Jason Garrett, Head Coach
Q: Jason, how frustrating was it to have all those red zone opportunities and only score one touchdown and how decisive was that?
JG: I think anytime you go down in the red zone, you want to score touchdowns, but that's part of the game. You want to make sure you come away with points and all those different situations, particularly in a game like this, when it's so close. I think they had a couple opportunities that we held them to field goals on. When you are playing that kind of a game, you want to execute down there. We felt like when it was 13-13 and it was important for us to come away with points and we got three and went ahead in the game, but you certainly want to score touchdowns once you get down there.
Q: Did you trust your defense a whole bunch in that situation, considering how they had played? Did that enter your mind in play calling?
JG: We have great trust in our defense. We threw the ball when down there and we were trying to score points, we were trying to score touchdowns obviously. But, they are a good defense down there, they play well down there, they have a good history of playing well down there and we had good drives to get down in there. You want to score touchdowns and we came away with points to go ahead in the ballgame and we felt like that was an important thing at that time. But certainly they are a high power offense and they can answer back, and that's what they were able to do.
Q: Talk about the pressure the defense was able to put on the Patriots offense, particularly DeMarcus Ware?
JG: I thought the defense did a really nice job getting after this Patriots offense. They are obviously one of the best offenses in the league and it's important for us to put pressure on [Brady] and the way you do that, you win some physical matchups up front. You simply beat guys and then you also do that with different pressure packages. So, we had a combination of those things going in the ballgame. Certainly they moved the ball and did a lot of good things on offense, but at different times we were able to get them out of rhythm and that was important.
Q: I know the outcome wasn't what you wanted, but was it pretty much the blueprint of what you wanted to do as far as the clock and taking opportunities when you had them?
JG: Yeah, it was important for us to be on the field a lot and we were able to do that. I think we won the time of possession and think we got into a little no huddle and with that we were kind of dictating the rhythm of the game. We did that and once we got going on offense, we played a lot better. And when those guys, on their offense, [Tom] Brady and [Wes] Welker and that whole crew, when they are on their sideline, that is good for us. We were able to do that, by controlling the ball and certainly when they came back out, they were a very challenging group to stop.
Q: Jason, we have seen what kind of weapon [Dez] Bryant can be, especially in the red zone. Why didn't he get those opportunities in the red zone today?
JG: We had some stuff up for Dez. You know, when you call plays down in the red zone, you have a lot of different options. Really when you call plays anywhere on the field. And often times, coverage dictates where the ball is going to go and if they are going to double guys, then you have to go elsewhere with the football. So, they certainly understand, they understand what kind of a weapon he is and they gave him attention at different times in this ballgame, so the ball has to go elsewhere and we have to make those other options good for us and we have to execute.
Q: How do you feel [Tony] Romo played today?
JG: I thought he did a good job. I thought he managed the game well. We got into a little bit of a rhythm after the first couple drives on offense and I thought Tony did a good job seeing what they were playing, getting the ball to the right guy. We didn't run the ball the way we needed to run the ball, but I thought he made good decisions in and around that. And then we did get a little bit of a run going, so we had some balance. We were on the field a lot, so that was a positive thing, and ultimately we didn't do enough as a football team to win this ballgame. And we'll go back and look at the tape for everybody, and that includes the quarterback and we'll see some things that we like and some things that we didn't like. And we will correct those things and build on the positive.
Q: What were they doing against your run?
JG: Well, they are big strong guys up front and there is no secret about that. When you talk about [Vince] Wilfork and the other guys that they have in their front, they are strong, physical guys who defend the run well. And you know you have to keep banging away, you have to be persistent with it, try to do different things, try to run the ball inside, try to run the ball outside, misdirect them, do all those things to get it going and persistence with it was important, but at the same time, you have to move the football. And we moved it in the passing game and controlled it that way -- Tony completing a high percentage of his passes -- so that's one of the reasons we were able to stay on the field a little bit.
Q: Can you talk about the decision to stick with the run there before your final possession?
JG: We obviously want to run the ball in that situation because you want to make them use the time out, so we ran the ball and we had a minus run on the first play. And then I think we had a false start if I'm not mistaken and so we got into some bad down and distance situations, but having said that, one of the big things you want to do there is, you want to keep that clock moving. Just manage that situation and I think it was 3rd and 18, we didn't think it was real smart to throw the ball in that situation. The percentage of making those are not real high, so we ran it again and forced them to use a time out. And hopefully you manage the game; you get a good punt and can stop them on the other end.
