Transcripts: Cowboys Postgame Quotes (Nov. 20)

Jerry Jones:

On his overall thoughts on the win:
"They are a group that has won nine straight ball games. I've obviously never experienced that with the Cowboys. I got to do that one time in college. That was important to us. This is a rare team. Dak (Prescott) is playing for the team. He played outstanding out there today. We played a really good team. We didn't get the turnovers that you would like to see. That was just a hard fought win. Our last five possessions were really impressive."

On Dak Prescott's performance:
"I just think he keeps a level playing field out there so to speak. I'll say it again, he really plays like he practices. He plays like he prepares. He's not practicing or preparing in front of 100,000 people. But when he gets out there, he's not letting that influence how he makes his decisions or what he's doing. I don't think he knows when the momentum is going the other way. It was really an outstanding game on his part out there."

On Tony Romo being back in uniform:
"It was great. I can't tell you how good it felt to have broken the all-time record for paying a backup quarterback. But I'm there with that. It's great to have Tony back, all jokes aside. Tony has done so much for us, his teammates and the fans. Tony did so much for us this week. If given the opportunity, he'll do that on the field as well. He'll make the plays on the field too. What you saw (Ben) Roethlisberger do last week is what you'll see Tony do if he gets in the game."

On if he thought in the offseason that this team could be 9-1:
"No. But one of the really wonderful things about football is you keep hope alive. In this game and these team circumstances, you never know when you are right around the corner from possibly going to the moon. That's the great thing about our game. That and the fact that it takes so many to play it, so when the unexpected happens, it motivates a lot of people. This team is certainly playing above its pay grade."

On staying away from the Super Bowl talk:
"I'm going to continue to stay away from it. I'm going to hang my hat on this little thing called nine wins in a row. I'm going to do that for everybody in there."

On how much drafting offensive linemen early has paid off:
"As an old offensive lineman, I've always thought the character of the team… if you look back at the success we had in the early 90s and the makeup of that line, we didn't see it at first, but that offensive line - the triplets will be the first ones to tell you - was the difference. That reminds me of what we are depending on here."

On if the win over the Ravens was the biggest of the year:
"I have all the respect in the world for their coach (John Harbaugh). They wanted to beat this team. They wanted to beat our team at home. We hadn't beaten them since they've been the Ravens. It was all there for them to come here and set us back. That makes it all the more impressive on my part to get that win. They are well coached. They are well managed. Ozzie Newsome is great. That's a top NFL franchise as well as team that we beat today. I'm impressed."

On Dez Bryant's performance:
"It just shows you what he loves the most. He loves his teammates. He loves to be out on that football field. I'm just glad that when he had to deal with such a personal tragedy that he had the team and his play to go to. That's what he did. I'm serious. We never pick a time to lose our moms and dads. Dez will be the first to tell you, I'm sure, that having this team around him was a welcomed situation."

On if he expected Ezekiel Elliott to be this productive as a rookie:
"Well, no. I now look back and add up logically why he is being productive. But we didn't see that. We were pretty proud of (Darren) McFadden. Of course, we got (Alfred) Morris in here as well. But our guys had gotten sold that he was a special player and could really compliment what are strengths are, and that is our offensive line. We didn't plan on this young quarterback being our quarterback, but we thought that time of possession would take up some slack for our defense."

Head Coach Jason Garrett:

Do these games keep getting sweeter?
Well it was a good game. It was a hard-fought game, there's no question about that. This is one of those games that you really have to fight through. I thought our team did a good job of that at different times just battling back. It was going to be a physical football game. We knew that. Over the course of the game, I thought our physicality helped wear them down. The challenge for us now is really put this to bed quickly and get ready for that next one on Thursday.

