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Jason Garrett, Tony Romo discuss Sunday's game

Dallas Cowboys Coach Jason Garret and quarterback Tony Romo spoke with New Orleans media via conference call on Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Tony Romo
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, November 6, 2013

When you go into a game against someone you are familiar with, say former defensive coordinator, Rob Ryan, how do you juggle just looking at what the Saints defense did as opposed to what you know about him?

"I think you have to take everything into account.  They are going to have a plan against us and we have to have a plan against them.  We have to go out and execute that.  It will be a great test for everybody.  They are playing great football.  Rob (Ryan) puts them in a great situation and you can see they are flying around and they are very difficult to deal with. It is going to be an unbelievable difficult test this week."

Is it almost like night and day from last year with this defense?

"I don't think it was that easy last year.  I think maybe just because you guys are around them, you got to see every game.  But predominately they've always had good skill players.  They are doing a great job this year.  They are rushing the passer.  Rob (Ryan) has a really good scheme that gives you trouble and it is going to be a tough game in a tough environment."

How do you and Dez Bryant mesh?

"Yeah, me and Dez have no…things are great.  He's a great teammate. He is a great player and it makes it easy to want to throw him the ball and get him the ball and he works his butt off.  I love the kid.  He is a fantastic player and person."

How often do you see one-on-one coverage with him?

"You want to be judicious of where you are going when he has a number of people around him, at the same token you want to be able to get him the ball.  You do different things to get him in position to have some opportunities and then you go let him make the play.  That is part of the game and he's great at that."

Have defenses thrown different looks at him this season?

"Yeah a little bit of everything.  I think you see one, one week and then you see something else the next.  There isn't one specific thing and we understand that.  We just have to understand and go to the right places where the ball needs to go."

As far as playing the Saints, is there any added importance because you both are in a playoff hunt?

"Yeah, for us it is just about playing this game and getting ready.  This is the biggest game of the season.  Next week will be the biggest game of the season.  Each game counts the same in the standings and when you look back on it you want to put your best foot forward every week you step out there and that is what we are trying to do."

It has been a long time since the Saints lost to an opponent on prime time in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.  You managed to beat them in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome four years ago in primetime.  Can you talk about whether you can build off that and what you can get from that experience or is that something you just say that was four years ago?

"I think more than anything, they are two completely different teams at this point.  It is always a very tough place to play.  It is going to be a tough scheme we are going against, a tough place to play, a tough offense on the other side, all of those things up against it are going to make it a tough situation, but that is what makes the game great.  There is a certain recipe going in and to having a chance to go in and win this football game and I think we understand that and you have to go out and do it."

What was your reaction when Rob Ryan was let go?

"Rob (Ryan) did a great job for us.  I enjoyed being around him. He's got great energy and I think he has done a great job down there in New Orleans."

Do you kind of wonder what happened with Rob Ryan being let go?

"I'm not involved in those discussions or decisions of that nature.  I just go out and play quarterback and try and help this football team win.  I enjoyed, like I said, being around Rob and he is a great guy."

I know you and Sean Payton go way back, how much do you take away from your experience with him that you still use today?

"I think you are always impressionable as a young quarterback in the National Football League.  Being around him, David Lee, Bill Parcells, a lot of guys, I was able to learn a lot of different things and I still use that throughout my career, always."

Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What are your thoughts on going up against a Saints team that you guys are pretty familiar with having played them last year and probably pretty familiar with Rob Ryan's defense?

"I think they're a really good football team in all three phases. Obviously they've been a really good team on offense for a number of years. They've got an outstanding quarterback (Drew Brees), (and) a lot of great weapons around him. The system of football they believe in has been really good for them. They're explosive. They can drive the ball, they can score points, and they're a very dangerous offense. Defensively they're playing well, there's no question about that. Rob's doing a great job for them. They've got a lot of pieces in place. They've got some very good players up front. The linebackers are solid – veteran guys. On the back end, they're really playing well. It's a good football team through and through. They've got a lot of good playmakers and they play good, sound, fundamental football."

Does Rob look like he's doing all of the things he was doing when he was on your staff?

"Yeah Rob has done a lot of stuff throughout his career at his different stops. He's a guy who's got a wealth of football knowledge and has used different kinds of schemes throughout his career and really in hopes to put his players in the best positions possible. I don't think it is any different down there in New Orleans. He's got his system in place and really just doing a good job. He's got a lot of guys playing well for him on all three levels, and they're a good solid defense. There's no question about that."

Do you look at that situation and kind of wonder what didn't work or is that kind of just something that he's just kind of moved on and this defense is playing better than it was last year here?

"Oh yeah Rob is a fantastic coach. There's no question about that. He's a great guy and did a lot for our organization in the two years that he was here. Defensively we played very well, particularly last year, for most of the year. Probably through week ten or 1, we were one of the best defenses in the league. We really just got decimated by injuries, and I thought Rob did a good job of keeping everybody together and working through the different players that were in for us. I think he's a fantastic coach. It doesn't surprise me one bit that he's having the success he's having down there."

Is it tough sometimes that despite a lot of what you just said, that you have to part ways with a coach like that?

"Yes. It's a very difficult part of our profession, both with coaches and players. Decisions are made for a lot of different reasons, and I think anybody who's been around (knows that). I have great respect for Rob as a person and as a coach and wish him nothing but the best and like I said he's doing a fantastic job there."

Both teams have had trouble running the football, I think 25th and 26th in the league. What's the over/under on pass attempts on Sunday?

"Well I think Sean (Payton) will probably want to run the ball more and run it more effectively and there's no question that we would want to do that as well. We both have very good quarterbacks and very productive passing games and, having said that, you'd like to have (balance). But at the same time, you want to make sure you're doing the things that give your team a chance to win. If we need to pass the ball more to do that, we'll do that. If we need to run it more, we'll do that as well. I'm sure he believes the same thing."

As far as with your offense and the way Tony Romo and Dez White have been playing especially this year and a half, what makes the click despite some of the blowups that have made recent headlines?

"Well I think they're both outstanding football players. They've played at a high level for a long time. Dez is a guy who has made a number of big plays that have impacted the game throughout his career. I think over the last couple of years he's becoming more and more consistent. I think if you can compare his production over the first three and a half years of his career, I think it will be pretty favorable to anybody who has played in this league. He's just an outstanding player, and we think the world of both those guys. They're both very instinctive guys and I think they see the game the same way and have a real good feel for each other. I think that, coupled with how good of players they are, really helps them work well together and be productive for our team."

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