Head Coach Joe Judge
Opening Statement: Hope everyone had a safe trip back. Some of you were out there with us. Appreciate your time last week out there at practice and some of the stuff you guys helped us with. Today we start our prep on the Dallas Cowboys. Obviously, this is a team that's very, very explosive. They're playing very well on all three phases right now. You talk about the special teams with Bones (Special Teams Coordinator John Fassel), we always talk about the aggressiveness with the fakes and the gimmicks he has up his sleeve. Make sure we prepare for that throughout the remainder of the week. He's also a guy who's had a lot of production this year on punt rushes and field goal rushes. Our protection is going to have to be stout. We're going to prepare a lot this week in terms of what they're doing and be ready for them being very aggressive.
Defensively, they're doing an outstanding job right now with their front, the movement and the blitz schemes they're incorporating. They're playing a lot of man defense behind them, making it very challenging on the receivers. Doing a very good job disrupting a lot of the quarterbacks right now and making it tough for them. The man coverage on the outside pressed up, the pressure on the inside, is making a lot of quarterbacks make rushed decisions and throw the ball into coverage. Getting a lot of production on the backend.
Talking about their offense, obviously you start with the running game with these guys. They've got a very, very talented offensive line that gives them a lot of freedom to run the ball and a lot of freedom to sit back there and have good shots down the field with good protection. You've got to do a good job stopping the run. You have to eliminate explosive plays on this team. You have to do a good job tackling in space, whether it's the checkdowns, whether it's the deep shots down the field, whether it's the run game. You have to do a good job eliminating the yards after catch or the yards after contact with the run game. That being said, obviously this is a very tough opponent. We're going to have to be dedicated this week, do our best preparation, give ourselves a chance on Sunday. All that being said, I'll open up to any questions you may have.
Re: (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) …
A: Really status quo right now. Still hasn't been cleared for contact. Talked to the doctors. I don't have an immediate answer in terms of when that will change. He's going to continue to practice with us, stay on the field, work on his conditioning. He's in the training room, he's in the meetings with all his teammates, but there's no change of status right now.
Q: Obviously, (Quarterback) Mike (Glennon) is your guy Sunday.
A: Mike will be prepared to play and so will (Quarterback) Jake (Fromm).
Q: Were you able to glean anything else from that appointment on Monday in terms of the information they gave you?
A: No, there's really no change of status right there.
Q: Was it just a matter of will he be cleared and the answer was no?
A: When they feel he's good for contact, then they'll clear him.
Q: Given COVID and what's happening around the league, have you guys considered virtual meetings just to be careful?
A: We have. We've had a couple things pop internally ourselves today. All the players are in masks, they're all spaced out. We're making sure that everybody is completely aired out. We're in the bubble behind you where there's more air. We'll make sure that we're safe throughout the remainder of the day. Anyone who's been involved in any kind of a close contact or test at this point has either been removed or separated from the team and they're in virtual meetings. We'll talk as a staff and I'll talk with the captains today about the remainder of the week of handling meetings partially virtual and then getting the guys over here to practice. We've done that in the past and it has worked smoothly.
Q: Has anybody besides (Wide Receiver) Kadarius (Toney) tested positive?
A: We've had (Wide Receiver) John Ross (III) test positive, X-Man (Linebacker Oshane Ximines) tested positive. There are a couple close contacts tied to those guys who will be out of the building or testing for the next few days.
Q: Are the three guys who tested positive all vaccinated?
A: I'm not going into players' individual statuses.
Q: Any staff members or just those two players?
A: Right now, it's just a couple players. There's no staff members at this moment.
Q: (Offensive Lineman) Wes (Martin) is still out?
A: Wes and (Quarterbacks Coach) Jerry (Schuplinski) are on a plane as we speak, flying back here, so we expect Wes to be back here this afternoon and get on the field with the trainers, start his ramp up, and Jerry to be in the meetings and out for the walkthrough this afternoon with the players.
Q: Those positives, obviously besides Kadarius, those two will go on the list?
A: They will. They'll all be placed on the list.
Q: Daniel is still a young quarterback. What is he missing in those three games and if he misses the rest of the season?