Q: Was there some consideration though, before that penalty, that made it 3rd and 18...
JG: Yeah, there are a lot of things that we consider. We consider running it, throwing it, and doing those things lots of different ways, but then when it became 3rd and 18, we thought it was the right thing to do.
Q: How surprising were with the penalties and the drops by Miles [Austin] in the second half?
JG: Well, penalties are certainly part of the ballgame and the refs are going to see it how they see it and we have to deal with the consequences of those things. They put us in bad down and distance situations really early on in the game and then in different times throughout the game, so we have to clean those things up and we have to be able to execute through them and sometimes manage the situation once those occur, really on both sides of the ball. I thought Miles [Austin] played a very good game. The ball did come out on one of them, just doesn't seem like he saw it real well, but he was a guy that we were able to go to throughout the ballgame to make some plays for us.
Q: How do you think [Demarco] Murray played in losing Felix [Jones]? How did that impact how you wanted to play?
JG: Well, I think Demarco did a nice job, he got an opportunity, maybe the biggest opportunity he has gotten so far and I thought he ran the ball well. I thought he finished runs well. He made people miss a little bit. And again, we weren't running it great, but I thought he was making the most of some of the opportunities that he got.
Q: Demarcus has been a solid player throughout his career, but it seems his game has taken even a bigger leap this year. Any rhyme or reason why he's been playing so much better this season?
JG: Demarcus Ware? I think your description as solid is a little underwhelming. He has been an outstanding player for a long time and certainly a guy who is one of the marquee players in this league. Not only on our football team. He's a guy that goes about it the right way. He wants to be great, he works hard everyday in practice to be great and he plays every Sunday to be great. And he wants to be one of the greats and he certainly has the talent to do that, but more than that, he's approaching it that way. And it's great to see, he's an inspirational guy to coach and we certainly love having him on our football team.
Q: Jason, on that series that Josh asked you about before the punt, before the Patriots scored. How much was your philosophy influenced by the trust that you had in your defense based on what they had done all day long?
JG: I think you factor all those things into it. I think you have to run the ball in that situation because of the time situation and our defense had played very well. And we wanted to certainly run the ball and make first downs, there is no question about that. But we wanted to force them to use their timeouts and punt the ball down there and then hopefully we could get a stop. It's an outstanding offense, it's one of the best in the league so you are certainly challenging your defense in that situation. But we believe you have to manage the game in the way we did.
Q: The shovel pass to [Tashard] Choice, was that something you felt good about going into it or are you second guessing it now?
JG: Well, typically when we call plays we feel good about them and we thought it was a good call and they got some pressure from the backside and shut the thing down. You know, we thought it was a high percentage call based on what they might play, but it's not something we have done a whole lot of so maybe the thing could sneak in there. And having said that, it still would give us scoring opportunity if it doesn't work.
Q: I know there is no such thing as moral victories, but is there a lot of good things you can out of this game?
JG: There are a lot of good things. I thought the effort that we had really on all three areas was inspirational. We played with intensity, we played hard, we played for 60 minutes. We didn't play well enough for 60 minutes and that's something that we got to go back and clean up, but there are a lot of positive things happening and guys are going about it the right way and we are playing hard. But we got to build on those things, we have to clean up some of the other things and do some things to win these ball games. Certainly coming to the New England Patriots, at a place where they have won 19 straight games, it's a heck of a challenge. It's a heck of a challenge and we understood that going in, but we wanted to come up here and play our best game and win the game. So, it isn't about a moral victory, it's about coming up here and trying to win and then you build on the positive things that we did and then clean up the negatives and then go onto the next week.
Q: Is it fair to say that 10 penalties on yourselves and turnovers, you guys had this game in your hands? I mean, is this one that you should have won?
JG: Well, I think if you put the New England Patriots tape on too, they are going to look at it and say 'Boy, we did this well, that wasn't very good. We turned this over, we let that go.' So there are some things that they are going to look at the tape as well and say there were some good things and some bad things that they did. And what happens in the NFL is the team that you're playing typically has a lot to do with some of the bad things that you do. They are a good football team, so it's unrealistic to come up here and say we're going to play a clean game in all three areas because there are going to be some things that don't go our way. And a big emphasis that we make with our football team is continuing to play and continue to play through the success and the adversity that happens in a game. I felt like we did that, but ultimately we didn't do enough to win the ball game at the end.
