Head Coach Tom Coughlin
We didn't play well enough to win. We didn't execute the way we've been executing. We gave up big plays. We didn't make as many big plays. We hung in there. We gave it a good effort at the end, but it was too little too late. Once again, the interceptions hurt us right at the end. We thought we had the ball in the endzone with a chance to be within six with lots of time left – seven minutes left – but that was called back by a holding penalty. We missed a short fourth and one that obviously would have kept the ball in our hands. We just didn't play well enough to win.
Q: That interception in the first half – what happened?
A: (Nicks) stopped to run the slant. You can't do that. You have to continue to run the route, run through the defenders, do whatever you have to do. Unfortunately…that's a basic principal. If you've got the slant called, you've got to run the slant.
Q: Are you surprised that your pass rush wasn't as effective? Did they do anything differently?
A: They did a lot differently. They did a lot. Give them credit. They did a good job of isolating, of getting the one on ones they look for, of keeping the quarterback out of the middle of the field so that the errant throws weren't a part of their plan. They were minus seven in turnovers in the last two games with 42 points off of turnovers. You can see that that was their number one objective, to stay away from turnovers. They loaded up some formations on us and blocked it up and then threw the ball and had some success doing that as well, so they did have a little bit different of a plan and they did a nice job of staying away from the turnovers.
Q: What about the secondary? They gave up a few 40-plus-yard plays.
A: They did. We haven't been doing that. The quarterback seemed to have time to throw and they made some big plays down the field on us.
Q: Did you see the hold on Kevin Boothe?
A: I didn't see it because my eyes were going with the quarterback down the field.
Q: What report did you get from him about it?
A: I didn't really talk to Kevin. Maybe I'll have a chance when I go inside, but there's no excuse. There really isn't. It would have been nice to have that touchdown and have a chance with that much time to kickoff and play defense and maybe get the ball back. We were down there a number of times and it really was the first time in a long time where we've been slowed down in that area and really what they did was they looked like they were playing all zone coverage.
Q: Is it hard to sustain a winning streak like that in this league?
A: Well, I was hoping that wasn't going to be the case with us. We were at home and we thought that we were in good position and we knew where their strengths were, what they would try to do. We knew that Bryant would be featured in a number of ways. We weren't able to do a whole lot about it.
Q: Did you have any reservations about continuing to play when the lights weren't all the way on yet?
A: Well, the second time that Bill came over to discuss that, at that point in time it was up to us and Jason had mentioned that he thought it was light enough to play and I had some reservations and I didn't think that it was, but before play could be resumed, the league came and said we had to have better lighting than this.
Q: Were you upset with the defense? It looked like you were having an animated conversation on the sideline at one point.
A: I was upset with the…I wasn't pleased with what was going on. The plays up the field weren't something – that is exactly what we were trying not to do. We were talking about it and it doesn't matter whether it was animated or not. It had nothing to do with what was going on. I was trying to figure out what happened.
Q: The league said you needed better light and then what happened?
A: The lights came on.
Q: At what point would they have sent you home?
A: I have no idea. You'd have to check with the official on that one.
Q: Did you sense this coming in the week? Like maybe practice wasn't as good as it could have been?
A: I didn't plan on going into this. I didn't think Wednesday was as good as it should have been. It picked up a little bit after Wednesday and I thought we had a good frame of mind and I don't think we played with the effectiveness that we wanted.
Q: Did you sense that Dallas was rallying around their coaching change?
A: I don't know. I just think that they're a talented team that played well and didn't turn it over. They turned it over one time and they've been turning it over four times a game.
Q: Did Ramses Barden's injury hurt you?
A: It impacted everybody. It impacted three receivers, it impacted four. That's part of the game. We went in knowing that usually Ramses is four, then he became three and I didn't expect that anything would take place without him in there.
QB Eli Manning
What happened on that first interception?
I talked to Hakeem (Nicks) about it and we've worked it out, but you can't have that happen. At the worst you take a field goal and best is a touchdown so that is a 10 point swing there at the least and it is hard to overcome those things. We did a good job fighting back; we just made too many mistakes.
Did he break off the route?
We have worked it out.
On the bad snap when you tried to pick it up, what was your thought process?
It is a tough situation. A bad snap and when it goes off to the side like that and that defensive end to that side sees it and he just runs right up field. I guess I have to jump on it and take maybe two more downs or something, that would be third down, I was trying to pick it up and maybe try to throw it away. We had a screen called and maybe there's a running back near me and I could just throw it at his feet or something. Live and learn. Sometimes you are kind of in these desperate situations. If it was the first quarter you just jump on it and you punt, no problem. When it is the fourth quarter and you are down a couple scores it is a tough situation.