A: I think he's missing experience and an opportunity to grow. That's really nothing of his fault at all. Just as any young player in this league, every rep you take is an experience you learn from and one thing I can say for Daniel is really as you watch him throughout his young career, there's been a lot of things that have really demonstrated growth. There have there been times where he has made mistakes on the field that he's shown decisions later on to make sure he doesn't repeat that mistake. There are things he's picked up in terms of management of the game or how to handle something at the line of scrimmage that he's carried forward. Daniel has done a good job working, preparing and growing throughout his career. I think the biggest thing he's missing out is just that experience and the opportunity to grow within a craft.
Q: With that said, is there any thought of just shutting him down?
A: We consider that with every player. We're always thinking about their health before anything else. We're not going to put a player out there when they're at an injury risk. In terms of where Daniel's at medically, we've got an entire medical team with doctors and second opinions that are going to weigh in more on that. I'm not a doctor. I've got to take the input and the advice that they give me. I'm not going to put a player on the field when they're an injury risk. When they give me the greenlight to play a player, then I know that that guy is able to go out there and play safely for that game.
Q: There's a report out today that Jake Fromm could play in this game. Aside from Mike getting injured, do you have plans to play Jake in this game?
A: Mike is going to start the game for us. This isn't being coy or anything. Every player who's at the game can play and we have plans for every player within a role of what they would do. Do we have anything bracketed out at this point in terms of is he going to play certain plays or anything? We do not. We do not, so we're getting Mike ready to play the game, but Jake will also be getting ready and prepare to play the game.
Q: Coming back to Jake this week now, is he more ready?
A: I think it's a fair statement. I think it's a fair statement. Being here a couple weeks with us, hearing the terminology, getting more reps last week out there in Arizona, that obviously helps his growth and development in the system.
Q: Is there any inclination to – I mean, you're not going to put a guy out if he's not ready to play – but is there any inclination to say, 'Gee, we'd love to see what he can do in a game'? You can force it if you want to.
A: There's always a part of that. There's always a part of wanting to evaluate everyone. At the same time, you want to make sure you give your team the best chance for success. Based on how they practice and prepare and who we think gives our team the best chance to have success out there, that's how we'll play the players.
Q: How much has (Cowboys Linebacker) Micah Parsons grown in the month-and-a-half since you guys saw him?
A: Again, this guy coming out of college, we knew he was going to be an impact player. We had a lot of love for this guy in the building, a lot of respect for him. We knew he was going to be a good player. They're using him in different spots right now. (Cowboys Defensive Coordinator) Dan (Quinn) is doing a really good job of matching him up and letting him play with his pass rush skillset, playing coverage with speed. He's become a factor in a lot of different areas. You've got to know where he is on the field. They're moving him around, they're definitely doing a lot of things to help his skillset or use his skillset to help the defense. This guy is a phenomenal player. I don't think anyone is surprised by that. We knew he was going to be a really good player coming out and I think it's a tribute to how they're using him down there to his strengths, how he's able to complement that defense and make a lot of impact plays.
Q: Did you assign Daniel to be a de facto quarterback coach standing there on the sideline? It seemed like he was serving that role.
A: No, we absolutely did not, but that's definitely in his personality. Daniel's a guy, like Colt (McCoy) was last year, as well. These guys are very invested in our team, invested in the success of the team, they prepare throughout the week and if you're not on the field yourself as a quarterback, they're invested in helping those other quarterbacks through communication. When they all look at the tablets, whether Daniel's playing and (Quarterback) Mike's (Glennon) looking at the tablet or vice versa, whether it's Colt last year, these guys do a tremendous job whether it's Jerry with them, (Senior Offensive Assistant) Freddie (Kitchens) with them, (Offensive Quality Control) Nick (Williams) with them, whoever it may be, of going through it and sharing what they see, as well. There's great communication on the headsets and great communication on the bench right now between all of our guys. I'm very pleased how the offensive staff is working together collaboratively of moving through the game to find different matchups and keep us moving. I'm very happy with how the players are contributing information back to them. One of the toughest things to explain to players is to just give us accurate information. Give us what you see, we can make adjustments on the field and then also, tell us what you feel in the game, as well. If you come to the sideline and say, 'I can get so-and-so on this route,' we've got to find a way to fit that into the game plan then, we've got to find a way to call that and go to you. You just better win on it when we call it, but Daniel's been doing a great job right now as far as being in the meeting room, preparing, doing everything the team asks him to do. I'm not going to say 'patiently' because I know he's always anxious to get out there, but he puts the team first in everything he does so you can't see any impatience in his mannerisms, if that makes sense.
