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October 01, 2013

Garrett says defensive line didn't play up to expectations against Chargers

The Cowboys got one sack out of the defensive line against the Chargers and gave up 112 yards rushing. Coach Jason Garrett said it was not up to par.

“They did not play to their level, and a lot of different reasons for that,” he said at his Monday news conference. “We’re playing a lot of different combinations, all of that, but there are no excuses.”

Well, maybe one or two. DeMarcus Ware strained a muscle in his back early in the game, and George Selvie went out late in the game with a head injury. Plus, the Chargers and quarterback Philip Rivers stuck to a short passing game that reduced his time in the pocket.

“They were in that no-huddle offense, and he was at the line of scrimmage and they’re playing with at a pace that they’re controlling,” Garrett said. “Sometimes that’s hard on defensive linemen, but that’s the nature of this league. That happens a lot, and you just have to make sure that you’re ready for the challenge. The task at hand is each play and you’ve got to bring it every play. There’s a reason we rotate guys through. We had a six-, seven-, eight-man rotation going for most of the ballgame, so when you’re out there and you have an opportunity you’ve got to be fresh. I don’t care if you got here yesterday or you’ve been here for 10 years.”

The Chargers played with three backup offensive linemen, but Garrett said that doesn't matter.

“Those guys are in the National Football League for a reason," he said. "We played a lot of combinations of guys on our defensive front, guys who just got here, guys who have been here for a long time. That’s just the nature of this league. With our defensive line, we had a lot of confidence in those guys. We didn’t affect the game and impact the quarterback in yesterday’s game.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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