After the touchdown was called back what was your reaction?
You try to go up and try to do it again. We can't afford to take points off the board and even before the interception for a touchdown we had the ball at the two yard-line, we had a good goal line play on, we are about to walk in, and we jump offsides to get in that situation. It shouldn't get to there anyway. It shouldn't have gotten there. It is those things that kill you. It is the penalties, the drops here or there, just doing a lot of things wrong. Running routes too short on third and seven, running routes too long when it is not there. We have some new receivers in there, they did a lot of really good things, but we have to clean some stuff up. We are going to have more new receivers, guys playing new positions and we just have to get a lot of practice, keep working, and get everybody tuned-in.
How fast can you get this game out of your system and refocus on Philadelphia?
Tomorrow we have to come in and we have to fix some things. There are definitely some things that we have to fix. Maybe a few things that we have gotten away with in the past that you kind of know eventually are going to bite you and today they definitely bit us. You can't afford to play mistake football. We have kind of gotten away with it some other games because we are explosive and we are going down and scoring points. This game the mistakes backfired and cost you points and gave the other team points.
You and Ramses Barden had some connections in the first half and then he got hurt. How much did that hamper what you were trying to do in the second half?
Ramses had a good week of practice, but I don't think it affected us too badly. We just kind of moved Mario (Manningham) around to different spots depending on where the ball might go. Duke Calhoun came in there. He didn't get a catch, but he has some talent, but he is young and we have to get him tuned in on what is going on.
Did it affect you in four-receiver sets not having Barden?
We just had a few; we just had a few four receiver sets. Kind of for third down. Maybe just two or three plays so it didn't affect us too badly not having the fourth receiver. Kevin Boss made some great catches for us.
Do you think this loss has opened the division race back up?
We have only played two division games and we have a lot of football left. We have to definitely learn and get it through our heads. We can't keep making mistakes. We have to fix some things and if we can do that we can play some great football, we really can. You are going to have some penalties, you are going to have some bad drives and mistakes here or there and it is about overcoming them. When you just keep doing some things over again and when you have too many good plays taken out we are putting ourselves in too many bad situations.
How much did not having Steve Smith out there impact what you could do?
I thought guys did well. They filled in and it wasn't a case of guys running wrong routes. When you have new guys at different spots and things we haven't asked them to do a whole lot prior they are being asked to do. When you have a guy like Steve, who is so good in the slot, you have great confidence with him reading his body in game situations and you have a new guy there it is going to be a little off here or there with some things. But we have to learn. We have some young guys. I thought Mario played really well playing a new spot and did some really good things, but we can definitely learn a few things and get better.
What were your thoughts when the lights went out?
You just kind of huddle up with the guys and make sure no cheap shots or anything get thrown out there. I kind of got with Hakeem and Mario. Luckily it wasn't too long to just kind of keep the guys in close and just wait for them to get turned back on.
Did Dallas do anything different on defense from the last time you played them?
No, nothing that was totally shocking to us. Nothing we couldn't attack. There is always going to be some new stuff every week. They played a lot of two high safety and we didn't run the ball particularly well against that. We had to kind of go to some different passes, but ended up hitting some big plays on those passes. Anything the defense does you have to make adjustments on the sidelines and counteract.
Was it more difficult to prepare for this defense with Wade Phillips being gone?
You prepare for what they have done in the past. That is all you can do. It is not like they can come in and change the complete scheme of the defense. They might throw in a new thing here or there, but we were prepared. I thought we pass protected really well. The one sack was really a coverage sack for as many times as we threw. We moved the ball when we wanted to and we were getting rid of the ball about as well as we could, we just didn't finish.
What were you trying to do on the low snap?
Just trying to pick it up. I was trying to maybe see if I could pick it up and get it in my hand and wheel and throw it. We had a screen called and I thought the running back was going to be somewhere over there and I was hoping that he was going to let me get it for a second and find him and throw it at his feet. Just kind of sometimes you are in desperate measures and you try to do something kind of out of the ordinary. I should have just jumped on it and had a third and long and kind of a two down situation possibly and maybe you can kind of get something going. A bad spot to be in and I made a bad decision.
DE Justin Tuck
Did you find it difficult to recognize your own defense with all the big plays it was giving up?
It wasn't what we had put on film the last five games, but I don't know. We will go back and look at it tomorrow and see where we went wrong.
Did they do anything differently this time to protect Jon Kitna?
I think early in the game they did a great job speeding up his throws and getting the ball out of his hand quick. Check downs to the running backs, chipping with Witten before he got out and with the running backs to slow down our pass rush. Give those guys credit, their o-line played well tonight. That is as simple of a fact as there is, we just didn't.