Q: Do you have any updates on (Defensive Lineman) Leonard's (Williams) elbow?
A: He'll be out here a little bit with us today going through the walkthrough and we'll see how he progresses throughout the week. We expect him to be practicing with us and we'll see how he progresses into the game.
Q: As much as you're looking at players these final weeks and games, how much are you looking at coaches and the collaborative effort on offense? How things are working? A potential coordinator? How much is that an emphasis, as well?
A: Absolutely. Everything's always evaluated, every player, every coach. Everything's always evaluated. The way you present yourself in meetings, the way you handle practice, the command you have with your players, the organization and preparation you put into the game plan and having things organized at practice, the way your players play, the way you cooperate and work with others. Everything's always evaluated. Your personnel evaluations, your knowledge of the league. Everything's always evaluated.
Q: How challenging is it to evaluate whether you'd keep Freddie Kitchens in this role and to be the offensive coordinator next year when he doesn't have a starting quarterback to call plays with?
A: Our job is to prepare the players we have available and give ourselves the best plan to go out there and have success. I think the offense right now, the staff offensively, is working together to do that. I'm pleased with the way that Mike's working every day. He's a good teammate, he's a hard worker, he's coming out here and giving us his best every day and we're going to keep pushing forward on that.
Q: Do you buy into the spoiler role? Can a team take that on, especially with a team like the Cowboys?
A: If you want to label yourself in that category. Our focus is just to go out there and win a game. That's it.
Q: Can it be motivation? You know what the standings are and a lot of people in this building and in New Jersey would like you to beat the Cowboys.
A: Our motivation is to go out there every week, regardless. You get 17 opportunities a year. If you need motivation, you need a pep talk, you need a song, you need some kind of a speech, you're probably in the wrong locker room.
Q: Worst case scenario, if Daniel does have to be shut down, do you feel like you've seen enough of him in the one-plus years you've worked with him to feel good about his future here?
A: I feel good about Daniel already. I want him to keep growing and developing his craft. Obviously, he's a great asset to our team. You want to have him available to play with the team. That's obviously something that we're not keeping secret. There's not really much more to say past that. Daniel's done a good job growing for us. We're going to keep on pushing forward with him.
Q: With (Quarterback) Jake Fromm, is it fair to say you'd like to see production in practice before a player plays?
A: Yeah, that's fair to say. That's fair to say and that's with any of our players. How you practice is a very good indication of how you're going to play. We have to see guys go out there and execute in practice. I can't rely on someone telling me someone's a 'gamer.' I don't even know what that is. Good players come out every day and they play. He's a young quarterback, he's still developing in this league, he's new to this system. We're going to give him the opportunity to keep on working through it, but absolutely. For any player in any position, production in practice equals opportunity in games.
Defensive Lineman Dexter Lawrence
Q: Have you talked to (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) lately and how's he feeling?
A: In passing, kind of here and there. I don't really speak about that type of stuff, I don't know what people are going through or how much it's affecting him. I just ask him is he okay, just keep it basic, things like that.
Q: If you don't have (Defensive Lineman) Leonard (Williams) next to you, how does that kind of change things up a little?
A: Honestly, he's an impact player. Obviously, it would be great to have him out there, but you know it's the next man up. We all train. We're all professionals, so we should all be ready when our number is called.
Q: Can you also talk a little bit about the job (Defensive Lineman) Austin's (Johnson) done on the defense?
A: Austin's been playing amazing this year. Like I said, we've got to have that mentality of the next man up. We've all been training in the dojo we call it. It's just a next man up mentality.
Q: It's pretty unusual, I mean Leonard never misses any time, does he?
Q: Even not practicing with him, is it a little disconcerting almost?
A: He's had a vet day or something like that, so practice is practice. It's just things that I've got to step up and be a leader and take command of the d-line.
Q: What does that mean? If he can't play on Sunday and you said, 'I have to step up,' what does that entail?
A: Just like take command. Go wreck the game, do what I've been doing, keep playing well and just help the defense communicate better. Keep it going, keep it flowing.
Q: What's the challenge of just taking on the Cowboys and what (Cowboys Quarterback) Dak Prescott can do?
