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November 13, 2013

Garrett keeps confidence in Kiffin because of takeaways, but cutting no slack for injuries

Jason Garrett said he still has confidence in defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin largely because of the takeaway numbers this year.

“I keep going back to the takeaways, but that is an important part of the game,” Garrett said. “That is a stat that can’t be unnoticed, because it impacts the game. It impacts our scoring on offense, and that’s a good thing for our football team.”

The Cowboys have 22 takeaways through 10 games, better than the 19 through 16 games last year. That includes 12 interceptions and 10 fumble recoveries.

“We have to get better in some other areas,” Garrett said. “Health has been a huge factor on defense. It’s not an excuse, but its been a huge factor. We are playing a lot of different guys, a lot of new guys, a lot of young guys. That’s part of it. That’s where we are. We have to make sure it works.

“I have the utmost confidence in Kiffin and the defense to help get that done.”

Garrett said Kiffin is not getting a break in accountability because of injuries, however.

“We don’t make any excuses for anybody,” Garrett said. “We certainly understand that we have a lot of different guys playing on defense. We get that. We bring those guys in, we teach them quickly and they play in the game. That’s been a situation we’ve had all through the year, but teams that absorb the injuries the best are the ones playing at the end. We’re in the situation we’re in, and we have to figure it out. Players need to figure it out. Coaches need to figure it out.

“There’s going to be a game in a couple of weeks that we’ve got to get ready for and we’re going to have some guys available and some guys who aren’t. The guys who are available have got to go out and play.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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