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Coordinators: Toughness, Cohesion & Brotherhood


FRISCO, Texas - Now that Thanksgiving has passed along with the Cowboys' stretch of three games in 12 days have passed, the attention now turns to the final six games left on the schedule. But before that, the coordinators took to the podium on Monday to assess the win over the Giants before looking ahead.

Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn:

  • Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn praised his players' ability to fight through the Cowboys' win over the Giants on Thursday. After some players were getting over a bug swirling around the locker room or still battling it, along with the condensed playing schedule, Quinn walked away impressed from their performance. "[It] reminded me how much I admire their toughness," Quinn said. "To battle through it when you have a bunch of guys sick and just playing for it anyway, and just leaving it out there. That's brotherhood."
  • In their matchup way back in Week 3, the Cowboys had nine missed tackles when they played the Giants, something that Quinn noted at the time needed to be addressed. Fast-forward to last Thursday, the Cowboys had just two missed tackles much to the appeasement of Quinn.
  • Finally, Quinn of course spent six seasons as the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons where he coached quarterback Matt Ryan. Quinn gave glowing remarks of Ryan, who is now in his first season with the Colts as the Cowboys get set to face them this Sunday, calling him a "rare and relentless competitor" and a "wolf in sheep's clothing."

Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore:

  • Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore attributed the offense's success over the last several weeks to the team's continuity after getting Dak Prescott, Michael Gallup and Ezekiel Elliott back. "The guys get to spend time together, play together, practice together," Moore said. "Hopefully the trend line stays where it's at."
  • While there have been flashes of Michael Gallup fully beginning to hit his stride after recovering from offseason ACL surgery, the receiver did rack up five catches for 63 yards. Moore liked what he saw from Gallup in recent weeks as well, especially with his contested catches. "He had some phenomenal contested catches, some big plays on third downs," Moore said. He's done a tremendous job. And so I think it's really good when maybe the box score doesn't necessarily see this big production yet, but we've seen the growth he's taken over the last month."
  • After a big game from the tight end group against the Giants, including big plays from rookie Jake Ferguson and two touchdowns for Dalton Schultz and another for rookie Peyton Hendershot, Moore said he's enjoyed seeing the growth of the position group and the versatility they have to give defenses different looks. Growth of tight end group, add diversity and unique look for defenses. "They're really smart players," Moore said. "They can handle all these different roles…We're going to run the football, but we can also spread people out and play in empty sets with those tight ends and they can run the receiver route tree."

Special Teams' Coordinator John Fassel:

  • With opposing teams becoming more aware of the danger KaVontae Turpin presents in the return game, special teams' coordinator John Fassel said Monday that it's easier to adjust to teams in the punt return rather than kickoff. "When they punt it, there's a little bit more you can do," Fassel said. "Sometimes you have to rush them to force them to punt it, but then you don't have as many blockers in the return game when you rush it. So it's quite a yin and yang from a coach's perspective."
  • Lastly, with Brett Maher being extremely reliable from long distances on field goal attempts this season, and in particular over 50-yard attempts, Fassel said that Maher's ability to do so does impact decisions for the Cowboys' when it comes to determining field position thresholds for end-of-half and end-of-game situations. "Our end of half and end of game line has gone back a couple yards just knowing that he has 60-plus-yard range," Fassel said. "So yes, with confidence in the kicker, that line moves."

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