessing the negatives from last two losses; how to move forward
  • Dealing with issue of not having top-four linebackers going into the Redskins game
  • DeMarcus Ware getting some 1-on-1’s and still not getting sacks; Is he still a stud
  • Has DeMarcus Ware lost some of his explosiveness
  • Explaining decisions to take Jason Hatcher/Ware off the DL in certain situations/subs
  • Biggest reason they have been able to run the ball for the past few weeks
  • Recent communication with Jerry Jones regarding job security
  • Confidence in veterans and leaders on the team
  • Even with the recent losses, who still gives Jason Garrett confidence
  • When history has show they haven’t gotten the job done in these loosing situations


RELATED VIDEO:

For Jason Garrett’s postgame press conference video, immediately following the loss to the Green Bay Packers, click HERE (Listen to Audio)

COWBOYS VS. PACKERS GAME TAPE: Silver linings among the Blues | Gameday film study

COWBOYS VS. PACKERS GAME TAPE - Silver linings among the Blues -  Packers Cowboys postgame film study - Dallas Cowboys schedule 2013 2014

IRVING, Texas – Observations from the film room at Valley Ranch:

Starts Up Front

Since the bye week, it has been remarkable how this Cowboys offensive line has come together as a group and the job they have done in these last four weeks. Where there were issues with run blocking and leaky protection in 2012, the changes at center and guard with Travis Frederick and Ronald Leary have paid off greatly.

Doug Free is once again playing at the level that we saw from him three seasons ago and Mackenzy Bernadeau has been steady on the right side working next to him.

The best player on this line and maybe best player overall on the offense is Tyron Smith

Smith is playing at an elite level, and it is getting him noticed around the league. When I have a chance to visit with scouts from around the league, it’s Smith they want to talk about. In this game against the Packers, he had the job of dealing with Clay Matthews, who was their best pass rusher. In the week leading up to the game, I was getting that vibe that these coaches were very comfortable in allowing Smith to handle Matthews without any help, and that allowed Leary, Frederick , Bernadeau and Free to focus on the other Packers defensive linemen and linebackers.

Smith was so good against Matthews, Dom Capers moved him away from Smith just to give him a shot to try and get some pressure on Romo. No matter how hard Matthews tried to rush, he could not unlock Smith, who has become a much more complete tackle against both the run and pass. 

Where this line has been outstanding as a unit is as run blockers. Against the Packers, who play with some powerful men in their base 3-4, they were able to create cracks and gaps, which DeMarco Murray took full advantage of.

To Murray’s credit, he ran the ball with some power and resolve. This line is doing a much better job of working together to secure these blocks. You are seeing more hats on hats with finish. Where this group had their issues earlier in the season, they are doing a much better job of changing or moving the line of scrimmage and giving Murray the opportunities to make the cuts that we have seen from him or just carry the ball play side.

The group has also done a quality job in pass protection. When they have had problems, it has usually come from the coordination of their responsibilities with the running backs. There have been some sacks of Romo this season where it wasn’t on the offensive line and on the backs.

The numbers on Sunday show that the offensive line gave up three sacks and two of them were on the line, but the third was due to coverage down the field. Of those two sacks, one was due to a miss by Frederick, who worked across the pocket in an effort to try and help Bernadeau, but he whiffed and it allowed Mike Daniels to get to Romo.

The next sack was a nice design by Capers when the Packers ran a twist stunt inside with Clay Matthews, and Leary was late getting over to secure the block. Romo had nowhere to go, resulting in the sack.

I thought overall, this group really did a nice job up front, and, in the second half, if Garrett and Callahan wanted to continue to run the ball, this group would have been up to the challenge of blocking this Packers front seven, without any issues.

I was surprised they didn’t attempt to do that.

The Other End

There were not many things that went right for this Cowboys defense in the second half, but one area that did was the play of George Selvie. In the build up toward this game with the Packers, I was calling for DeMarcus Ware to step up and lead this defense to victory, but it was Selvie that was the most noticeable player when I sat down and broke down the game — which was a big surprise to me.

Selvie finished the afternoon with six tackles, one sack, two tackles for loss and one quarterback hurry. Where Selvie was at his best in this games was how he was able to get off the ball. He was attacking the entire game, and his burst off the ball put him in some very good positions to make plays.

The biggest issue for Selvie this year has been dealing with teams that want to run the ball at him, because offenses feel like they can take advantage of his lighter build. Each game, Selvie is giving up an average of 40 or 50 pounds to these tackles and it is making it difficult on him.

Against the Packers, he did a much better job of holding the point attack and not allowing the ball to get over the top of him or to the edge. This was a huge improvement of what happened to him last week against the Bears, where he struggled to defeat blocks and did a poor job of defeating blocks.

If George Selvie is going to have success at defensive end for the Cowboys, this is going to be  exactly how he did it in this game — with quickness up the field, using his eyes and playing with leverage, which he was able to do.

