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Jason Garrett says Cowboys “focused on ourselves”

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Dallas not thinking about Week 1 loss to the Giants

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The 11-1 Dallas Cowboys are widely considered the best team in the NFL, and rightly so. Powered by what is arguably the league’s best offensive line and two spectacular rookies, the ‘Boys haven’t lost a game in nearly three calendar months. Their lone defeat came at the hands of the New York Giants in Week 1 at Jerry’s World.

They’ll get a chance to avenge that loss this week on Sunday Night Football but head coach Jason Garrett says his team doesn’t need any extra motivation.

“I think the biggest thing is just focusing on what we need to do. We have great respect for their team, their entire organization. The biggest thing we need to do is continue to focus on ourselves and our daily preparation,” Garrett said Wednesday in a conference call with New York media.

Focusing on themselves has worked just fine thus far, but it’s hard to imagine Dallas not wanting to pay the Giants back in emphatic fashion. The Cowboys have already clinched a playoff berth. A win Sunday night would lock up the NFC East on the Giants’ home field.

Here are a few more takeaways from Garrett’s media session...

On the improvement of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott ...

“I just think they've grown over the course of the season because of the experience that they're getting. Each of those guys had a very good college career, playing at a very high level. They made the transition to the NFL fairly smoothly. They had big responsibilities right from the start and each of those guys goes about it the right way; they really love football, they care about it and work very hard at it. If you get a chance to play and have experience as a starter in this league and you approach it the right way, you're going to improve. I think over time they've had an opportunity to run our plays, see different defenses, be in different situations, and again, they're smart guys who go about it the right way and they improve. They improve based on their experiences, they build on the good things and they learn from the things that weren't quite so good and they just keep moving on. I think over the course of the first 12 games, we've seen each of them take strides in every aspect on their game at their position.”

On the Giants shutting down Dez Bryant in Week 1 ...

“The Giants are a good defense and they make every aspect of playing offensive football challenging for you. They've got good players up front, they've got good linebackers and they're good in the back end and they have a really good scheme and they're well-coached. Every part of it for us will be a challenge. Dez is somebody that we certainly like to get the ball to. He's one of our play makers. Dez gets a lot of attention from opposing defenses every week so we have to have a willingness to work elsewhere in the passing game, run the football, and when we get opportunities to Dez, take advantage of them. They do an outstanding job in all aspects of their defense.”

On Janoris Jenkins ...

“Well, he's not unsung in our mind, he's just a really good player and they have a lot of really good players on the back end and, again, really throughout their defense. They've got guys who can defend the run up front, rush the passer, linebackers that make a lot of plays and the back end guys are really good cover guys and they're also physical tacklers. We have a really healthy respect for all those guys.”

On the Giants’ losing Jason Pierre-Paul ...

“Well, obviously he's a really good player and has been for a long time and we know the challenges that he presents. The Giants have always been really stout on the defensive line; they've always had a lot of different guys. The nature of that position is that you can play backup guys, they typically get a good number of snaps every week. So they have a lot guys who have experience. I'm sure they're plugged in and they feel good about.”

On Prescott’s success ...

“So much of what he's all about is the approach that he takes. He's so prepared for every situation, that's the report that we got from his coaches at Mississippi State and that's what we've seen first-hand since we drafted him. He's very poised, he's very composed, he's a very mature guy and, again, I think he approaches it the right way, he's prepared and ready and then he learns from experiences.”