You talk about overcoming adversity. Was today another example of that?
Yeah, just keep banging away. That's a good defense. I believe it's the number one defense in the National Football League coming in, so we knew what the challenges were going to be. It was not going to be easy to run the football in this game. We had to be persistent with that. Over the course of the game, we continued to wear them down and made some bigger runs as the game wore on. The patience that Scott [Linehan] had, the patience that Dak [Prescott] had just continuing to bang away and execute ball plays. A really important sequence for us in the game when we got behind the chains. It was 1st-and-10, then 1st-and-20, then 1st-and-30. The poise that Dak had to get us back into it, and then he made the big play down the sideline. That was really important for us. And then then defense continued to make stops. There were two drives in the game that we didn't like, but for the most part did a good job getting off the field on 3rd down and slowing them down.

Talk about Dak play in the 2H. Did he just get hot?
Well, again, just great poise, great composure, great understanding of what we're doing against what they're trying to do to us. His decision-making was outstanding throughout as the game wore on. There were a couple of plays where we were taking shots down the field, didn't like it, checked it down, positive plays, kept the chains moving. So he gets better and better every week. I thought he handled a lot of different situations today really well. Just continued to execute throughout.

Talk about Dez Bryant's game in light of his emotional week:
Been a challenging week for him and he's done a great job maintaining his focus come Sunday afternoon. He did that last week and he did again today. He made some big plays in the game for us. When you get down in there close, if you cash in on the drive with touchdowns, that's really, really important. We know that and he's a hard matchup player. When we leave him out there by himself, there's not many guys in this league who can guard him.

Easy to panic on 1st and 30?
Yeah, but again we all tell ourselves 'let's just get some of this back. Let's just chip away at this. Let's give ourselves the best chance.' Oftentimes in those situations they play a little softer on defense and you get the opportunity to kind of chip away at it. We made two big plays and got to a 3rd-and-manageable. The execution and decision-making by Dak was outstanding, and guys made plays around him.

First time in franchise history to win 9 straight. Feel significant?
We're not going to spend a lot of time on that, to be honest with you. We wouldn't really on any week, but particularly this week. The big thing for us is to process this game quickly and move forward. We're going to play Thursday afternoon here at our place against a division opponent, so we've got to get our eyes onto preparation quickly. We'll do that as coaches starting tonight and our players will be involved tomorrow. So that's really where our focus and attention is.

You say it's hard to win. Is winning an acknowledgment of how team is playing?
It's hard to win. There's no question about that. We talked to our team about that afterwards. It's hard to win every week in the National Football League. You have to earn it with your preparation. You have to earn it on Sunday afternoon. You have to earn it for three hours. There were a lot of things early on in this ballgame that weren't easy. They were challenging for us, but our guys just kept banging away within the units, picking each other up and throughout our team, so it was a good win for our team against a good football team.

What did you see in last few minutes of first half?
Just did a really good job as a team, going down there to get points. Made the plays necessary, got ourselves down there in close, took a shot to the end zone – it didn't work out – and then it was important for us to get a field goal there. You just want to cash in on that drive. There were too many good things that happened. That was an important drive in the ballgame to have some momentum going into the half.

After 4 straight punts, what are the conversations like on the sideline?
You just keep banging away. What do you like? What don't you like? There's certainly some scheme discussions. What are they playing? Any runs you like? Any passes you like that we can get to based on what they're playing? Their coverages, any matchups you like … you just kind of work away at it and communication is big as coaches. Communication with players is big. Our guys have great poise. They play with composure. They're mentally tough. So it wasn't really affecting our players that much. You just keep banging away. It's one play at a time, you just go out there and execute. It was important for us to be physical in this ballgame. It was important for us to execute in this ballgame and finish in this ballgame. It's important to do that every week, but we understood that the challenges against this defense. I thought our team did a good job continuing to bang away throughout.

Zeke Elliott was bottled up early and battled all game. See that often from a rookie?
He's just a good football player. A big part of it is the mentality that he plays with. He's probably been a guy since he's been about 6 years old playing Pop Warner football that defenses have been trying to stop him. So this isn't new for him. He understands that teams are going to load up and gear up and try to stop the run. His poise and composure, his determination throughout was excellent. As the game wore on, the runs got bigger and bigger. And our guys up front continued to wear them down, the runner wore them down too. Always falling forward makes a big difference in the game.

