Cowboys Coach Jason Garrett: "We Have Great Respect for Tennessee"



(On the Cowboys game against the 49ers)

San Francisco, as you all know, is an awfully good football team. They've been to the NFC Championship game the last three years. I thought we did some really good things in the game in all three phases of our team, but we made some egregious errors with the football. We turned it over four times. One of them was a fumble that they returned for a touchdown. Another was an interception they returned to the two-yard line, and another was an interception from our five-yard line going in, so we really gave a team that's really good in all areas a real good opportunity to win this game by turning the ball over. We have to learn from that as a team. We know, and everyone knows in this league, the importance of turnovers and how they correlate to winning. We've done a fairly good job of that at different times. Obviously, on Sunday we didn't do that against a good team, and it really hurt us.

(On the frustration from the 49ers game)

The plays that have to do with the football are the biggest plays in the game, and if you can take the ball away from somebody else, you have a chance of really helping your team win, and certainly if you give the ball up, you're not really helping your chances as much as you'd like. Tony (Romo), like all quarterbacks in this league, he has the ball in his hands on every snap, and he did a lot of good things in the game, but the plays with the football hurt us, and I know he'll learn from it, and we will learn from it as a football team and hopefully get better.

(On his first time coaching against the Titans)

They certainly got off to a great start going up to Kansas City and beating a really good football team. We've been focused in on that tape and what we need to do on offense, defense and the kicking game to be ready for this challenge. They are a good football team. They are well coached, and they have a lot of good players throughout their roster. We're more focused on our preparation for this game on Sunday against a really good football team.

(On the Titans defense against Kansas City)

We saw a play-making defense that was on the attack. (They) made a lot of plays in the game. They took it away three times. There are negative plays in sacks, there negative plays in the running game that they created with their pressure and with their attacking style. They've got a lot of good players, and Ray Horton does a fantastic job as a coordinator. He's done a great job in this league for a long time, and we've got a great amount of respect for that football team.

(On handling injuries of defensive players)

Whenever you have an injury, you've just got to put the next guy in there. Hopefully we've done a good enough job preparing the backup players that they can go in there without skipping a beat and keep us going. Justin (Durant) had a really good preseason for us, made plays as well for the early part of that game against San Francisco, but we lost him at the end of that game. Hopefully he'll be back with us soon, but the other guys have got to step up in those roles, both in base defense and in nickel. The beat goes on. The next man up philosophy is alive and well here. It always has been, and the next guy who goes in there, we trust him. He proves that he's accountable, and he's focused on doing his job. That's what we've got to do in this case.

(On replacing LB Justin Durant)

We're going to continue just to evaluate Justin (Durant's) progress as the week goes on. We'll take all these injuries day by day, but we just finished our first practice today and we used a lot of different combinations there, so we'll see what looks best as the week unfolds.

(On WR Dez Bryant)

I think he's a fantastic player. He's a big-time receiver. The best traits that Dez (Bryant) has are his passion for the game, his love for the game, he's a fantastic teammate, and he plays with such great enthusiasm and love for the game, and it shows up on the practice field, and it shows up certainly on Sunday afternoons. He's big, he's strong, he's fast, he's explosive, he has great hands, and he's one of the most instinctive players I've ever been around. He just has a great feel for the game. He loves it, he's a great competitor, and he's certainly one of the better guys I've been around.

(On WR Terrance Williams)

Miles (Austin) was such a good player for us for a long time. The last couple of years, he had to deal with some injuries, and Terrance (Williams) got a chance to really start for us most of last year at that Z-receiver position as a rookie. He really did some good things. He's one of those young players who really listens to coaching and listens to teaching and tries to apply it. He has a real determination to become better every day. You pair that with a guy who's talented. He's big, he's fast. Those guys who have that ability and have that desire to be great really improve quickly. He's still a young player, he has a long way to go, but he's getting better and better every day.

(On how DE Lavar Edwards is fitting in with the Cowboys defense)

It's good to get Lavar (Edwards) here. We liked him a lot coming out of school, and we've had some injuries on our defensive line. You're always looking to bring people in who can make you better, whether it's through the draft or free agency or as the preseason goes on, you get a chance to see other teams play in the preseason and see how their rosters are going to get settled. We had a chance to bring him in about a week and a half ago, and he's done some really good things. He was able to play in the game the other day as a rotational player, so more than anything else, he just needs to keep learning our system of football, and hopefully he gets better every day.

(On the Titans' diversity in the backfield)

They do a really good job using their personnel. For a team to use three and four running backs in a game, and using them in a lot of different games, it can be a real challenge for you. They have some talented guys. They have different dimensions. Some of them are smaller, some of them are bigger, some of them are more space players, some of them are more inside riders, but they do a really good job getting those guys involved and really playing to their strengths. They challenge you a lot of different ways.

(On the importance of avoiding an 0-2 start)

You get 16 chances in these games now, so every one of them is a matter of urgency that we have each and every day in our preparation, certainly for the three hours on Sunday. We have great respect for Tennessee. The players they have, the coaches they have, and what they did in week one. Our focus is on ourselves and really making sure that we have a good week of preparation, take it day by day and get ready for this challenge.

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