Dallas Cowboys: Dan Quinn says defense were ‘running our race
Dallas Cowboys Dan Quinn says: There was a lot more positivity at The Star on Tuesday than there was a week ago when the Dallas Cowboys were resetting after a big loss, as this time around the team needs a big win to stay strong going into the bye week. 4-2.
In interviews with the media on Tuesday, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, and special teams coach John Fassel all touched on the team’s victory over the Chargers as well as the general outlook going into the bye week. Here are the highlights from those availability.
Running our Race
Dan Quinn opened his availability by drawing a comparison between eight-time gold medalist Usain Bolt and his defensive unit that they can reach their potential when the defense focuses on their own “race”.
We have been discussing finishing our race all week, Quinn added. I thought the message from last week was quite important for us. We used Usain Bolt to say he wasn’t looking at Justin Gatlin on lane four. He was merely concerned about what was occurring. We didn’t. . four lanes, and we needed it.”
That race included a photo finish in the final minutes, something the Cowboys hadn’t faced in five games.
In our sixth game of the season, we didn’t have it where we had to dive into deep water in the final two minutes, he claimed. We weren’t expecting things to be simple after the loss, and it wasn’t. That’s what we wanted.”
On the run
Dak Prescott’s read option run for 18 yards on fourth down to give the Cowboys their first points in the first half was a welcome sight for Cowboys supporters.
That dynamic extended into the game as Prescott led the team with 42 rushing yards after finding some extra yards rushing out of the pocket.
“He was terrific,” Brian Schottenheimer said. Although it hasn’t exactly been lacking, that aspect didn’t come across as strongly as it did last night. He made a great job of making room and escaping. He absolutely served as our weapon last night.
Answering the bell
It goes without saying that Marcus Bell threw his major party Monday night to step into a second-tier starting role and excel. For Quinn, seeing off Leighton Vander Esch’s injury last week was huge.
“Man, I was happy with that,” Quinn said. “I felt the speed. I could feel the scrimmage, the contact, and the running back emerging from the backfield. I saw it happen.
That praise extends to Damon Clarke who had to remain fluid in positioning this week after Vander Esch’s injury.
“I was happy with Damon, too,” he said. Damon was forced to play a different position because Leighton was hurt. To see those two really step into that space and want to be counted on, I think that’s one of the best feelings for a player when you know yourself. Moving on. It’s being calculated and you deliver.”
The Lamb’s Takeover
It was clear from last week’s loss in San Francisco that C.D. Lamb wanted more of the ball, and he got his wish Monday night to help the offense with seven receptions and 117 yards.
While what we saw on the field was revealed for everyone to see coming out last week, Schottenheimer said the creation of his performance began in practice during the week.
“It really started in practice,” he said. “He was a man on a mission. He was on a mission, and that was our Thursday practice. You saw that mentality, and I think there’s something in it. The first couple of plays, you get him going and it just feeds off him. I adore the passionate way in which he performs as his hair is on fire.
Dak Prescott drew a few laughs in his postgame press conference when he referred to rookie kicker Brandon Oubre — who is 16-for-16 to start his NFL career — as “Butter Oubre” — because he helped push the Cowboys together.
When asked about the nickname, John Fassalon resorted to politeness as a sign of superstition because Oubre holds the NFL record for starting a career with 18 consecutive field goals.
“He’s on a roll,” Fassel said. “I’m just trying to stay low with it. I recognize it’s a couple kicks of this or that. I’m trying not to get too high.”