COAST-TO-COAST CRITICISM: Don’t minimize the real issue with the 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys

COAST-TO-COAST CRITICISM - Don’t minimize the real issue with the 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys - Tony Romo Jason Garrett

IRVING, Texas – Games like this last one against the Packers just feed the monster. It’s out there and it loves to jump on Tony Romo and Jason Garrett and of course, Jerry Jones.

Anytime the Cowboys blow a second-half lead or Romo throws a pick or two late, it ignites a wave of criticism from coast to coast. As Jason Garrett says, “it comes with the dinner.”

I just did a segment on NFL AM on the NFL Network for about five minutes and answered questions about Tony Romo’s decision-making, Dez Bryant leaving the field early and Jason Garrett’s job security.

But no one is asking about the real issue of this team. The issue that led to Dez walking off the field or Tony having to make those decisions or the fact Garrett hasn’t won enough games this year and why his job is in question.

Let’s be honest, the real issue about the 2013 Dallas Cowboys is the defense. This defense is one of the worst in NFL history.

They rank dead-last in the NFL, yielding 427.3 yards per game. They are the worst against the pass at 297.4 yards per game.

And that’s really the root of this whole mess.

I had one Cowboys assistant coach tell me Monday that “if Aaron Rodgers would’ve played, he would’ve thrown for 500 yards.” The same coach also said Kirk Cousins of the Redskins is better than Matt Flynn, who lit them up in the second half.

This team scored 36 points on Sunday. And it wasn’t enough. Sure, the offense had chances to get more touchdowns and settled on five Dan Bailey field goals. Yeah, if they get one more touchdowns instead of a field goal, they probably win.

I get that. Still, 36 points should win you a game in the NFL.

The Cowboys rank fourth in the NFL in scoring at 28.1 points per game. That trails only Denver (38.2), Chicago (29.0) and Kansas City (28.5). All three of those teams are either leading their division or clinched a playoff spot. And all three teams have beaten the Cowboys, too.

But 28 points per game is good enough to be atop the NFL leaders in scoring.

Yet, when the Cowboys actually score 28 points this year, their record is only 4-4. That’s ridiculous that a team can lose four games when they score 28 points or more. Two of those losses occurred with more than 35 points, including the one Sunday.

Yeah, Romo threw a pick he shouldn’t have when he checked out of run. I’m not absolving him from that. It was a bad decision and one that makes no sense. But why did he feel the need to do so? He knew he couldn’t give the ball back to the Packers, because they would score and win the game.

He gave the ball back to Detroit and the Lions marched the field and won. He knew he couldn’t do the same with Green Bay.

Again, I don’t agree with Romo’s decision to throw it. I would’ve been OK punting the ball back to Green Bay with no timeouts and under the 2-minute warning and needing about 85-90 yards to the end zone. I say you take your chances.

But most teams and quarterbacks in the NFL would’ve done that. Then again, they probably have more faith in their defense.

That’s just how bad things have gotten here in Dallas. This defense is shredded because of injuries. And the players who are on the field aren’t always performing to the level we have grown accustomed to.

So take your shots at Garrett, Romo and Dez and whoever else. But the real issue is this defense is as bad as we’ve ever seen.

Courtesy: Nick Eatman | DC staff writer

TWO-GAME TURNING POINT: Some believe Jason Garrett’s job at risk if Dallas Cowboys miss playoffs

TWO-GAME TURNING POINT: Some believe Jason Garrett's job at risk if Dallas Cowboys miss playoffs

Owner Jerry Jones does not want to discuss the future of coach Jason Garrett while the Dallas Cowboys remain in the playoff hunt. That much is abundantly clear.

If the Cowboys fail on national television with a chance to win the division for the third consecutive season finale, though, all bets are off.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Media columnist Michael Silver reported on Monday’s edition of NFL Network’s “NFL Total Access” that jobs are indeed on the line in Dallas.

Executive vice president Stephen Jones told Silver that everybody in the organization is under pressure to perform for their jobs over the next two weeks. That includes “players, coaches, executives — everybody.”

Although ownership has given Garrett a vote of confidence regardless of the season’s outcome, that sentiment appears to have changed after the younger Jones referred to Sunday’s loss as one of the top-five most “brutal moments” in the 25 years he and his father have run the Cowboys.

Several people inside the Cowboys’ building have told Rapoport that nobody believes Jerry’s pledge to keep Garrett on board. In fact, the consensus is that it’s now “playoffs or bust” for Garrett’s livelihood in Dallas.

The front office changed defensive coordinators and play callers after the last two 8-8 seasons. If there’s a third, Garrett is expected to be the “next domino to fall,” per Silver.

There is an understanding at Valley Ranch that the talent level isn’t up to par, especially on defense. There’s also frustration among teammates that Romo has continued to audible from the run to the pass.

Those two factors aren’t enough to give Garrett a pass considering the ongoing struggles with game planning, play calling and time management in close games. The Week 17 showdown versus the Eagles might very well decide this coaching staff’s fate for the 2014 season.

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