Head Coach Joe Judge
Opening Statement: We knew coming down here it was going to be a 60-minute battle and obviously it was. We've got to do some things and clean some things up. I'm going to reserve several comments until I see them on tape completely. Before I get too much into football with the game itself, rivalry or not, all of our thoughts and prayers go out to [Cowboys QB] Dak Prescott. Tremendous amount of respect for him as a player and even more as a person. You don't want to see anybody get hurt. Obviously, that was a bad looking injury. Our players were concerned about him, our coaching staff were all concerned about him. We hope for the best recovery he can have. With that said, I'll open it up for questions.
Q: You slammed your headset down on the fake that should've worked but didn't. Did you not like the call, did you not like the execution and just the loss of having a touchdown that you had taken off the board there?
A: To be honest with you, I was mad at our execution that took points off the board. That was it, point blank. You prepare for something like that, you call it at a certain time, it came up, you want to see it work. We've got to clean that up.
Q: Was that your punter getting a little too quick on the draw or was it all on the line there?
A: It's a combination of several things. We have to be better as a unit and make sure we execute that the right way.
Q: You were pretty good with penalties all year and then you had two touchdowns taken away by them in this game. How much does that sting?
A: Yeah, you know we have to be better than that with the penalties. I'm not going to get into too much of a debate with the officials. They call it, we've got to be better than that, we've got to be cleaner than that. It comes down to the best technique we can play with to make sure we're in the right place at the right time and not put ourselves in a position to get penalties. You never want to do anything to set your team behind and penalties never help you out, so we've got to be cleaner with that.
Q: On the [Quarterback] Daniel Jones' fumble, do you blame him or do you put more on [Offensive Tackle] Andrew Thomas for allowing that sack from behind?
A: Obviously, I saw some of that live. My eyes are not always directly on Daniel the entire time, so I've got to look at the tape before I go back and talk with the team exactly what to clean up there. We've got to make sure we eliminate those.
Q: The last time you guys had the ball there trying to go down and score but also not leave them too much time in case you had to punt, how do you manage that situation?
A: We had a situation where we were trying to get out of bounds. Obviously, they had timeouts, but look, we were trying to be aggressive to get down the field. We knew the situation, wanted to get a first down, give ourselves a chance to get in field goal range and win the game. There's different ways of managing it and you match different ways in different games. We always talk through those decisions, we're on the headsets together, making sure we're on the same page. Look, we've got to play all three sides of the ball, complementary football, so in that position there, offense we want to execute, special teams – if we don't get it – we need to flip the field and get position, the punt team did that all day pretty good, and then defensively we need to go out there and execute in the position we're presented.
Q: With [Linebacker] Lorenzo Carter, they said he had an Achilles injury. How big a concern is it that his season is going to end there?
A: You know what, I don't have the official diagnosis right now. The trainers have told me that right now they've got to examine and get the exact deal, but our thoughts and prayers are with him, as well. I'm hoping that it's a short-term deal, get him back, and once the doctor knows exactly what it is, we'll get back to you on the rest of the season.
Q: You had a second touchdown taken away. They called it pass interference, illegal contact, a pick play, whatever you want to term it. What did you see on that and what were your thoughts on that?
A: I want to go back and look at it on tape to see exactly how far downfield we were on the play. To me, on those plays, it's up to us to execute the right way. We understand there's some spot routes, some rubs, some friction you're trying to create for some defensive players based on things they're doing. That's up to us to execute the right way, but I've got to see that – I didn't get a clear shot of the replay up top. I want to make sure I get a good shot of that on film before I start making comments.
Q: Their last big pass down the field to [Cowboys Wide Receiver] Michael Gallup, what happened there?
A: They just made a big play. He's a good receiver, [Cowboys QB] Andy [Dalton] made a great pass, we were in a good position defensively and they made a play. That's it. They've got good players on their team, and they take enough shots downfield and they've been making those plays all year. Look, you've got to give credit where credit's due.
Q: On the play before that, did you think [Defensive Lineman] B.J. Hill was held? And after Dak went down, what did you think of your defense's performance?
