Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne needn’t look back at the Atlanta game and think, “Oh, they killed us.”
Garrett said they held their own against a very difficult pair of receivers to defend.
“It was physical, it was competitive,” Garrett said during his Wednesday press conference at Valley Ranch. “Each of those guys had a penalty. Each of those guys had receivers catch balls against them. But you don’t look back on it and say, ‘Oh, they killed us.’ It’s a good offense, good receivers. That’s the nature of this league.”
Roddy White and Julio Jones each went over 100 yards receiving against the Cowboys. White averaged 16.9 yards a catch, and Jones averaged a whopping 25.8 as they combined for 12 catches on 16 targets. Neither scored a touchdown, and Carr and Claiborne each had a pass breakup, as did third corner Mike Jenkins and linebacker Bruce Carter.
“They did battle. They made a couple of plays. That’s just the nature of this league,” Garrett said.Garrett said the Falcons are a tough matchup because their offense is diverse. That put a lot of pressure on Carr and Claiborne to hold up on their own.
“They force you to make decisions on defense: ‘Who are we going to give attention to?’ ‘Are we going to try to defend the run or try to take this receiver out of it?’ They have some other weapons that they can go to,” Garrett said.
The Eagles will present more of a challenge in speed with their receivers, Garrett said.
“Those guys down in Atlanta are big, strong guys,” Garrett said. “They’re outstanding route runners. Very good making competitive catches, contested catches of the ball. These guys are smaller, but very elusive, very fast, very quick – can get away from you, and again can make a lot of big plays, not only down the field but running with the ball after the catch.”
-- Carlos Mendez