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Head Coach Brian Daboll
Opening statement: Obviously, a tough loss, a disappointing loss, got beat all the way around, coaching to playing and I accept that, got a lot to learn from, a lot to work on and that’s what we’ll do. No excuses, give credit to Dallas. They just did everything better than we did tonight.
Q: On the blocked field goal, you guys seemed to be kind of humming on offense early in the first drive and then some things went wrong. What did that series of events that ended that the possession and the block field, what did that do for the rest of the night for you?
A: You hope you don’t have plays like that. You’re gonna have some bad ones throughout the game. You give up seven on special teams and you give up seven on offense and that’s 14 points right there and, you know, a field goal, they missed the extra point. It was16 points early, you know, still competing, but just could never really string it together, really, in any area.
Q: Seven sacks, 12 quarterback hits, what was wrong with the protection?
A: Well, we got into one of those games as the game went on where we were throwing the ball and they knew we had to throw the ball, we were down a bunch. Have to look at the tape for some of the stuff. But, you know, obviously it wasn’t good enough. No area was good enough tonight, from protection to coaching, to running, to tackling. Whatever it may be, you name it, it wasn’t good enough.
Q: Did you ever think about taking (quarterback) Daniel (Jones) out?
A: I was gonna let him see it through there just until that last series.
A: Try to get something positive going there. We didn’t have much going, just wanted to try to get, you know, a positive drive and try to punch the ball into the end zone, but that didn’t happen.
Q: It seemed like kind of a rough night for your rookies tonight for your first timers –
A: I’d have to go back and look at it.
Q: What’s your concern about the offensive line at this point, particularly the right side.
A: I’d say we got a lot of work to do in every area, not just the offensive line, every area on the field, from coaching to offense to defense to the kicking game and that’s what we’ll do.
Q: There’s a lot of talk after last season about bridging the gap between you guys and those other guys in the division. Are you worried at all about what a loss like this could do in the big picture long term?
A: I’m focused on trying to improve and there’s a lot to improve on. So, you know, it’s one game. It wasn’t a good game, don’t sugarcoat it. It was a bad game and that’s on me and we’ll work to get the things we need to get fixed, which is certainly plenty of things.
Q: What was your message to them?
A: Just that.
Q: Do you think any changes need to be made on the offensive line?
A: We just got skunked here, 40 to nothing. When you play a game like that and coach a game like that, there’s nothing that’s good enough. Our job is to go back and look at it with a critical eye, just like we would do in any game, but 40 to nothing is not a good score, obviously. So, a lot to work on and that’s what we’ll do.
Q: Is there anything you can take away from Daniel’s play?
A: Yeah, I would just say in every area we weren’t good enough and I’ll take that.
Q: Did you have any issues with the effort in the second half? It seemed like they came out kind of flat.
A: No, I mean, they went down and drove right down the field. Those guys are competitors. Obviously, the result didn’t show that tonight, but that’s not us. That’s not us, just to insinuate that, that someone’s not giving effort. Everybody gives balls out effort. We just didn’t do a good enough job executing, but I don’t question that, not ever.
Q: Did it catch you by surprise how basically all the operations, all three sides, failed?
A: Look, I’d say it again. Tonight wasn’t good enough in any area. So, a lot to work on and that’s what we’ll do.
Q: How did (tight end) Darren (Waller) come through the game? He came out before everyone else did. Was that out of precaution?
A: Yeah, he made it through. He made it through. I think the only thing I got coming in here was (corner Deonte) Banks had cramps.
Q: What about Andrew Thomas?
A: He fought through, I think he had a little bit of a hammy going in there. I gotta go find out what exactly it was but he was fighting through. Again, look, there’s no excuses on anything when you lose 40 to nothing. Nothing is good enough and I’ll own that.
Q: Is (kicker Graham) Gano okay?
A: I think he is, but I haven’t checked with those guys just yet.
Q: A loss like this can be kind of deflating. How do you keep the guys from getting too down over a loss like this?
A: Well, this league is humbling. It’s a humbling league. I’ve said this many a time, it’s the same thing as if you have a big win, not getting too high. This is an emotional game, guys put everything they have into it. They prepared well, we practiced well and we didn’t put it together today in every area from, like I said, offense, defense, coaching, special teams, whatever. You name it and you get 40 to nothing, there’s a lot of blame to go around and I’ll take the head of it.
Q: You said looking at things with a critical eye, would you re-evaluate your processes?
A: Well, you do that every week. That’s what you do as a head coach, you evaluate processes every week, whether you have five wins in a row, get blown out 40 to nothing, have an offseason. Every day after every game you sit down and you evaluate processes, that’s what you do as a coaching staff. It’s been like that ever since I’ve been in coaching.
Q: What is it about Dallas that’s kind of given you guys issues this last year and a half or last year?
A: Last year, I’m not worried about. This year, we had issues with every area we could have issues with tonight.
Q: What did you think when you guys got kind got booed going in at the end of the first half?
A: We weren’t playing well.
Q: In the first quarter you had to burn two timeouts because of substitution problems. How concerning is the whole operation?
