Garrett: Retaliating To Incidents Can Be "Tricky Situation"

By now we've played probably seen the hit on Sean Lee too many times and it's surely been discussed enough as well.

There's not too many people who will argue that Golden Tate's hit should've been deemed illegal on the field and will likely result in a fine.

What has surfaced around the media, though, is what Lee's teammates did, or didn't do, following the hit.

To some players' defense, not everyone saw the hit live. There were guys in coverage, such as Brandon Carr, who said his back was turned to the play. So there were some who didn't know what happened. Orlando Scandrick apparently saw it and was really the only one who approached Tate after the play. With his helmet off, Scandrick and Tate had plenty of words and needed to be separated by teammates and officials. Anthony Spencer was also in the mix momentarily.

While several players such as Spencer and DeMarcus Ware said they were upset with the hit, there was no retaliation during the ensuing plays. When Lee re-entered the game, he even pushed Tate out of the bounds near the goal line.

Head coach Jason Garrett said it's a fine line between sticking up for your teammates and foolishly retaliating and hurting your team.

"It's a tricky situation. You obviously want to compete, you want to have each other's backs, but you also have to have poise and composure," Garrett said. "It's really important for us to understand how to handle ourselves at the end of a down after a play like that because you don't want to compound the mistake. You don't want to add another 15-yard penalty to that. It's a tricky situation. It's a balancing act as a coach to be able to tell them one thing and also tell them something that appears to be completely opposite of that. But it's just the reality of it."

And it's not the first time this has come up this season. Back in training camp, during a practice against San Diego, the Cowboys' offense had a couple of moments in which the Chargers' players were overly aggressive, one even resulting in a fight involving tight end Andrew Szczerba, who has since been released. Only Kevin Ogletree found his way into the scrum against a host of Chargers. A few plays later, when Dwayne Harris was knocked to the ground in what was supposed to be a non-tackling session, some of the Cowboys voiced their displeasure, but nothing more.

That day, the offensive players said they were told directly by Garrett not to retaliate. Obviously, it's different in a game-situation.

"You have to defend him. You have to defend him the right way," Garrett said. "We have to trust the officials are going to take care of their job in a situation like that, knowing we've got to go play the next play and defend each other within the confines of the rules between the whistles."

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