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Coordinators: Plan For Xavier Rhodes; Brady Prep


FRISCO, Texas - The regular season ended on a sour note for the Cowboys against the Commanders, locking in their spot as the No. 5 seed as they prepare to head to Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers next Monday night.

As they do each week, the Cowboys' coordinators addressed what went wrong in each phase against the Commanders, and a look ahead to the Wild Card round.

Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn:

  • Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn mentioned a few weeks back that he wanted to tinker with something on his side of the ball, and particularly the cornerback spot. The Cowboys have tried a couple of different combinations against the Commanders, including giving Trayvon Mullen some runway. Dallas also picked up veteran corner Xavier Rhodes as a potential option for the No. 2 corner spot. But.. Quinn already had an idea of who that is, though he wasn't quite ready to disclose it on Monday. "I felt that it was really important to go through different people, different combinations," Quinn said. "So I feel very comfortable with where we're at, certainly not going to disclose that today."
  • Much like he was last offseason, Quinn found his name in the head coaching cycle again with the Denver Broncos reaching out for an interview with the Cowboys' coordinator. But with a playoff game looming, Quinn was quick to push the coaching rumors aside. "Anytime somebody asks you, you're flattered," Quinn said. "So just wherever my feet are, and enjoying it."
  • Quinn is no stranger to Brady of course, given the two times he's seen him during his time in Dallas or as the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons during Super Bowl LI against the New England Patriots. Despite their history of matchups, Quinn circled back to his excitement to see his players on the field against Brady instead. "I think more than anything it's the guys," he said. "I love competing, I love being in the playoffs with the guys… It's our defense against their offense. So that's what I look forward to."

Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore:

  • The Cowboys perhaps had their worst offensive showing of the season against the Commanders, outside of maybe Week 1 against the Buccaneers, and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore did not shy away from that reality. "It was a really poor performance for us," he said. "We didn't really create any momentum or rhythm in the game… Simply just have to play better, game plan better, and call better."
  • It's no secret that the running game for the Cowboys' offense is the focal point of what gets them going, but despite that head into the playoffs struggling in that department. One source of hope, according to Moore, will be the potential welcoming back of center Tyler Biadasz to form a healthy offensive line. "Hopefully we can create a little rhythm with the offensive line," Moore said. "Hopefully we get Tyler back and create that continuity there."
  • One dimension of the Buccaneers' defense that Moore pointed out on Monday that could prove to be their linebackers, led by Devin White and Lavonte David, given their speed and ability to impact the run and pass game. "Certainly they use it to their advantage in both," Moore said. "Their ability to play over the top in the run game but they also have a really good pressure plan when they allow those backers because of their speed to be able to get out to coverage areas."

Special teams coordinator John Fassel:

  • The one unit the Cowboys have been able to rely on all season long has been their special teams group, led by Brett Maher, Bryan Anger and rookie Pro Bowler KaVontae Turpin. However, they weren't immune to the miscues on Sunday, leaving coordinator John Fassel without the ability to recall a game where his unit had that many miscues that early in a game. But, when asked about the accountability level each of those three players took postgame, Fassel alluded to the trust and confidence they have in each other. "You spend so much time together that you believe in your teammates," Fassel said. "Your coaches believe in players and hopefully your players believe in coaches."

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