A: In terms of the holding, again, if the officials call it, I'm not going to get into a debate or any kind of public scrutiny of that right there. It is what it is, we've got to play through the situation of what it is. When Andy came in, I mean Andy is obviously a very capable quarterback, he's done a good job for some time. He actually complements their offense very well behind Dak because he's a guy who's got some ability, he can get on the edge, he can run the boots, they don't have to change their offense too much with Andy. I thought we did a decent job as far as stopping the run at certain times; other times, we let up too much. We've got to make sure we fix the run game first and make sure we're more consistent with that. And then they made some plays down the field and they've got talented receivers. We've got to do a better job just finishing up games.
Q: Obviously your record is not what you want it to be. I'm wondering, though, have you seen progress that's acceptable to you at all so far this season or does that not matter when you're 0-5?
A: Well, that's all that really matters, to be honest with you, the progress that we're making right now. The record will come in time. Obviously, we're not happy about losses, that's not what we do here, but I've seen a lot of progress on all fronts and all units. We have to keep making consistent progress to keep being a better team as the year goes.
Q: Let me ask you about [Tight End] Evan Engram and the way that you used him today – some creative ways to get the ball to Evan. Is that kind of the way you hope to use him going forward?
A: Yeah, that's every week. Everyone that we take to the game, we're looking to use. Evan's definitely a player we want to have involved in the game plan as much as we can, whether that's handing him the ball or using some kind of misdirection or throwing the ball down the field. Look, however [Offensive Coordinator] Jason [Garrett] comes up with a way throughout the week to use him, we practice it, make sure it's sound and gives us a chance to be successful. So, however we get the ball to our guys, we'll use him any way possible.
Q: Jason Garrett really seemed to open up the playbook today. Talk about his offensive plan today, and your offensive line and what you saw.
A: I thought overall Jason put together a good, aggressive game plan. We were taking shots down the field, our guys made plays, we put them in a position to go out there and win a football game. Overall, I've got to watch the tape, but I liked the way we called the game today. It was aggressive, we gave our guys shots down the field and guys made plays when we needed them to.
Q: You guys haven't won a game, you were up 17-3, you were up by three points midway through the fourth quarter. What's the mood of this team right now and what was the locker room like?
A: Look, obviously they're disappointed after any game where we don't come out winners, but one thing I know about our team is it's a resilient group and it's a hard-working bunch. We'll come back to work this week, we're going to see great energy, we're going to have great focus and we're going to get tuned in and ready for another division opponent. All of our focus, whether it's win or loss, shifts to the next opponent the next morning anyway, so we've got to clean up this game, get ready for the next opponent and move on forward.
Quarterback Daniel Jones
Opening Statement: First, I'd just like to extend our thoughts and sympathies to Dak (Prescott) on his injury today. It's tough to see anyone go down like that in a season ending situation, and to a guy like that: a competitor who makes tough plays who I have a lot of respect for. So tough to see him go down, and prayers to him.
Q: What are you feeling right now? How frustrating is this for you? What was your confidence level getting the ball tied with a chance to make a game-winning field goal?
A: We were extremely confident there with the ball, with the opportunity to go down the field and win the game, and it felt like we were able to move the ball all game and were able to execute on offense. So, we were confident, I was confident, and we got to do a better job.
Q: Looked like you went over and said something to Dak as he was carted off. What was your message at that point?
A: Just waved at him, wanted him to know we were thinking about him. Didn't get a chance to say a whole lot to him, but yeah, tough to see someone like that go down, and we'll be praying for him.
Q: On a football note, could you take us through that strip-sack fumble, what you saw there and if you knew he was right behind you?
A: I felt pressure, and I've got to do a better job stepping up and protecting the ball in that situation.
Q: Could you take us through that last drive, what did you see and what did the defense do?
A: I think we made the play on the first (down), and Darius (Slayton) made a good play coming back to the ball. Probably should've thrown it away on that check-down to Dion (Lewis), the first one. And then the second one, trying to get something and get out of bounds. And the third down play, got to find someone and make a play there for us. Tough situation, ball's in our hands and we got to find a way to win the game.
Q: When teams start 0-5, things can go downhill in a hurry. Why is this year different? Why will you guys be able to bounce back?