A: Like I said before, everything wasn’t good enough from the get-go. That’s why you get beat 40 to nothing. That’s my responsibility.
Q: Did that surprise you that it didn’t work like that because this is your second year, there were a decent number of players coming back. It wasn’t all brand new with the players?
A: In what regard?
Q: Did it surprise you, some of those operational issues, some of hiccups? Did It surprise you?
A: There was one miscommunication on the offensive side and then they ran people out, we ran people out, didn’t get out in time. So, you know, took a time out. You never want those, that’s on our end. So those are, you know, the multitude of things that we got to clean up.
Q: Did they do anything with their pass rusher Micah Parsons that took you by surprise?
A: They had them inside, they had them outside.
Q: Is that what they usually do?
A: They put them everywhere but, they did a good job, give them credit, we didn’t and that’s really what it is.
Quarterback Daniel Jones
Q: What’s the level of shock, frustration, walking off the field 40-nothing, a game like that?
A: It’s high, it’s high. We are certainly frustrated and extremely disappointed with how we performed tonight, and I know I certainly am with myself, so a lot to work on and clean up. We are going to be critical of ourselves and look to correct it and get back on the right page.
Q: You guys seemed to have a lot of confidence coming into this game, what went wrong?
A: Just didn’t execute. We didn’t execute. We dug a hole for ourselves early on and our execution was poor throughout the game. I got to make better decisions and put us in situations where we can be successful.
Q: What was the basic message from (head coach Brian) Daboll in the locker room after a game like this?
A: I think, for one, we’ve got to own it. Own what happened out there. We didn’t play well enough. Didn’t execute well enough, didn’t give ourselves a chance to win the game and we got to own that, and then we got to attack the process this week of correcting it, of being critical and finding what we got to work on and making sure we are prepared and doesn’t happen again. Yeah, we’ve got to own it and move on.
Q: How do you bounce back from a demoralizing loss like this?
A: We are going watch the film, we are going to study it, we are going to be critical and correct it and move on.
Q: Is it hard to breakdown where, for you in particular, where things went wrong when a lot of times you really never had a chance to get into the play, for it to go wrong?
A: I think there is plenty of situations where I didn’t make a good decision, didn’t make an accurate throw, didn’t make the right read and I’m going to be very critical of myself and those situations and look to correct that going forward.
Q: On the (Cowboys cornerback Stephon) Gilmore interception, were you trying to throw that ball away?
A: Yeah, just a poor decision in a situation where I was trying to force something that wasn’t there and needed to throw the ball out of bounds and move on to the next play.
Q: How much do you think things snowballed after that blocked field goal that led to a touchdown because it looked like on the first drive you had a lot of momentum and then it was the self-inflicted wounds, and everything went downhill after that?
A: We dug a hole for ourselves early on. Yeah, but it’s about getting back on the right page, executing, finding a way to breakthrough, make some plays and get it going back in the right direction. We didn’t do that when we needed to so yeah, we’ve got to be better, got to be able to bounce back and right the ship.
Q: Were you lobbying the coaches at the end to stay in the game? I don’t know if there was any conversation about taking you out.
A: No, I mean I wanted to stay in and yeah, there wasn’t any conversation about it.
Q: Does it make it harder to run your offense the way you guys want to when you get down 16 to nothing, Dallas kind of pinned their ears back and came after you, was it hard in that situation to run things the way you want?
A: Yeah, it can certainly get harder when you dig yourself a hole like that to start. Not a situation you want to be in, but we had plenty of time to dig ourselves out and to execute. We got to do that going forward. We are going to figure it out, we are going to watch the tape and correct those things and make sure we are ready to go.
Q: You talked a lot about closing the gap in the division. Obviously this game was very lopsided, the last game you played against the Eagles was lopsided. How do you make the case that you have done that? Gotten in better position.
A: This wasn’t our best game, there is no doubt about it. This wasn’t who we are capable of being. We’ve got to show that, we’ve got to put that on the field and play that way. We didn’t do that tonight and we have a lot to work on going forward.
Running Back Saquon Barkley
Q: Difficult one tonight. I can’t imagine that there’s any way you guys could have expected having such a difficult night after the training camp you guys had.
A: No, it sucks. We got skunked in the National Football League against Dallas, and at home, but I don’t think that takes away anything from what we did in training camp. I feel like we had a good week of practice; we came out and we just didn’t execute and play to the level we could play to.
Q: That first drive, sixty yards downfield everything seemed to be working right and then they get the blocked field goal and everything seemed to snowball from there. How difficult is it to stem the tide when the momentum starts going like it did?
A: That’s football. We’ve got to do a better job, starting with myself and the leaders of stop the leaking, stop the bleeding and we didn’t do that. We can’t go down like that to a team of that caliber. Just got to go, watch film, learn from it, and get ready for Arizona.
Q: They’ve always been a fast defense. Did they seem even faster tonight than maybe they were in other times you played them?
A: We just didn’t execute, but you’ve got to give credit where credit is due. Dallas is a great team. A lot of talent over there and they made more plays than us, obviously, today.
