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Dan Quinn proud of defense's 'resilience' against Seattle


FRISCO, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys were back at The Star in Frisco on Monday after being able to take in the weekend at home following Thursday night's 41-35 win over the Seattle Seahawks.

Following head coach Mike McCarthy's press conference, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and special teams coordinator John Fassel all caught up with the media on Monday to recap the last three weeks on each side of the ball.

Here are the highlights from those availabilities.

Late-Game Resilience

Despite the Dallas defense having one of its worst outings of the season against Seattle last Thursday night, the Cowboys were able to stand tall in the fourth quarter with three consecutive stops on fourth down to help push ahead the win.

"As we stand here, we talk about resilience a lot," Dan Quinn said. "It's not just a word, it's a way of life. It has to be proven, it has to be earned. I thought versus Seattle, having three fourth down stops in a row at the end of the game, that's the resilience that we talk about and we got to live it."

Pass Defense Struggles

After going ten games without allowing a 300-yard passer, the Dallas defense has now given up back-to-back 300-yard passers along with back-to-back 100-yard receivers as they find themselves in their worst pass defense funk of the season.

When addressing the problem, Quinn sees the big plays being the biggest catalyst towards his defense giving up big numbers.

"When you look at it all, you never like to see the explosive plays," he said. "All of a sudden, that can turn into where you're in good shape and then a big play comes. I think limiting those explosive plays, that's a big piece. We've been stronger in that area. It's definitely an area of focus for us."

Green Zone?

Despite early season struggles converting for touchdowns in the red zone, the Cowboys offense has found a stride inside the 20 as of late as they have punched it into the end zone with more consistency.

When asked about the improvement, Schottenheimer credited the personnel involved and them stepping up as of late close to the goal line.

"There's ebb and flow with everything you do," he said. "Some of the struggles earlier were self-inflicted wounds, shooting ourselves in the foot, things like that. It really comes down to execution. We're targeting a lot of different people. Tony is really doing a nice job now down there running the football, finishing runs. Guys covering runs has been great."

Aubrey's Progression

We are sitting 13 weeks into the NFL season and rookie kicker Brandon Aubrey has still yet to miss a field goal attempt as he has emerged as one of the league's top boots this season.

However, Aubrey has missed a trio of extra point attempts with two coming in the last three weeks.

"The [second] time he missed one on a two-minute warning when he was out there for a long time," John Fassel said. "I should've had him come over to the net and hit one. The most recent one he missed, he just toed it. He just missed it."

Despite the misses, Fassel and the team around Aubrey has been impressed with his approach in 2023 and is excited about his future in the league.

"He's been taking care of himself so great," Fassel said. "He's not a rookie, let's face it, he's a pro."

Bland's Bounceback

It was a rough night last Thursday for second-year cornerback DaRon Bland as he gave up multiple big plays and struggled guarding Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf. However, he was able to finish the night off with his eighth interception of the season and a strong fourth quarter to help pull out the win.

"I talked in the open about resilience, I could've just talked about him," Quinn said. "When you play at cornerback, everyone sees what's going on at that position. When you go through a tough spot or a tough stretch and you have to battle back and go for it again, he does have that mindset of resilience and toughness. He is tough as hell and he's ready to battle back."

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