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Dan Quinn describes 'warrior effort' from defensive unit


FRISCO, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys were back in The Star in Frisco on Monday afternoon after a statement 33-13 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night as confidence oozed throughout the building for the final stretch ahead.

Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and special teams coordinator John Fassel all caught up with the media on Monday afternoon to discuss the big win and a challenging road swing ahead.

Here were the highlights from those conversations.

Quinn's Message

The Dallas defense limited the Philadelphia offense to just six points on the night as the unit suffocated the Eagles' top weapons and kept them out of the end zone for the first time all season. The success was seen on all three levels, as the defensive line generated a consistent pass rush, the linebackers made plays across the middle including a Markquese Bell forced fumble, and the safety group had its best day all season in coverage and in filling running lanes.

"After the game, I sent a group text to the defense," Quinn said. "It was only [a few] words, but it was all I needed to say to them. I said, 'That was a warrior effort and one that was called from the heart.' I thought that was a really cool example of that."

Aubrey's Composure

Rookie kicker Brandon Aubrey continued his automatic stretch to begin his NFL career as he pushed his season total to 30-for-30 on field goal attempts with makes from 60, 59, 45 and 50 yards on the night. With 15 points, he single-handedly outscored the Eagles' 13 points while also becoming the first kicker in NFL history with two makes from 59-plus in the same game.

"From a mental standpoint, he's the same guy every day which is unusual," Fassel said. "I haven't ever felt him be stressed in a big moment or overwhelmed by how we're doing. I think he's got a lot of great attributes to be potentially a great kicker."

Replacing Hankins

While the exact timetable for when defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins will return from his high ankle sprain that he suffered on Sunday night is uncertain at this point, Quinn said that he feels confident about the options that are in the building including rookie first-round pick Mazi Smith, Neville Gallimore and a pair of practice squad options.

"If he is [out], the options would obviously come from within the team," he said. "People like [practice squad defensive tackles Carl Davis and Willington Previlon] would be activated, but for us it's probably too early to know where that sits at for this week's game anyway."

Tyron Smith's Dominance

We've seen vintage Tyron Smith in 2023 as his healthy streak has allowed him to put together a stretch of games that has him playing some of the best football of his career at left tackle. On the year, Smith has allowed just 13 pressures and zero sacks on Dak Prescott.

Part of it could be attributed to his new-and-improved practice routine during the week that doesn't have him touch the field for high intensity workouts and instead just participating in walk-throughs.

"I wouldn't bet against Tyron, ever," Schottenheimer said. "We all found a routine that we know very well. Obviously, the player knows his body better than anybody. It is a true luxury to have a guy like that that is that elite as an offensive tackle in this league. What I love about him is his wiring. He does not get too high, he does not get too low. He just has that steely-eyed look on his face."

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