A: I think it's been a tough start. To say we aren't disappointed would be a lie. We certainly are, it's been a tough start. I don't think anyone on this team is discouraged. We're not going to allow ourselves to be discouraged and let this start affect the rest of this season. We have a lot of football ahead of us, and I think everyone on this team feels like we've been in the position to win games, we've improved as a team, and we're capable of winning each of these games. So in terms of our confidence as a team, and what we believe we're capable of doing, I think that's going to be the important thing in us finishing strong, and winning these games down the stretch. So, that's where we are as a team, we're disappointed, we want to win every game, but we're not going to let it affect our preparation and how we approach these next 11 games.
Q: Obviously the division is the way it is, how much do you guys look at this as a missed opportunity to get back in the division race?
A: Yeah, all these divisional games are big games, and important games. Certainly, like I said, at this point we've lost, but I don't feel like we're out of the division at all. We have a couple big games coming up, and all we can do is prepare as hard as we can and be ready to play those games. Like I said, we're not going to let this game affect us going forward, and how we prepare for the next opportunity.
Defensive Back Logan Ryan
Q: What did you see from that tackle standpoint?
A: First and foremost, the worst thing that happened today was the Dak (Prescott) injury. I mean, it's bigger than football. I feel terrible. It was a routine football play. Look, I study a lot. I thought this game would come down to me and Dak. I know it's a team game, but, my job in this game plan was to make it tough on Dak. He made it really tough on us. He's a hell of a player. He's got a lot better in his reads. He's got a really good arm. He was tearing it up there. He was making it hard on me. That's why this sucks. You have a guy who -- I'm in a similar position. He's scratching and clawing with one contract on his deal to try to get rewarded and try to do the right thing. He's trying to show up for work and trying to lead his team and trying to get a lucrative contract and tried to come out and prove it this year and for him to come out here and get this type of injury, that's why I feel like that. Dak, I hope he gets $500 million when he comes back. He deserves it. He's a hell of a quarterback. That was nothing but a routine tackle with two competitors. He's trying to stiff arm me while I'm trying to tackle him and punch the ball out. When I saw it, I saw it immediately. I broke my fibula. I broke my leg two years ago. I came back a better player and I want to wish him well. Obviously, there was no mal-intent there. I went through a similar injury a couple years ago. I just told him, 'What would Kobe do?' I hope he comes back. I hope he gets $500 million. He deserves it. Honestly, that was the worst thing that happened today. I have a sick taste in my stomach for it. He was playing a hell of a game and it was a hell of a battle between us. I hate to see it, but stuff like that - adversity - it makes the real ones stronger. I heard he's getting surgery tonight. I asked my people to reach out so I can send him a tweet or get his phone number and wish him the best of luck. There was no ill-will on my part. Dak is a hell of a player and he's had a hell of a year. I know he's going to come back even stronger.
Q: About your team and this loss, what are you feeling? What are you thinking right now? So much back and forth - a quick lead, a deficit, come back and tie game - you guys give up the field goal and the play over the top. Is the frustration level incredibly tangible for you and your team?
A: Yes, this one hurts because we feel like we could have won that one. We didn't play well enough to win. The turnovers, the penalties, and the bad defense before the half and at the end of the game - we have to execute better. We have to make more progress. We have to do quickly. But look man, I'm not running anywhere. I'm here. I don't care what the record is. I'm here. I'm going to lead our troops. Joe is going to lead our troops and we're going to have to execute better. I've been on really good teams and it's about details and executions. It's on the players. That's why it hurts because we care. You saw guys out of the locker room in two minutes and dressed and can't wait to get to see what the snack was after the game - I don't think you have that here. You have guys really painfully hurt with this one because we put a lot of work in and a lot of effort. We had a really great week of practice. We just didn't execute in the situations that we needed. Hats off to them. Dallas made some good plays. We did a good job containing them. CeeDee Lamb is a really good player. For a rookie, he came out and he tore us up in the zones. We had to adjust. Andy Dalton came off the bunch and made a good throw there in the end. We just have to be better and we know we can be. Our expectation and standard is to be. Our standard is to win these games. That's why it hurts.
Q: What was the locker room like after the game and did you know right away that Dak was seriously hurt?