With the Romo/Dak talk, do you wonder if or when Dak would be looking over his shoulder?
The best thing that he's done and the best thing our team has done is just maintain our focus. We've talked many times. He's very poised, very composed, always prepared. Our team has done a really good job of that as well. There are distractions in life. There are a lot of things that happen around us in life as individual people in society, certainly as players and coaches on a football team. The people who are the best at what they do are able to focus on the task at hand. We try to emphasize that and our team did a good job of that this week.

Any examples of how Dak has shown how far he's come?
He's been able to handle a lot right from the start. Certain weeks that's part of what we want to do to get into right play. He handles that well. He's a smart guy, he understands football and he works very hard at it. He takes that preparation to the game and uses it to put us in good position to snap the ball.

Quick turnaround this week. How hard is it to turn around and play Thursday?
Every team in the National Football league plays on a Thursday. It's not unique to us. As a coaching staff, you just have to do a good job. We've done preparation on them. We've played them already this year. We spent some time during the bye week. So we'll get all that stuff together over the next few hours and have a good practice tomorrow with our team.

Once you're mentally past it, how do you physically get your legs back underneath you?
It's just a different kind of week. And again, every team in the league is challenged by the Sunday-to-Thursday game. The practice intensity won't be the same. You do more walkthroughs and jogthroughs than you do a regular football practice. The biggest thing is to get the reps leading up to the game. The reps in the different situations and you have to do it a lot of different ways. It's not running them into the ground and killing them with tempo all week. The mental preparation has to be there, and then guys, in terms of their spirit, they have to put the game behind them. Enjoy it for a couple of hours and then get our eyes forward and get ready for this next challenge.

Is there an edge since Washington plays SNF and travels for Thursday's game?
Don't really think much about that. We've just got to focus on ourselves.

Is there a difference when it's Sunday to Thursday to Thursday?
For us, it's not. We have one game in four days. A lot of people last week were saying, 'you have  three games in 12 days.' And the message Wednesday morning was 'we're playing one game in five days. That's all we're doing. And then we're going to play one game in four days.' And then we'll figure how to deal with that one and move on from there.

What got Dak going today?
He just missed a couple of throws. It's a good defense. There's people around him. There were a couple of opportunities we weren't able to cash in on, but what was most impressive is just how he moves on. He handles success. He handles adversity throughout a game really, really well, and it shows up in his execution throughout.

QB Dak Prescott:

On today's offensive performance :"We knew we would wear them down. They are a physical team. We believe in our physicality and just staying at it, not really blinking or flinching. We don't really focus on the score, just take it one play at a time. We just keep moving forward and know things will break for us."

On the 1st down and 30 possession:"We just tried to get some of it back. Tried to get it going. We kind of did it last week against Pittsburgh, so we never really worry about it. We just focus on this play and have everybody do their job. When we do, things like that happen and we go and score.

"It was huge. It was a big part of the game. They had just scored on the drive before, so it was big for us.

"It might actually be easier at that point. You know they are not going to just give you a one shot, 30-yard play. It's easier when you have the mentality to check it down and let the guys run. And they did that."

On his efficiency in the second half:"I just worry about one play. I didn't know necessarily that I was 14 of 15. I didn't know how many incompletions I threw earlier in the game, I knew it was a good bit. I wasn't throwing it as quick as I wanted to, or had the greatest start, but I wasn't worried about that. I was just focusing on the next play and the next call, believing in the guys around me to make the right play or make the blocks. When they do that, things get fun."

On wide receiver Dez Bryant's second touchdown catch: "They brought the safety on us. It was a sight adjustment. We got the safety on a three by one and Dez broke off it and he did the rest."

On Baltimore's defense: "I've always said it was more on us. They were physical. Give them the credit for that. They worked throughout the whole game. They came out hot and with energy early in the game, and shut our run game down a little bit. But that's what I said- we believe in our physicality and we stay at it. We wore them down."

