FRISCO, Texas – Jason Garrett addressed the media for the first time in nearly a week on Monday as the Cowboys get ready for the first full week of the regular season.
- With an open spot on the roster, freed up by the move to put Rico Gathers on recallable-IR, the Cowboys will likely re-sign Kellen Moore. Head coach Jason Garrett said that is likely going to be the move although it was not officially Monday afternoon after his press conference at The Star. Moore was waived on Saturday but is a veteran, meaning he doesn't need to go through the claiming procedure. Garrett didn't get into specifics about the backup position for Sunday's game with the Giants, but it's likely Cooper Rush won't be the No. 2 quarterback behind Dak Prescott, or the Cowboys wouldn't have decided to bring Moore back at all.
- Garrett talked often about the decision to put Gathers on IR, but still seemed excited about the progress he's made. "Rico continues to make strides. It's really a great story. A guy hasn't played football since junior high. And we have talked about him a lot. One thing we like most about him, as my dad would say you can hit him in the face with a shovel he keeps coming back, and that's what he did. There was a lot to learn in a short period of time and he kept growing and growing as a player. We just decided just from a medical standpoint it was best for Rico to be on IR. We did not want to lose him."
- The Cowboys added some veteran players to the roster over the weekend. Garrett talked about that process but also Brian Price, Bene Benwikere and Jayrone Elliott specifically:
- The acquisition of players goes on 365 days out of the year and you know it's a difficult weekend because again there's a lot of guys that you have to visit with and talk about and let them now that they're not going to be a part of the team. But then you pull back from that process and you look at the landscape at how you can make you team better. (Price is) one of the guys and Benwikere is another guy and Elliott's another guy. We thought each of those guys could come help our football team so we made the transactions for a couple of those guys. We claimed Price and again we're going to give those guys a chance to come in and compete. We think they can help our team."
- One of the reasons the Cowboys had to get Benwikere is to help offset the injury situation at corner with the rookies Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis. Both have missed time with hamstring injuries. Awuzie has a chance to be ready for the Giants game while it's unlikely Lewis will play considering he just returned to practice last week. "They have missed a lot of time," Garrett said. "We are hopeful they can practice this week and we will see how they do. We will take their situations day by day."
- The return duties are still up in the air, but a lot of that depends on the health and rehab of Ryan Switzer. The rookie from UNC has been hobbled by a hamstring for the majority of the preseason. He was picked in the fourth round to help the punt return game and that's exactly where he'll be if he's healthy. If not, Cole Beasley and perhaps Dez Bryant would handle that role. On kickoffs, Garrett said Rod Smith would be the kickoff returner if Switzer isn't ready by then. Look for both of them to be back on returns with Switzer being the primary returner.
- Switzer wasn't the only receiver drafted by the Cowboys in April. Noah Brown was a sixth-round pick and also made the squad as one of the final players to make the 53-man roster.
- He's a smart football player. I think he's a physically tough football player," Garrett said of Brown. "He's shown an ability to contribute in the running game as a receiver. I think he's done a lot as a receiver over the course of the off-season and training camp. And he's just made a lot of plays. We feel like there is an upside there that he's going to continue to improve in our program. He's embraced a lot of different things we've asked him to do, done a nice job."