A: Emotional for a minute. Upset. We put a lot of time in. Guys put a lot of effort in. We wanted to win that game and we didn't. I think honestly, it was a lot of finger pointing back to each other. It was a lot of finger pointing to the man in the mirror. I feel sick myself, about my play, I feel like I need to do more. Blake Martinez was upset with himself about one missed tackle. James Bradberry was upset about himself and one missed interception. Guys are trying to stand up and trying to lead and trying to do the right thing. That's the sick part about it. It's not a guy pointing fingers. Nobody is pointing fingers. Everyone is looking in the mirror about what they need to do better to help the team and win these games. The Dak injury - I think I spoke on it enough there. I'm sick to my stomach about it because it's just a guy doing everything right to get paid. Obviously, the franchise tag isn't a bad thing, but in the NFL, we want long-term security. He's doing everything he can to get long-term security. He has it and then he goes out there and gets an injury like that. It's just not fair. It's just not right. He has to go back on the grind. I knew it right away what it was because I had a similar one. His was pretty gruesome there. It's just always tough to see. Even as competitors, I have the ultimate utmost respect for him, like I said. He's a heck of a player. He was making it hard on me out there. I wish we could have battled until the end. I wish him a speedy recovery.
Q: At the end of the half and at the end of the game, on those two drives, were not like the rest of the drives that you guys played as a defense during the rest of the game. What is it on those kinds of drives - I know you guys struggled in the end of first halves in a lot of games - what's different about those two minute drives that you guys are struggling with?
A: It's just execution. It's execution throwing the ball the pass defense has to be better. We have to execute zones better. They made a heck of a throw and a heck of a catch. They had a penalty there to extend it. They were all tough catches. The plays we made and they made - when they make you make those plays, that's how you win those games. I've been in many football games that were decided on one drive. We've had three of them this year that were decided on the last play of the game and we weren't able to make them and the other team did. We just have to find a way to make them. I love to get complex about football but Joe's saying is that, 'It isn't easy, but it's simple.' Simply, they made those tough catches. CeeDee Lamb got hit extremely hard and caught the ball every time. That's what he's there for. We have to be a step sooner and it's a different play. Like I said, credit to them. We have to go back to the drawing board and play better in those situations.
Q: How do you guys feel as a team when you see two touchdowns get taken back? How do you feel sort of snake bitten and those kind of things are happening to those guys?
A: It's football man. Calls go how they go. I wasn't watching to see if we were set or not. We have to line up and we have to execute the plays. If there's a penalty on it, somebody probably did something wrong. It hurts when there are 14 points off the board, but it's football. Not every call goes your way. Not every ball bounces your way. What are you going to do about it? Like I said, we have a bunch of fighters. I'll be back in the lab at 5 a.m. tomorrow to do what I have to do. I'm not going anywhere. Washington has to come see us next week. We're going to make it tough. We have to clean up what we have to clean up. This one, credit to the Dallas Cowboys. There were a lot of self-inflicted wounds, some missed tackles and some mental errors defensively. Look, we scored on defense. We did a lot of good things, but we're not getting anymore 'Atta-boys'. No more pats on the back. At this time, it's done. The fan base deserves wins and we're going to do what we have to do to get some wins for the fans and for ourselves because we deserve it, too. Coach Judge deserves it. I'm going to stand up here at this podium with my chin held high and I'm going to go back to work like anyone else would do. I'm going to find a way to play better for the team.
Wide Receiver Darius Slayton
Q: Can you talk about almost scoring that touchdown and turning around and seeing the flag? Did you think it was going to be thrown since you were a part of that traffic jam there?
A: The play wasn't designed to pick anybody. It was something that happened incidentally. I wasn't expecting that, but it happens.
Q: When you guys leave here tonight, what's the mood of this team right now? I know the record is what it is, but what are you guys feeling as you get on the bus to go to the airport?
A: Obviously, we're disappointed that we didn't come away with the win. At the same time, we fought hard. We fought all four quarters. We know there are things that that we have to improve on. We know that there are things that we have to be better to get wins at the end of the day, so obviously, we're disappointed right now. We're not going to let one game define us. We're not going to let this game linger and effect the rest of our season.
Q: You guys haven't had a passing touchdown, I believe since Week 1. Why do you think that you guys haven't been able to close out drives as far as the passing attack? Why do you think you guys are struggling in that way?