Q: In the process of making the changes that you did in the offseason in the offensive line, you lost a lot of size. How much of that is a factor in your struggles in running the football?
JG: Well, it is certainly a factor when you play teams like this and when you play against a guy like [Vince] Wilfork in the middle of the defensive line. He is a tremendous presence in there and he has been for a long time. That's why he is a Pro Bowl player and one of the elite players at his position. So, you give up some stuff when you play against these much bigger defensive lines, but that's just part of the deal. And hopefully you gain something in some other areas as well and maybe you run the ball differently or do some things differently as we tried to do today. But, you try to play with the strengths of your team and you try to address some of the strengths that they have and obviously try to maximize your opportunities each Sunday.
Q: Rob [Ryan] broke his headset at one point when he was arguing with an official during the time out after the second 12-man call. What was the problem with the substitutions?
JG: Well, we will go back and look at those situations very specifically, but the rule is, if they substitute, they have to give us the opportunity to substitute. That happened and we were in the no huddle and they certainly did a very good job on their end making sure we couldn't snap the ball when we were changing personnel. So, we are confident the officials were trying to call it equally on both sides. But that is what happened and we will evaluate those situations when we see the tape tomorrow.
Q: Can you talk about the job Rob [Ryan] did when designing the game plan? Does he have a good feel for what Tom Brady does?
JG: Absolutely. I think our team was ready to play, really, in all three areas and I think when you go against that offense and the challenges that they present, I think scheme is part of it. And we felt that we matched up well with them physically in some of the match ups but you want to show them different looks. When you are playing against a quarterback like Tom Brady, he's going to go down as one of the all time greats and he is one of the elite players in this league and has been for a long time so you have to make it hard on him when you play him. And I think we were able to do that at different points today.
Tony Romo, Quarterback
Q: How would you describe the performance of the offense today?
TR: Well, it's never good enough when you lose, so we're judged off of winning and losing and as a team, we felt the guys battled really hard. A lot of guys gave great effort out there today and we came up short in the end - it's tough.
Q: Did you feel you followed pretty much what you needed to do to have a chance to win this game as far as controlling the clock and winning the turnover battle?
TR: When you start off before a game, those are always the keys that you look [for] going into [a game]. These games come down to just a couple plays here and there sometimes, and it just sucks when you're on the other end of it.
Q: Talk about the frustration of the penalties - they really seemed to just kill you guys and the most inopportune times.
TR: Yeah, they did. They stopped a few drives. I think it's disappointing when you look back just because we hurt ourselves in a lot of different situations, and we had some opportunities that got called back, and when you're behind the chains on the road, it's a tough spot to be in and we had too many today.
Q: On third and goal from the five with the shovel pass to [Tashard] Choice, would you have liked to take a crack at getting into the end zone on that?
TR: Well, we do a lot of research, we do a lot of things and those are situations that you game plan and come up [with]. I was comfortable with the call and you can always second guess everything you do when you lose - I was fine.
Q: We've seen Dez [Bryant] as such a weapon on jump-balls, why weren't you guys able to get him any of those opportunities?
TR: Well, they're off. Defensively their secondary played a lot of zone-blitz type things, which the corners bail. We just weren't able to get up on the leverage a lot today, and that's why you saw probably a lot of 7 to 10 yard type stuff. We really were moving the ball, it's just a matter of sometimes shorting ourselves with one play, whether it was a flag or a missed assignment or something. I was proud of the guys' effort; we just obviously didn't get the job done.
Q: When you guys took the lead 16-13 were you confident in your defense but at the same time knew that you were facing Tom Brady?
TR: Tom obviously has a great track record; he is a great quarterback. They've won Super Bowls here for a reason. At the same token, I believe in my defense. They've shown over and over again that they come up big in those situations. It's football, it's going to happen at some point. But I'll tell you what - I'll take our defense every day of the week going forward. Those guys played a great game today and obviously we came up short and that's what everyone's going to talk about, but I also know that guys are giving great effort, great commitment to this team and going forward - we're excited going forward, let me tell you that.