Is there any sense of anger about mistakes that were made?
No. It is football and we are humans. Sometimes you play lights out, literally, and sometimes you just don't have it. Today I don't think we brought the energy that we had brought the last five games, for whatever reason I don't know. I don't know that we were complacent and thinking that we were going to come in here and show up and beat the Cowboys again and thinking that they were just going to lay down. I don't know what it was, but this wasn't the football team that we had put on film the last month and a half.
What were your thoughts when the lights went out?
I actually thought it was a good thing. I thought it was a way for us to kind of restart defensively. I think our crowd got into it after that and we made some strides there, but we just put ourselves in a hole and it just ended up just a little bit too big for us to come back from.
The Felix Jones screen touchdown, do you think the lights still being low accounted for anything?
That was just a great call. They caught us in a blitz, they ran a screen opposite our blitz and when that happens you have to rise to the football and it is just tough. That was a damn near perfect play call for what we had called. Like I said, you give Dallas credit. It would be easy for me to stand up here and make excuses about calls or the lights going out or whatever it may be, but the simple fact is we didn't play well enough to win the football game.
Are you concerned at all about another second half slide?
I feel as though we have learned from that, but I am not mad, I am not really sad about this game, I am actually kind of glad in a way. Maybe this is that wake up call we can use. Maybe this is a chance for us to kind of look at ourselves and say that we aren't as good as we thought we were and it gives us an opportunity to go back to the drawing board and continue to go out there in practice and work. Sometimes in this game you win games like we have in the last month and a half and you are complacent and you start not going through your daily routines and crossing every T and dotting every I. For us it gives us an opportunity to go back to the grind, go back to where we were after that Tennessee game. That is how we are feeling right now, that is hopefully how we respond to this.
This seems like the first time since that game that people were getting animated at each other on the sidelines and maybe things were coming loose at times?
I don't think it was loose. I just think we were trying to get a spark there. Football is kind of like a puzzle and sometimes pieces don't fit so you have to continue to try something different. I don't think anything came loose and I know from a distance it kind of looks like guys are fussing and fighting and things like that, but I think it is just constructive conversation. We are all out there just trying to get better and figure out what we can do better on that football field. It is all about making adjustments. Tonight some of our adjustments just didn't work.
After the last few seasons where you had a second half swoon will you talk to the team about that?
I think we learned from that. I think we are poised to kind of rebound from this. I am glad that we kind of hit this bump. For me mentally it puts me back in that state of where I have to come in here and work on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday to Friday and get ready for Philly. There are not going to be any of us making excuses about it and that is what I like about this team. I think last year we started making excuses for it and I can just tell by the conversations that I had in the locker room right then that we will get them next week. That is what our focus has to be. We know we have a good football team. We just played a very talented football team and we allowed them to stay in the game and get a big lead there and get that momentum. When you do that playing from behind against that team is not easy to do. We kind of kicked ourselves in the foot in this one.
Do you think they had any kind of advantage since you played them so recently?
I think it is tough playing a team almost back to back like that. They got a spark from bringing in a new coach and they came in here fired up and ready to play. They made some plays. We made some mistakes that literally cost us the football game, offense, defense, and special teams. Defense we didn't play with the same energy that we did down there and whenever that is the case it just seems like there is a lull and it is hard to get out of that sometimes. We started to get out of it a little bit in the second half, but it was too little, too late.
Rich Seubert on today's game:
Too many mistakes; we didn't come out good today. We had to play catch up the whole game. It's a tough way to get beat. Give them credit – they played hard today. They beat us today. They just came in here and didn't make as many mistakes as we did. We didn't play well.
Kenny Phillips on today's game:
They came out to play. We didn't and we didn't play well. We knew they would come out to play for their new coach. They had something to play for. It is like a new beginning for them. They did what they had to do, but we didn't take care of our business. And that is why we lost.
Bear Pascoe on today's game:
In the second half we tried to make a run. And for a while I thought we were going to do it. But we kept making big mistakes in crucial situations. We didn't make the plays that we needed to make. We certainly had our opportunities. They definitely came in at a high level. They played like that through the whole game.
Kevin Boss on today's game:
You know that every game in this division is going to be a battle. Turnovers and penalties, and boy did we just hurt ourselves today. I felt like we were in it the whole time. And every time we tried to close the gap they would answer and we would make mistakes. You are not going to win ballgames like that.
Hakeem Nicks on today's game:
We had some plays that I wish we would have been able to get back. These are things that you learn from. We just have to check out the films and critique ourselves. You might say that they were inspired, but that isn't out of the ordinary in this league. We had some really bad turnovers and it cost us. Sometimes you have games like this. This is something that we have to bounce back from.