A: Honestly, they have a really balanced attack. Just being disciplined, holding our keys, disguising some things. Make it challenging for the offense.
Q: (Cowboys Owner) Jerry Jones says they're in a slump, what do you see?
A: I think they're playing pretty well. I guess that's what he sees, but I think they're playing pretty well and they're going to be ready to play us for sure.
Q: You've been around here long enough to know what the Cowboys means something, if you guys can't do what you want to do this season as far as in the standings, can a team play spoiler against someone like the Cowboys?
A: Division games in the East, the NFC East, they're all big. They're all kind of rivalry games. They all mean a lot for the area and for the organization. To win any game, but especially these games, are big.
Q: What do you expect the atmosphere to be like on Sunday because Cowboys fans travel well?
A: Yeah, they do. Just like every other game, loud when we're on defense and just exciting.
Q: The last time you played them they pretty much put up some good points, is there any carryover from that game? What did you learn?
A: Just not having as many mental errors as we did that game. Just playing to our techniques and our keys. Striking with our hands and getting off the ball and getting off the field.
Q: Does that leave a bad taste in your mouth when they put up 44?
A: If any team scores a point, it's always something bad that happens. We've got to get those corrected from watching some tape.
Q: When you look at Dak Prescott, he's had some struggles. He hasn't quite been as sharp as he has. What's changed with him or is it just one of those things?
A: I'm not quite in his head or over there feeling his body or anything like that, so I can't answer that question.
Q: But do you see something on film, maybe is he rushing passes? Is he doing anything differently than he was?
A: He looks good to me. Obviously, we all have an off game or stuff like that, but he's looking pretty solid.
Q: How would you assess how you've played this year?
A: I feel like I've gotten better week by week. Continuing to try to wreck games and take over games myself. It's kind of been my goal throughout the year. I challenge myself to lead the defense and just to try to take over the game.
Q: People after your rookie year kind of looked at you and said, 'this is a guy who's going to be a perennial Pro Bowler.' You haven't been mentioned in that group of interior defensive linemen to this point in this season. How have you done based on your own expectations?
A: In my eyes, I'm playing hard every play. I'm giving it my all. I'm making plays. I've just got to be more consistent, and I've still got a lot to prove.
Q: To that end, you mentioned take over games – I know it's not necessarily your job and your position, you take on a lot of run defense, but is there anything you can do to get more sacks because that's what really takes over games?
A: Just continuing to rush, continuing to get there quicker. That's kind of been my thing, trying to get there a little quicker, so that's the goal.
Q: You mentioned how division games are always big, just with the way the season's played out, if you do have a strong finish, how does that impact the season overall? Does it? Do you look to 2022?
A: Yeah, I really have no idea. My mindset is week by week, that's how I've always been wired. However, it unfolds, it unfolds. I'm just trying to win the next game.
Quarterback Mike Glennon
Q: Any differences in Dallas's defense since the last time you saw them?
A: They're playing really well. They were playing well back then, but these past couple of weeks they're leading the league in turnovers, might be up there in sacks. It's really the same guys and then they also have (Cowboys Defensive End) DeMarcus Lawrence now, so it's a really good, talented group across the board, great pass rushers. Obviously, with (Cowboys Cornerback Trevon) Diggs. They don't have any weak links. (Cowboys Linebacker) Micah Parsons is playing as well as anybody in the league, so tough task that we're looking forward to.
Q: You've been in the league for a while and seen a lot of defenders. What makes Micah Parsons a special player?
A: He's just explosive, he's fast, he's got closing speed. He can kind of do it all. There are not many guys who can play a true MIKE linebacker one play and then line up as a pass rusher the next. He's very talented and disruptive in all aspects of the game.
Q: You can't just say, 'I'm not going to throw it near Diggs.' You can't just say that, but how do you avoid him doing what he's done so many times this year to so many quarterbacks?
A: I think you've just got to be smart about it, pick and choose maybe depending on what the route is, the matchup, all of the above. Like you said, you can't just completely avoid him, but you have to be smart about it at the same time.
Q: He's a guy who's number is circled in all of your meetings...
A: Yeah, any time you're close to setting the NFL record for interceptions – as a quarterback, you're going to know where he's at.
Q: I know you're a veteran, but how difficult is it to prepare for a game if you guys have to go virtual for the rest of this week? How much different is it for you?