Q: When you got the ball with less than three minutes left and you have two minus runs, how disappointed were you that you didn't get a chance to try to make a pass play?
TR: Well, you always want to as a quarterback, but once again, you do a lot of game planning and film and things that you feel comfortable with. As a competitor, you always want be in a situation to have a chance. At the time of the game, I can understand definitely why we did that.
Q: After you threw the interception early, it seemed like Jay Ratliff was positive when you came off. It almost looked like he said, 'We're going to stop them, don't worry about it'.
TR: Yeah, he did. He was like, 'Hey, don't even worry about it. We're going to get these guys,' and I said, 'I know'. I believe in him. [He] had a great plan; I'd seen it all week. They came out ready to play and they did a great job.
Q: Can you put this into a big picture perspective for us, what do you take away from this game? Is it a negative? Do you look at what you did wrong or do you look at what you did positively?
TR: Right after a game it's always negative when you lose and always super positive when you win, and then as you come back and watch the tape, you start to figure out how you can improve as a team and individually, so there's always positives every week and there're always negatives. We just need to figure out how to get the win at the end and I think we will going forward. This team is continuing to grow and get better, we just need to finish out a game like today, and we will I think, as the season progresses. It's a long season.
Q: Describe your game plan. What were you trying to do and how well did you feel you executed it?
TR: Like I said earlier, you have a couple thoughts going in and I thought that we did that. They just…it is it is. I don't know.
Q: Do you think you played pretty well over all?
TR: I don't even think about that. It's just about winning and losing and nothing feels good when you lose.
Q: What's holding this team back in the red zone?
TR: I don't know. We're going to look at it. We've had some really high success early in the year at different moments. I don't know what stat is good or not good for scoring touchdowns or not, but I'd like to see where we're at in the league on something like that, so write that tomorrow and then that will help us.
Jerry Jones, Owner
(On whether they played too conservatively)
"Whenever you get the ball into the hands of a player like Brady at home, you've got problems. We are up here on their field and we knew what the odds were, so we flipped a coin and it came up against us. We know what they are about and we knew what our challenge was here. We got it down to a coin flip at the end, and if you were in a playoff game, you'd probably drive it home."
(On play of defense at end of game)
"Against a quality team like they are and a quality player like Brady, he's going to get loose and you really can't let that deter you, but, when it happens at the end of a ball game and you don't have a chance to get it back, it's really discouraging. You'll always second guess whether or not we should have tried to run a little offense down there instead of running it three times."
(On how concerned he is about not being able to run the ball when they need to)
"I think when the other team decides they are going to do things to defense against the run or make us throw it, and we were real conservative in our game plan and so it was working pretty good, they kept points off the board on their side. But this game was decided right down there at the end and I am so proud of these players the way they competed tonight. It's about all you could ask of us as a team is to compete. We rolled the dice at the end and went conservative rather than try to get some points and it bit us."
Dez Bryant, Wide Receiver
(On whether they got conservative at the end)
"Not at all. I just felt like as a team we felt like that was going to work. It was just unfortunate for us."
(On not getting the ball as much in the second half)
"It's all good, you got to understand who we got on the roster. We got a lot of great players and each and every last one of us can make plays. When anyone of us is called on we just got to do our job."
(On being animated on the sideline at the bench)
I was just saying that we got to win this game. Basically that's all it was. It was really nothing I was just trying to get the team going.
Jason Whitten, Tight End
(On the long drive ending in the field goal)
"You just got to come away with seven. You get down there with good time of possession and you just got to find a way. That what is so disappointing and frustrating that we didn't do that."
Terence Newman, Cornerback
(On the loss)
"We have a chance to win every single football game. So I hate to take positive out of negatives. When you lose that's a negative, but at the same time for the whole mindset of it. You have to look at things and say this football team isn't a two and three team. We got some good pieces here. The crazy part of it is that we are a two and three team. So we just have to move forward. We have Saint Louis next week and that is our number one focus right now.
(On Brady and the last drive)
Their football team played pretty well. That last drive they did what they needed to do. Tom didn't play wide out and running back and everything else. So it is not we did this against Tom Brady, we did this against the Patriots. He got them in good places to make good throws and helped them win the football game."
Kenyon Coleman, Defensive End
(On the game)
"It was a close one. We lost a close one. Obviously we lost and we have to move on. We have to move on and look at our next opponent. It is a long season and we need to prepare and doing everything we need to do to win. Unfortunately, when it is gone you can't do anything about it, so you just have to move on."
