NOTEBOOK: Cowboys focusing on staying ahead of the chains

Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) runs the ball in the first quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium.Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Garrett backed OC Scott Linehan, said mistakes limited offense.

The Cowboys offense sputtered and stalled for three quarters in the season-opener at Carolina on Sunday. Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan took a beating of criticism from Cowboys fans for the poor performance.

But when reporters asked Cowboys coach Jason Garrett about his OC, Garrett had his assistants back.

"I have a tremendous amount of faith in Scott," Garrett said. "We just have to do a better job collectively as a staff and as an offensive unit to help us move the football and score some points."

On Wednesday, Garrett described on multiple occasions what he thought troubled the Dallas offense more than anything else in Carolina. He said negative plays that put the Cowboys behind the chains kept the team from seeing what it could really do on offense.

The biggest thing we had in the game the other day was we were out of rhythm too much with the minus plays early, Garrett said. If were just more efficient offensively and minimize those minus plays, stay ahead of the chains I think well be able to see more of our offense.

O-LINE REVOLVING DOOR STILL SPINNING: The Cowboys tried out Sua-Filo on Friday and must have liked what they saw. Dallas, still in search of offensive line depth after a series of injuries to starters and backups so far this season, inked the offensive lineman to a two-year deal with a $50,000 signing bonus.

To make room on the roster for Sua-Filo, the Cowboys released backup offensive lineman Kadeem Edwards.

Sua-Filo played the last four seasons in Houston, starting 31 of 32 games for the Texans in 2016 and 2017.

NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS ON GREGORY: As of Wednesday, the NFL had not made a statement regarding Randy Gregorys possible relapse in the leagues substance-abuse program. Gregory met with the NFL in Chicago in late August and rumors have been flying that Gregory could be in for more penalties from the league.

Gregory played in the Cowboys season-opener at Carolina, sustaining a possible concussion and a tweaked knee. Garret said on Wednesday that he did not anticipating Gregory practicing that day as the player is still in the concussion protocol.

BY THE NUMBERS: 600, 4 Dak Prescotts passing yards and TDs in the Cowboys two victories over the Giants in 2017.

PERSONNEL REPORT

DE DAVID IRVING is back with the Cowboys after spending training camp and the first week of the season dealing with personal issues. Irving is serving a four-game suspension for violation of the NFLs substance-abuse policy. He worked out at the Cowboys headquarters in Frisco, Texas, but cant attend practice until his suspension is over.

DE RANDY GREGORY: Gregory came out of the game and entered the concussion protocol during the Cowboys season-opening loss at Carolina on Sunday. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said he also tweaked a knee early in the game. But the Dallas coach said Gregory had made progress on both fronts by Monday.

S XAVIER WOODS: Woods pulled a hamstring during training camp and could be out for another 1-3 weeks. His replacement, Kavon Frazier, led the team with 8 tackles against the Panthers.

C TRAVIS FREDERICK: Frederick was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome in August. He has been undergoing treatment for the condition and was not put on injured reserve, clearing the way for him to return before Week 8. Frederick has said that there is no set time table for his return to the field and that his status could change on a weekly basis. Joe Looney stepped into the starting lineup in Fredericks place in the season-opener.

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