Shawn Andrews on today's game:
In this league, penalties and turnovers are the fine line from winning and losing. It kind of put us in a hole today. We fought and clawed today, but when we tried to get back in the end it just wasn't enough. We just have to start fast and finish strong. It is tough to say if they were really inspired, and you can read all of the newspaper clippings, but you expect them to bring their "A" game anyway. I guess maybe they felt like they had a new start with a new coach. I even heard they were practicing in pads this week. I think they had 'their backs against the wall' mentality. They came out and played pretty good.
Osi Umenyiora on today's game:
I'll tell you what, they played well. They hit us with a lot of big plays. And we can't afford to let an offense to do that against us. But all of the credit goes to them. They played an outstanding football game today. Dallas has all of the talent in the world, and they put it together today. I'm very happy for Jason. He is a good man, and I'm happy for him.
CB TERRELL THOMAS
Q: What went wrong tonight?
A: Yeah, they made plays and we didn't. We were in position, and we didn't come to play tonight. We got out-executed and outplayed. That's not Giants football. It was a tough loss for us. We need to get back to work, and we have a tough matchup against Philly. We have to get a win in the division next week.
Q: Why was there so much trouble defending against the deep ball today?
A: They attacked our weakness, and they made plays. They went right after us, and they kind of caught us off guard. We kind of rallied in the second half, but it was a little bit too late. We gave them some free ones, a couple miscommunications on my part, but we need to get that corrected. We didn't play our best ball. We gave ourselves a chance, but it was a little bit too late.
RB AHMAD BRADSHAW
Q: Talk about tonight's loss to the Cowboys, your division rivals:
A: We just didn't come to play. We had a lot of intensity last game versus the Cowboys, and we didn't bring it to this game.
Q: What were the differences in the defense you faced when Phillips was the coach and the Dallas defense tonight?
A: I didn't notice anything.
Q: Any idea why you didn't bring that intensity today?
A: Nope, no clue.
Q: What did you guys talk about during the blackout?
A: We were just trying to stay focused, and we didn't want any setbacks. We were pushing the ball, and we just tried to stay focused.
Q: How about in the locker room at halftime?
A: Just being ourselves. If we didn't make a lot of mistakes, we can do this. We would've still been in the game and we probably would've been winning at the time.
WR MARIO MANNINGHAM
Q: What do you think hurt you guys the most tonight?
A: We hurt ourselves on defense and offense. Turnovers, I mean we didn't execute that well. We just have to take care of the ball. Less turnovers.
Q: Thoughts on the Philly game next week?
A: We have to win, come back and win. We have to come back and play harder than we played this game.
Q: How did not having Steve Smith make it difficult and different?
A: Real different. People were in different positions.
Q: Any difference in the way you guys prepared this week as opposed to the last Dallas game?
A: We prepared the same way tonight that we did for Romo. Kitna can definitely throw the ball. I think he made a lot of key changes, and I think he ran the offense the way it should have been run. We just have to bounce back. They won the battle tonight.
Q: What can come out of this loss?
A: Like I said, I think we have to be better as a unit. We have to be better as a whole and make sure we don't allow those passes to happen. You can't point fingers at anyone when so many players are responsible for this. Like I said, they had a great game plan. I'm not saying ours was bad, but they put a few things in the wind and they were attacking us. We have to find a way to get, go back and do some research on ourselves, and we'll bounce back.
Q: Did the lights affect you guys on the Felix Jones screen?
A: No, no, the lights didn't affect us at all. If he scored, he was going to score lights on, lights off, it didn't matter. It was a great play, and they got us at the right time. We had a linebacker that was supposed to be on him. For the play that we called, we had the linebacker blitzing outside. He went the opposite of the way the linebacker was supposed to blitz, and like I said, we had something dialed up and they just had something for it right away. I don't know if it was Kitna making the checks or if they just had it dialed up or what not. Whatever works, it caused them to have a good game today.
WR HAKEEM NICKS
Q: Talk about the dropped ball on second-and-20, was that just turning too soon?
A: I tried to cut up field and tried to make a play. I should've looked it in.
Q: Steve Smith could be out next week, too. Is the way Dallas played you today going to be a pattern for the rest of the time he's out?
A: There is no telling what to expect. We'll see what Coach Gilbride puts in the game plan and we'll come out prepared for whatever they have for us.
Q: How big of a missed opportunity is this for you guys?
A: No, I think we look at it like we know what needed to do. We know what we're capable of, and we need to bounce from this. I'm sure we will.