A: I think being a veteran is definitely helpful, but if that's what we have to do – I know around the league some teams are going to probably be faced with the same issue, so we'll adjust accordingly and be ready for it. The Cowboys aren't going to care if we go virtual or not. They're just going to do the same thing. So, if that's what we have to do we'll do it. Hopefully we'll be out there, though.
Q: Having consecutive starts, how does that impact you?
A: I think it's good to just get out there repetitively, be out on the practice field, speaking up in the meetings. Just the more times you're out there the more comfortable you're going to feel. I think that's for anybody, but I think it's always good. The more reps you get in practice and the more reps you get in the game is going to be beneficial.
Q: Just going back to the other question about going virtual, what exactly changes if you're having a virtual meeting versus an in-person meeting?
A: Meetings aren't as big of a deal, I think we learned that last year. You can get away with doing the meetings virtually. It's really the practice time where – if we could do virtual meetings at home and come in and practice, then obviously our routines will be a little thrown off, but that's not as big of a deal now. I don't even know what they were discussing, this is kind of news to me, but if practice were to be canceled obviously that would be a bigger deal, to not be able to go out and practice.
Q: But there's obviously no way to practice virtually.
A: No, we wouldn't be able to do that. The meetings, you can still go through a lot of things, but the actual aspect of being in-person for the practice that would obviously be an adjustment.
Q: You're probably with (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) as much as anybody. How do you think he's handling just the situation he's dealing with right now?
A: It's tough to say, I think you'd have to ask him. Obviously, he seems like he wants to be out there. But he's been great in the room doing everything he can to kind of fill that role of kind of a backup last week without (Quarterbacks Coach) Jerry (Schuplinksi), be there for me just like I'm there for him. We have each other's backs. Whoever is out there, we're both going to do as much as we can in the film room, bounce ideas off of each other, tell each other what we see. He's kind of taken on that just like I do for him when he's playing.
Q: Is it kind of strange – usually when a guy's hurt, he can't do stuff. We see him out here, he's still throwing, he's still running. Is it kind of strange that he's in that kind of limbo?
A: Yeah, it's a unique injury in that aspect, but he's doing everything he can to get back.
Q: Have you ever been in a situation where the team is playing eight or nine different offensive linemen per game in front of you like you did last week?
A: I don't know, I haven't put any thought into it. Maybe it's come up before, but whoever is out there I'm confident in. It's not like we change what we're doing offensively depending on who's in there. Whoever's in there we'll roll with and it's our job as quarterbacks to do what we're asked.
Q: Why do you think Shep (Wide Receiver Sterling Shepard) wasn't a huge part of the game the other day? Was it a first game back kind of deal?
A: That's probably a better question for the coaches. I don't think there's anything in particular. I love having Shep back, he's obviously a very talented player. But I don't think there's any one thing in particular.
Q: When you reviewed the film of the game, what stuck out to you about why you guys missed so many opportunities?
A: I just think it wasn't really as much about why, it's just that we need to hit at times. It falls on all of us that we need to do a better job executing in the pass game and making the plays that we need to make.
Q: When you look at your performance, there are a couple of balls that were a little bit behind people. What do you have to pick up to be better?
A: I think we're always working on accuracy and getting the ball out on time and going to the right place with the ball. Just little things here and there that you'd like to have back, but that's part of it and you have to move on to the next play.
Q: Those late scores – did you guys gain anything from that and carry it over to this week? What did you see on those plays?
A: I think so. I think it's just – I don't know if you want to call it momentum, but it was good to end the game on a positive note and see no one quit. We had everyone on offense, and defense for that matter, but speaking for the offense though, we were obviously down a lot and could've just coasted to the next week, but everyone continued to fight for each other. It was good to finish a couple drives there with touchdowns at the end.
Q: Gave Dallas something to prepare showing off the wheels there late?
A: I don't know. First rushing touchdown of my career, which is I guess hard to believe, but it was good. Nonetheless, I always envisioned myself spiking the ball, but in that situation, I don't think it really called for a spike.
Q: When you crossed the goal line, it almost looked like you weren't sure—
A: I wasn't sure if the guy was going to lower his shoulder or not, so I didn't know. I was trying to prepare for it.
Q: Did you keep the ball?
A: No, no (laughs).
View rare photos from the historic rivalry between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys.