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Quotes: HC Brian Daboll, QB Daniel Jones, OT Evan Neal

Head Coach Brian Daboll

Daboll: Just had a walkthrough. Got another walkthrough. In terms of the injuries, which I know there will be a lot of questions about, here's where we're at with that. Belly (tight end Daniel Bellinger) won't make it. (Cornerback) Adoree' (Jackson) won't make it. And everybody else is going to come right up to the last second what we decide to do – treatment, talk to the doctors, the athletic trainers. So, relative to where everybody else is at, it's going to be a last second decision that we make.

Q: If that's the case with all the other guys you're talking about, that sounds like relatively good news with all these other guys if it's a possibility.

A: It's a possibility, but it's also not a possibility. That's what I'm saying. It's going to go right to the end. We'll see who we have healthy.

Q: Did you sign (tight end) Nick Vannett?

A: Practice squad.

Q: What's your message to the guys with this situation being what it is as the injuries have piled up?

A: Prepare to play a game. It's really that simple: prepare to play a game. (It's) a short week; everybody plays them. So, do a good job in the walk throughs. Do a good job on studying the team that we're playing, and make sure that we're ready to go. Take care of our bodies and get ready to go to Dallas.

Q: Do you feel snake bitten, or do you feel like this is the league and this is what it is?

A: It's the NFL; every team deals with injuries. So, next guy up. And let's get ready to play.

Q: Have you sensed anything from (tackle) Evan (Neal) this week in terms of wanting to get back on the field? Not just to get back on the field, but to play the Cowboys again. He had kind of a clunker there.

A: Of course, he wants to get back on the field. I'd say what's tough is just how we're getting ready to play this game. Of course, he wants to be out there. We'll see. Again, it's more. It's not necessarily, 'Go out there and run around.' It's really treatment, talk to the trainers, talk to the player. And then we'll make our decision. We'll try to take it as long as we can. And if obviously someone says they just can't go, then they can't go. But all these other guys, we're going to hold out hope to see who can make it.

Q: Is (outside linebacker) Azeez in that group? (Azeez) Ojulari – is he in that group?

A: No. He won't go.

Q: (Cornerback Fabian) Moreau is in that group, right?

A: He is. Yep.

Q: Assuming the worst and he can't, how do you feel about (defensive back Cor'Dale) Flott, (cornerback Nick) McCloud, (cornerback) Rodarius (Williams)?

A: Yeah, all those guys. All those guys are.

Q: How ready are they for the challenge of the Cowboys?

A: They're preparing to be ready to play. That's why they're on the roster.

Q: How much do you have to change your defensive approach a little bit with so many guys possibly down in the secondary?

A: I think we do that a little bit each week. So, it's really no different this week. Obviously, you try to do what you can do for the guys that are out there. You put them in the best positions. That's really no different than any other week.

Q: Will you put Adoree' on IR?

A: Not right now. He's a lot better today.

Q: With the Cowboys, they kind of look a little bit different than the last time you played them with (Cowboys quarterback) Dak (Prescott) back. It seems like (running back Tony) Pollard is a lot more involved in the backfield than he was. How much has that offense changed in just the few weeks since you last saw them?

A: I think they've always been a good offense. They have a lot of good skill players. I think their roster construction has been really good with really offense, defense and the kicking game. This is a dynamic team, I'd say, in every area. They've got great skill players. When I say skill players, I also include defensive ends, who are skill players. Explosive – scored a lot of points, obviously, last week. (They had) seven sacks, 40 points against an 8-1 team at their place. It will be a huge challenge.

Q: I know you always want to run the ball, but with that pass rush and their defense in particular, how much maybe more important does that even become this week for you guys?

A: Really, I think it's execution. If you get into passing situations against this team, I mean put on the tape, there's a bunch of negative plays. So, if you're playing the game in third-and-long or second-and-long, or if you get behind and you got to try to make up ground, that's a bad spot to be in against this team.

Q: There's an old axiom that the season really starts after Thanksgiving. Do you subscribe to that?

A: Yeah, all the places I've been. Again, you put yourself in a position at this time of year. Every game matters – the games we play in the beginning. As it gets closer to the end, you got to treat it the same as you treat every other game. And we have a division game that we're playing a team that's really good.

Q: What happened with (wide receiver) Richie James? He's listed on the injury report.

A: His knee was bothering him. So, he's kind of another guy in that boat. We'll see where he's at.

Q: Did he hurt it making the tackle on that interception?

A: I don't know exactly when it happened. I think he'll be fine. Again, we'll take it all the way to the end. I think he'll be fine. I think he will be ready to go. I just don't want to say one hundred percent.

Q: If he's not ready to go, I guess the punt returner situation kind of keeps going in flux?

A: Yeah, we'll have the next guy ready to go.

Q: What do you see from your guys? I think you'll probably agree that was your worst game of the year against Detroit. You have an opportunity now, they have an opportunity – everybody watches pretty much on Thanksgiving, everyone will be sitting there watching – big opportunity for you guys?

A: Yeah. I mean look, every week is a new week. Whether you win or whether you lose, you try not to focus on results – you focus on the things you can do to get better whether you win or lose. I've said that from the get-go and that's been our approach. That'll always be our approach.

Q: With Dallas' ability to rush the passer and make negative plays on defense – how much is (quarterback) Daniel's (Jones) mobility and ability to get out of there an asset?

A: Yeah, I think any time you have an athletic quarterback… Look, they're very athletic, they've created a bunch of them, they get after the quarterback. Again, I think it's more about the situation and they force them. They're really good in those situations and, unfortunately, they're really good on early downs, too. Being able to produce positive plays is going to be a key thing for us. We get into those situations, they've done it to everybody – they did it to us the first game, they did it last week. They've done it to everybody. They have dynamic players, and they get after the passer. To have a guy that can use his legs to get out of it, it's certainly a little bit different than just a guy that stands back there.

Q: When you went back and looked at (running back) Saquon's (Barkley) day, was there anything that you didn't know before watching that you do now?

A: Which one?

Q: This last game.

A: No. Pretty much what I said. It takes everybody.

Q: Will the result of this game, after your conversations with (general manager) Joe Schoen and throughout this week, will the result of this game impact how aggressive you would or wouldn't be in adding players?

A: No, I think we'd do the same stuff every week – try to be consistent regardless of results and do what's best for our team.

Q: You've talked all year about you just never know in this league because any week you can be humbled. Do you feel like this team was humbled a bit on Sunday?

A: No, we lost the game. We were 3-0 on turnover ratio. Teams that do that this year are 1-18. There are some certain things we could have coached better, played better. We want to win every game; we didn't do enough to win that game and you got to move on quickly – particularly when you got a short week.

Q: Do you like your team, the way you've built it, to respond on a short week with all the circumstances that you've had?

A: I've liked everything about the guys since I got here. They work hard, they're humble guys, they do everything we ask them to do. They go out there, they play as hard as they can play. Again, we don't always like the results, but these guys are putting everything they've got into it – everybody is putting everything they got into it, and we'll always do that.

Q: What does it mean to you and your team to have this opportunity to play on Thanksgiving?

A: This is the sixth time that I've been part of this game, not necessarily against Dallas – third time against Dallas, I think. It's great, it's a great tribute – you know? You remember when you're a kid, sitting down and watching television and the games and Madden and turducken and all those type of things. Again, we got a big challenge ahead of us in Dallas and that's where we got to keep it.

Q: With that time slot, everybody on Thanksgiving seems to watch that game. Do you talk to your players about this is an opportunity as a showcase to show the country how good you are?

A: I don't. I don't because we play Sunday nights, Monday nights. I think you got to keep the focus the focus and, again, with the short week, there's not a lot of time so we got to do everything we can do to get ready.

Q: Have you had a turducken before?

A: I have not. Might look like I did, but I didn't.

Quarterback Daniel Jones

Q: Can you talk about the challenges that the Dallas defense presents?

A: They're a good defense. They're fast and physical, good pass rush up front and good players in the backend. They're smart, instinctive, and make a lot of plays. We'll have a plan for it. We're confident in our ability to attack them.

Q: What does this opportunity mean to play Thanksgiving against the Cowboys in Dallas for you on national TV?

A: I think it's a huge opportunity for us, it's a divisional game against a rival and on Thanksgiving. Huge game, huge opportunity for us, and we've got to go out and play our best ball, play as well as we can and see how it goes.

Q: How do you handle and combat the ever-revolving door of players that have been coming in and out at receiver and tight end because of injury?

A: I think those guys who have stepped in have done a great job learning what they have to, to get up to speed and catch up and then stepping in and making a lot of plays. I've got a lot of confidence in our guys and in those groups. They've done a great job all year.

Q: How important is it for this team to bounce back quickly here?

A: I think it's extremely important. Throughout the year, we've shown ourselves as a resilient group, a tough group mentally and physically – this is an opportunity to show that for us. We're excited for it and we're looking forward to getting down there.

Q: When you look at last week's game did you feel like, other than the two picks, that you had played a pretty good game? Maybe one of your better ones but obviously, that takes a lot away.

A: I think any time you turn the ball over twice, it's tough to say you played well. That's the biggest thing for me is taking care of the ball and making sure we're avoiding those situations and not putting our defense in a bad spot going on the field. Looking to clean up those things and avoid making those mistakes.

Q: What is it that makes (Cowboys Linebacker) Micah Parsons such a threat and force out there from a quarterback's perspective?

A: His athleticism, his speed and strength, and just how hard he plays. I think how hard he rushes and how hard he runs to the ball. He always seems to put himself in a position to make a play with those things.

Q: When you have a lot of injuries that impact the people around you, how difficult is that for a quarterback to adjust to new faces on the fly? Is that something that's challenging you to have to deal with?

A: I think it can be in certain situations. Like I said earlier, I think our guys have done a really good job stepping in knowing what to do, getting on the same page and then going out and executing. I think our coaches have done a good job getting everyone up to speed, helping everyone learn what they need to learn and then when guys have gotten out there, they've made plays. I think it can be, but in our situation the guys have done a really good job in those spots.

Q: Obviously the wide receiver has been a big focus because you've lost so many but is there also a challenge of rotating the offensive line and the shuffles they've made there? What's that challenge for you?

A: I think it can be a challenge also. Those guys up front – and getting on the same page as far as protection identification and how they communicate up front getting everyone on the same page. We've had a good week so far of practice and communicating those things and getting on the same page. Guys have done a good job.

Q: It's a short week, injuries are piling up – how big of a challenge is this against a Dallas team that's really improving right now?

A: It certainly is a challenge, but I think it's also a great opportunity for us to show who we are, show what we can do, our toughness. We're looking forward to going out there and playing really good football. That's where our focus is.

Q: You're both 7-3 but if you listen to people talk about it, it's almost like you're on completely different levels – especially with them coming off this big win and you're coming off that loss. Do you guys even notice that? How do you guys even make sense of that when you hear that from the outside?

A: That's not something we're focused on as a team. Our focus is to prepare as well as we can to play as well as we can and that's what we're going to do. We're confident in our ability to win games, to compete and find a way to make the play down the stretch to win the game. That's what we're focused on. (We're) focused on ourselves. We'll have a plan for them and what they do but focused on ourselves.

Q: When you look at the playmakers they have on the other side – is this the kind of game where your athleticism and mobility could be an important asset for you?

A: Yeah, I think it can be. We'll get a sense for the game, how they're playing, what their plan is and adjust. I think you look at the first game and that was a part of it. We'll see.

Q: When the defense is keying so heavily on (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley) and the run – is the best way to get them out of that to use your mobility and your legs? Is that the best way to stretch them out and move their eyes elsewhere so it opens up?

A: There are several layers to that kind of situation as to how they're stopping Saquon, what they're doing to stop him and depending on what that is, certain opportunities present themselves. I think you need to be a little more specific about what exactly the plan is but there are a lot of things that are opened up off of Saquon and how well he's playing.

Q: Obviously, you guys always want to run it but against this defense with the way they rush the passer – does it become even more of a focus? Something that you have to have in order to be successful against this defense?

A: I think we're confident in our ability to run the ball and to throw the ball. A lot of credit to their pass rush, they're good up front. We'll try to do what we do from a run game standpoint and a pass game standpoint.

Q: Would you be okay if Micah was less than 100%?

A: Like I said, we're not really focused on them. We'll play as well as we can and control what we can.

Q: Do you have any Thanksgiving football memories?

A: I've never played on Thanksgiving.

Q: Never? Not even in high school?

A: Not even in high school. Watched a lot of Thanksgiving games, obviously, but first time playing. I'm excited.

Offensive Tackle Evan Neal

Q: Has the pace of your progress frustrated you at all? Because I know you got out there, and (Head Coach Brian Daboll) Dabs told us, 'Well you know, he's still not feeling it completely.' How do you feel in terms of the progress you're making?

A: I wouldn't call it frustration. I'm just making sure that whenever I do go out there, I'm 100 percent ready to go. I really don't want to leave a stone unturned and make a premature decision and something bad happen. So, just making sure I'm crossing every 'T' and dotting the 'I's, pretty much.

Q: Have you ever missed this much time before – in college, high school, anything?

A: No, never.

Q: So, what's it been like?

A: It's been tough watching from the sidelines. But it's given me a different perspective, for sure. I'm just focusing on healing up. I'm ready to get back out there.

Q: Is there something you have to do in practice or anything like that to know, 'Okay, I'm good now'? At what point do you know that you're ready to get back out there?

A: You never really know until you take those live reps out there. I can do drills on the side, and I can take pass sets and go on the boards, but that's not blocking an NFL defensive end in a game situation. I really won't know until I get back out there.

Q: What makes their pass rush in general – (Cowboys Linebacker) Micah (Parson) in particular – so hard to handle?

A: They do a lot up front. They're the number one team in the NFL in terms of gains and movement and stuff like that. The move Micah around a lot, and they've just got a good player.

Q: How much does that pass rush make it even more important for you guys to be able to run the ball in this game – when you have a pass rush like that to slow down that pass rush?

A: Running the ball has pretty much been our philosophy all year. It feels like it's equal as an importance because we've been a run-heavy offense all year.

Q: In an ideal situation, it feels this would have been the game for you to play to show, 'Look how far I've come since the last time I played them.' Is there any disappointment that might not happen and that you might not be able to do that?

A: Regardless of whether I play this week or I don't, I'm going to have another opportunity to play against NFL competition. I just want to make sure when I do go out there, I'm ready.

Q: Is it hard for you to test that this week since you guys aren't really going full in practice?

A: Yeah, just doing walkthroughs and stuff like that, it's hard to get a gauge. It's hard to get a live rep in in t-shirts.

Q: How hard is what this offensive line is doing as a whole? It was you, then it was Tyre (Phillips), then it was Matt (Peart). Then at guard, it's been (Ben) Bredeson, then (Shane) Lemieux and then (Joshua) Ezeudu. It just seems like there's no continuity. How hard is what this line is dealing with?

A: It's tough, but that's football. We're not the only line in the league that's dealing with stuff, guys going down and stuff like that. It's the nature of this game, and it's pretty much next man up.

Q: Are you going? Or you aren't sure about Thursday?

A: We're going to see, like Dabs said. Just take it day-to-day and see how I'm feeling come Thursday. I'll just go from there.

Q: Do you feel like you're close though?

A: Yeah.

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