(On the close games and having three losses)
"We did some good things on offense and we were able to make some big plays but we came up short. Obviously no one wants to lose, but we are not getting our tails kicked. These are close games and we know what we have got in this locker room. We believe in one another but we just can't keep doing this to ourselves."
Frank Walker, Cornerback
(On the defensive preparation)
"Rob (RYAN) basically had a very solid game plan together from day one. The guys really bought into from the beginning. On our bye week they gave us the week off and we didn't think about it because Rob (RYAN) was very solid with them (the Patriots). The thing we tried to do was to create confusion and show them some disguises and different looks."
(On having Orlando Scandrick back)
"It was great to have him back. He stepped in and played well especially for a guy who has been out with a foot injury for a while. These foot injuries sometimes nag you, but he stepped in and did very well against Wes Welker."
(On defending against Brady)
"He had to move out of the pocket a little bit more today, instead of being able to stand back there and pick things apart. The guys upfront put a lot of pressure on him with just a four man rush and making him move out of the pocket was big for us."
Anthony Spencer, Linebacker
(On the game)
"We did well until that last drive. They (the Patriots) just made more plays then us. We were executing and they just came up with more plays then we did. We tried to hide our coverage at the beginning of the game but they came out with the quick stuff. We just knew we had to re-route the receivers and put pressure on Brady. That was the biggest thing for us."
Laurent Robinson, Wide Receiver
(On whether they executed their game plan well)
"Yeah, you know, we just wanted to come out and get a feel for what they were doing and then work our game plan and execute it."
(On play in the red zone)
"You know we called plays that we thought were going to work, but you've got to give them credit they did a good job of stopping them. We've got to find a way to get in the end zone."
Bradie James, Linebacker
(On his fumble recovery)
"It was just a good play, that's it."
Keith Brooking, Linebacker
(On Tom Brady)
"That's why he won three Super Bowls. Obviously, when it comes to crunch time, he is at his best."
(On the play of the Dallas defense)
"I thought our effort was great. I thought it was fantastic. Guys made some really big plays in the game in crucial situations but it is obvious at the end of the game we didn't finish. That is disappointing."
Marcus Spears, Defensive End
(On what the defense did to hold the Patriot offense to 20 points)
"We knew we had to take them up front and have guys play disciplined football. He (Brady) capitalizes on defensive mistakes better than anybody. We just tried to keep pressure on him, make him move his feet and be uncomfortable in the pocket. We got it done some of the time but it wasn't enough."
(On if the bye week helped)
"You do get a chance to look at them longer and get a look at the more finite details. But we study a lot of film through a regular week of practice too. So we would have had the same type of game plan."
(On the large contingent of Cowboy fans)
"I did (notice), I appreciate that. They support us and they always travel well. We feed off of that but I am sorry we couldn't get them a win."
(On the last drive)
"They made plays, they just made plays. That is something we have to do – close these games out. We have to go back next week and get better at that"
(On Rob Ryan)
"Rob is awesome. We play defense the way he coaches it. We love him, absolutely."
Gerald Sensabaugh, Safety
(On the Cowboy fans at Gillette)
"We always travel well. That is a good thing about being a Cowboy, sometimes the away games feel like home games. Our fans do a good job of traveling."
(On the last drive)
"They were able to convert some plays. He (Brady) was able to find guys in the zones. Brady was doing what he does. He is known for that but we have to find a way to hunker down when we are in those situations. I feel like we should have won that game but Tom Brady made some great throws. We have to find a way to come out with that win."
(On the defense)
"We knew what they were going to do. They came out and did exactly what we thought they would do. At the end they were able to make plays."
(On Rob Ryan)
"Rob! He brings so much positive energy no matter what is going on. He is a great guy to play for. We know the type of team we are. We have full confidence in ourselves and he will have us ready to go next game."
(On Tom Brady's last drive)
"Their timing is awesome the way they time their routes up. We had some good protection back there sometimes. That five wide of theirs you pretty much have to show your hand. He likes to throw a lot of short passes. Everything was pretty much short, middle of the field, running option routes. I guess that's what they do best. We just had to find a way to stop it. We had our own (inaudible) for most of the game, and that last drive he was able to convert some plays."