Q: Your rookies kind of had a tough time, everybody had a tough night tonight, but what’s your message as a leader here to the rookies that had a tough go tonight like (center) John (Michael Schmitz Jr.) with the snap, (wide receiver) Jalin (Hyatt) dropped his first pass, and things like that? What’s your message to these guys to take out of tonight?
A: It’s the National Football League. The sad thing about it, we’re 0-1. Everyone is going to go out there and say whatever they want to say about us, but we’ve still got 16 games guaranteed. We’ve got one guaranteed game next week against Arizona, so move on.
Q: I’m asking more about your message to the rookies. How they…
A: Simple as that. It’s the National Football League. You’ve got to move on. The train is going to keep on moving—hop on. They’re talented, like I told them all before, you prepare for this moment your whole life – nothing new, you’re going to have bad games, you’re going to have bad plays in the NFL. It happens to all of us. I think you go through any locker room, any person that’s been in the league long enough, everyone has had a bad play, so continue to move on, learn from it and grow.
Q: What happened on that play when you got hit, lost the ball and then the interception?
A: I think we had it against the right coverage. (Dallas cornerback Trevon) Diggs made a great play, and I’ve got to do a better job of holding the ball.
Q: I know you’re taught not to overreact to a loss, but is there any danger of something like this when it’s 40-0? Is that lop side lingering?
A: I mean, yeah. The danger is we can come in and listen to the media and listen everyone and let those ‘poor me’s’ creep in and they can trickle down and have an effect on our season. That’s the reality of it but at the end of the day, it’s on the coaches, it’s on us—the leaders, it’s on the players to come in next week, come in tomorrow, watch film, learn from it, put it in the past and move on. It sucks, but sometimes you need an opener like this. You never want it to be this way, 40-0, home, to Dallas, but you’ve got to hold each other a little more accountable and that starts with meetings on Monday and then come to practice, raise your level and push each other.
Q: There’s something that was talked about, closing the gap on the Cowboys and Eagles as well, obviously the snap reaction after something like that is going to say, ‘hey, you guys haven’t closed the gap.’ What do you say to that?
A: Yeah, that’s what the reaction is going to be. Like I said, it’s a long season. I’m not really too focused on the Eagles. I’m really focused more on Arizona and the beauty is we get to see Dallas again. We’ve got to go there in a tough environment, but I’m not worried about that gap. They got us, they came in, they played better than us, made more plays, and we didn’t. Now we get ready for Arizona.
Tight End Darren Waller
Q: Can you take us through what happened in the game, and what went on in your minds that kind of made the game go downhill for you guys?
A: We try to break the game down into– what are the small things we can do to win the game? So, it’s like winning the first half, explosive plays, protecting the ball, we’ll stay inside the pass protection, and all of those things weren’t executed to the standard that we hold for ourselves. It wasn’t even close. When you lose those little things, they turn into just the avalanche that you end up seeing on the scoreboard.
Q: As someone who’s a leader and a captain on this squad, what was your message to the team following such a devastating loss to start the season?
A: I feel like in this league it’s more about how you respond to things than what happens to you out on the field, because you could be on the other side of that win and come into the week and have your head in the clouds and go into the next game feeling yourself too much, and you get brought back down to earth. It’s all about how you respond. I tell the guys I’ve been on the losing end of games like this before, and it’s (about) how you come in, is your head is high, and are you picking guys up? Are you making sure you’re not pointing the finger at other people, (but) knowing your part and taking personal accountability? That’s how you move forward.
Q: Obviously, it’s your first game with a new team. We talked about how the hamstring felt, but how did you feel in this system just generally speaking?
A: I felt like there were some good things earlier, some looks down there early in the game, some pressure kind of negated those, and some things went on towards the end of the first half that I feel like could be built upon and positively taken from this, but we still have to continue on this journey.
Offensive Tackle Evan Neal
Q: They say it starts with the offensive line, so how much does the offensive line shoulder the responsibility for this?
A: We definitely shoulder the responsibility. Definitely didn’t go out there and grab this game, didn’t execute and that was the result.
Q: Obviously, you, in particular, wanted to play a better game, what happened and why did you struggle?
A: Just didn’t get it done. We didn’t execute and the result was on the field. There’s a lot of tape to watch and I want to watch the tape so I can get better.
Q: What was that like playing tonight after putting in the work in the off-season?
A: It was good to be back out there. It sucks to lose in this fashion, but like I said it’s only up from here. We can only move forward from this. Can’t dwell on it for too long. Have to get back on offensive work even harder to come back next week.
Q: I know you said you’ve got to watch the tape, but just in the moment, in the aftermath, what did you see–?
A: I’ve got to watch the tape. I’m going to watch the tape.
Q: Does this hit you guys like a ton of bricks?
A: Obviously, it’s tough to lose, and it’s tough to lose in this fashion, but you can’t dwell on it. We’ve got week two next week. We’ve got to prepare for week two. Obviously, we wanted to come out here and put on a better performance, but the result we got was the result we got. It’s behind us now. All we can do is move forward.
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