The good news is that coach Jason Garrett is the first one to admit as much.
He is not about excusing a sloppy performance or effort because of the
missed offseason and OTA workouts. Nor is he going to let things slide
because it's the just the second preseason game.
Wade Phillips' old mindset of its OK we will get them next time is out the
Garrett wants his team accountable and mindful about everything they do
every time they practice or play.
He said the Cowboys are far from ready for the season opener, following a
20-7 loss that featured three turnovers and a host of mental breakdowns.
"We live in reality," Garrett said. "There were some things that happened
that exposed us. There were a number of mental mistakes. We need to play
better. There are some things that happened tonight that are mistakes that
we shouldn't have made. There were some good things that happened but there
were a lot of things that need to be addressed."
Garrett did address his team with a long postgame meeting in the locker
He was especially unhappy about the turnovers and says things must be
cleaned up now.
"What I told the team after was, without having seen the stats, I bet we
had more yards," Garret said. "I bet we ran for more yards. I bet we threw
for more yards. I bet we were better on third down. But ultimately it comes
down to we turned it over three times and they didn't turn it over at all.
We need to do a better job taking care of the football. We need to do a
better job getting it away from them. That is statistic No. 1 in the NFL and
we lost tonight. I think that was a big reason why."
Tight end Jason Witten said the Cowboys were well aware of Garrett's anger
and he welcomes the new culture, discipline and attention to detail.
"He is competitive," Witten said. "He has a high standard for this team.
As he said day one what we talk about is winning turnovers and not turning
the ball over and we didn't do that well enough. The result is not winning
the game. You can't let the opportunity slip away. That is where he is.
There is not a we'll get it next time. There is a mentality of we have to do
it every time we get the opportunity."
The Cowboys are focused on improving their problems now because now the
They will go into Saturday's preseason game against the Vikings like it's
the season opener. The third preseason game is the dress rehearsal for the
The starters will play the entire first half and maybe into the second
"It's that time for us," Witten said. "The players have that expectation.
We are nearly four weeks into camp. It's time to make a move."
The Cowboys will open the season in roughly two weeks and they remain a team with a split…