A: Well, we had two passing touchdowns today, if it weren't for the two penalties. That's kind of how the cookie crumbles sometimes. It really doesn't matter how you get in the end zone. We were only able to run it in today. In football, running the ball is the easiest way to get in the end zone. So, if you can get it in that way, that's always nice. You know, that's not something that we're worried about. At the end of the day, we're just trying to go out there and execute plays and find ways to win.
Q: Darius, you played quite a game today, frankly. The one-handed catch and coming back to the ball and those extended plays. Do you walk away feeling good about that? Do you and Daniel (Jones) feel good about the connection you showed again in a game like this? Or are you stuck on 0-5?
A: We're both competitors and we both want to win. We're fighting hard to win. The first thing on the top of your mind is we didn't get the win, so regardless of how many plays we made, or what we did, it wasn't enough to win the game. Right now, it's the overall, forefront thought in my mind, at least.
Q: There is more noise about Daniel now than at any point of his career. There are a lot of critics coming to the surface. As a guy who's on the field and locker room with him, what's your level of confidence in him right now?
A: Through the roof. I believe that every ball that comes off his hands is going to be on the money. If you watch him play and watch the balls, it normally is. It doesn't affect my view of him - what other people have to say about him. At the end of the day, I work with him every day. I play with him in every game. I know what he brings to the table. Nothing that anybody can say from the outside is going to affect my belief or view of him.
Q: How frustrating is it as an offense to have the ball in your hands with a shot to go down with a chance to kick a game winning field goal and come up short like that?
A: Frustrating. At the end of the day, we have to execute better in that scenario. We didn't execute the plays well enough to move the ball down the field to get in the position for a kick or a touchdown. Ultimately, that's something that we're going to have to look at on the film tomorrow and get it figured out. Also, I just want to say real quick, quick prayer to Dak Prescott. I'm hoping the injury wasn't too severe whatever it was. My prayer is for a speedy recovery.
Linebacker Blake Martinez
Q: What was the mood inside the locker room? There were so many good things that happened today, but it's another loss. What was your confidence level in that last series that your defense could at least cause overtime?
A: First, I want to say my prayers are out to Dak (Prescott), obviously going down during the game. You never want to see a player, especially him, of that caliber, go down and have something like that. Praying for a quick recovery for him. On your question, I think every single one of us is a competitor and all of us want to go make those plays and do what we need to do to not have that situation come down to what it came down to today. But at the end of the day, we have full confidence in ourselves to make plays, and we just didn't make them coming down the stretch.
Q: How long is that missed opportunity to stop Amari Cooper on that first down going to stick with you?
A: Definitely a tough one. Obviously, you want to make all the plays possible, just a classic game of inches – you hesitate, think he's going to underthrow him, possibly have a chance for a pick, instead I just need to go make the play.
Q: How come, you guys, at the end of halves, and at the end of games, struggle. What is it about these two-minute drives you guys struggle with?
A: At the end of the day, it's about executing your 1/11. I think every single time we get in those situations, there's always just one play here, one guy here, one person here, it's kind of a domino effect where you think you're good, and all of a sudden, someone else thinks they're good, and it's been kind of a splinter in our foot.
Q: You guys have dealt with a lot of injuries and moving parts, how challenging is that as the leader and middle of this defense?
A: I think that's my role as the play caller and leader of the defense, and the captain. To be that guy, calm, cool and collected, no matter what situation we're put into, no matter what guys are out there. Everyone is locked in, working hard every single week, and I think that's the toughest part, that right now, we're putting the work in, and we just need to execute when we're out there.
Q: You guys have all mentioned Dak (Prescott) at the podium, but you also had your own serious injury with Lorenzo Carter. Did you talk to him? How are his spirits? What kind of loss would that be if he was out for a long time?
A: Just like Dak (Prescott), it's tough to see anyone go down. Obviously praying for Zo for it not to be something serious, not be out for too long, a quick recovery. I haven't talked to him too much about the extent of it, but obviously I know he came out of the game. We'll see what those details are.
Q: There were some games early on where you could look at it like you made progress but didn't win, has that time passed or could you say that about a game like this?
A: I think I heard Logan (Ryan) say it best, it's at this point in time that there's enough of this "we're so close, we're getting there," it's time to win, this is a result business, we need to go out there and win, get the job done, and it's time for that now.