IRVING, Texas – Despite being eliminated from the playoffs, head coach Jason Garrett typically doesn't talk about non-game related topics in his Wednesday press conference.
But he made an exception or four, taking time to talk about his quartet of Pro Bowlers that were announced Tuesday evening, including kicker Dan Bailey, who made the game for the first time.
The Cowboys also had three offensive linemen – Zack Martin, Travis Frederick and Tyron Smith – all return to the game, which will be played Jan. 31 in Hawaii.
"I think each of those guys is very deserving," Garrett said. "I think they're among the best players in the league at their positions.[embeddedad0]
Here's what Garrett said about each of his four Pro Bowlers:
On Bailey:Dan has been a great player for us for a number of years. We have a lot of faith and a lot of trust in him to do his job. He's come through time and time again. He's had an outstanding year. He's just a great kicker and a great asset to our football team. He's had such a cool, calm composure about him which is critical for that position. He works very hard at it. He's as prepared a player as we have on our football team.
On Frederick:He's such a solid, steady guy. He's a great leader for that offensive line unit, it's great to have that at the center position, in the middle of your offense. He doesn't say a whole lot, has great leadership qualities though. Those guys follow him, they listen to him, and he has great credibility in our locker room. And then he goes and plays well. I think his attention to detail in terms of technique probably has a lot to do with that, he's always in good position, has really good hands and really good feet, and he works very hard at refining those skills.
On Smith:Week in and week out he's blocking the best rusher on the team. Challenged by those guys every time the ball is snapped. He does an amazing job protecting our quarterback and he's an outstanding run blocker. Doesn't say a whole lot, works hard, he can really be a dominant football player. I think he's been that for the last couple of years. He's certainly one of the best left tackles in the NFL.
On Martin:I just think he's improved in all aspects of his game. He's such a hard working guy and so committed to being as good as he can be. His work in the weight room, his work in the practice field to get himself ready to play his best – he's a smart guy. I just think every aspect of it, feet, hands, eyes, understanding how to snap off games and do all the things that offensive linemen need to do. I think that along with the experience that he's had, helps a guy like that get better and better.