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Coordinators: Room For Improvement, Not Panic


FRISCO, Texas - The Cowboys returned home from Green Bay after their 31-28 overtime loss to the Packers on Sunday with plenty to look back on. At the top of the list was the continued struggles of the Cowboys' run defense, as well as the decision to go for it on fourth down in overtime. This is what the coordinators had to say:

Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn:

  • Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn was naturally asked about the shortcomings of the defense in the run game after surrendering 207 yards to the Packers. Quinn was quick to point out that they have the right players in place to fix the issues, and that it does not stem from a personnel issue.
  • Sticking with the theme of the Cowboys' run defense, Quinn said that while he does not recall a stretch in his career where his defenses struggled to this extent in stopping the run, losing the lead on Sunday also is something that bothers him. "Certainly losing the lead is as big of a thing as anything," Quinn said. "So now the defense when you have it, you want to go make sure this is how it's gonna go down and be able to close the door."
  • Finally when asked about whether he liked Micah Parsons saying after the game that players weren't being accountable, Quinn reverted back to the idea that the players "know they have each other's backs. I think more than anything, it's just a good reminder… You don't have to over try or go outside of the boundaries in order to make a play. And when we do that, we're pretty damn successful."

Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore:

  • Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore talked about the Cowboys decision to go for it on fourth down during overtime. While they were not able to pick up the crucial down, Moore explained the fourth down play call. "Based on that one, just give ourselves an opportunity for a high-low opportunity," he said. "CeeDee [Lamb] if it was man-coverage had a runaway and if not, you had Michael [Gallup] and [Dalton Schultz] creating a high-low in the middle of the field."
  • Moore said he felt that Dak Prescott's two interceptions and miscommunication with Lamb was simply an outlier, pointing to their body of work together as reason to believe the two are on the same page. "I think they've done an excellent job," he said. "And I think they're in a really good place. It's unfortunate that we had that [pick] occur because it had so much success that I think of it more as an outlier than a consistent trend."

Special Teams Coordinator John Fassel

  • Special teams coordinator John Fassel heaped praise onto Luke Gifford after his five-tackle performance against the Packers on special teams. "It was probably like nothing I've seen before," Fassel said. "Five legitimate tackles in one game on special teams. I have never been a part of a game where one guy had that many tackles. And he had fumble recovery too. So it was very productive.
  • Fassel also said that he was 100% behind the decision to not kick the field goal in overtime, citing the wind had switched from where it had originally been during pregame. "It actually switched…" he said. "I know the questions and overtime was why not kick the field goal from the 35-yard line. And there's I think a lot of good answers we could give why we went for it. Which I'm sure Coach [McCarthy] handled. We were all 100% behind it for sure. But it was a factor for sure."

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