On team's focus after being shutout in first four possessions: "It's a team game. When you realize your defense is stepping up and making plays for you, stopping their offense and giving you a chance over and over, you don't really worry about the last drives where you didn't score. You've got the ball and now you've got the chance to go tie it up, and that's what you want to do because the defense is holding their end."

On winning nine straight games: "It means we have a great team that believes in ourselves. We're not going flinch and we're not going to blink. We've been in some tough games throughout the season that no matter if we're down or if we're up, we're just going to keep playing and take one play at a time. We all believe in each other."

On the team's long touchdown drives: "I think I said earlier in the week when they asked me what I would have to do against this defense, and it was be patient. They are going to sit back and make me throw underneath. That shows my patience and the whole offense's patience of taking what they give us, and breaking tackles. That's what the guys did when I threw it underneath. I threw the pass and those guys went and did the rest and got first downs. It's believing in yourself and believing in each other. We know they are going to hit- they are short early, but then they break and they are going to get longer late."

On sideline conversations with teammates and coaches: "Before the game starts, I know we are going to figure things out. The game plan that we go in with and the way we have made adjustments all season long, there is no worry in us not figuring things out. We just come over to the sideline, we've got great coaches that get together and figure out what we need to do, they relay it then we go out and execute it the best we can."

On quarterback Tony Romo's midweek speech: "I addressed right after his speech that this week is no different to me. It's just going in and trying to make the most of this opportunity to help my team win this game. It's everyday.

On Romo's sideline presence: "It's really no different. He is as helpful as he has always been. He is giving me feedback, helping me out and telling me things we need to do here and there. The only thing different is he is in a uniform. He was a great help as he has been all year."

On answering questions about Romo: "I'm sure you all will figure out a way to ask me about it."

On Thursday's game versus Washington: "I'm excited about it. It's something I have never done before, to respond real quick and play another game. But I love ball, and I love these games. I'm excited for it and I'm looking forward to it."

On what has impressed him about the nine game winning streak: "It's the relationships we have amongst each other. Off the field as much as on the field. You have receivers hanging out with offensive linemen and going to dinner. That's the same for everybody and every position group. It doesn't really matter. It's a good friendship and a good bond. We're all brothers that have the same goal in common to win."

On his late game efficiency: "We figured out what they were doing. We schemed them up. Again, credit to the great coaches we have on the sideline, getting together and figuring out what we need to do. We did that, and as I said the offensive line did what they always do in wearing out the defensive line and the receivers got open and made it easier for me."

On wide receiver Cole Beasley: "Cole Beasley is great. He is a great friend off the field and he is a hell of a player on the field as you saw tonight. He doesn't give up. He just keeps fighting and there is a good example of that in that touchdown. The guy had him hemmed up with outside leverage on him and Cole finds a way to give me a little space and makes a great catch for a touchdown."

On late hit: "It was a tough hit, he just drove me in to the ground. He could have let up but he didn't. It was alright."

On Bryant's emotional week: "So much respect to Dez. I love Dez as a person. He is a brother. Just as you said, see what he has been through in the past week. From the Pittsburgh game, to coming back and practicing this week, to attending a funeral and coming back today to have the great game that he did. He is honoring his dad the right way."

On playing Thursday with short rest: "Just follow the schedule. We have a great coaching staff. A great operation that is set up. I just follow the schedule and do as I am supposed to."

J.J. Wilcox, SS

"It was a great team effort…I can't really speak for my team, but as for myself, I made some mistakes. Gotta correct them and clean them up for my teammates, but my offense picked me up, defense, and special teams."

*On having not given up 100 yards to an individual runner:  *"We kind of pride ourselves son stopping the run first."

Anthony Brown, CB

"When they're [the offense] getting all those first downs and keep running the ball it really helps us [the defense] try to keep fresh, keep us off the field."

"We're just worried about Washington. We don't want to look to far ahead, or look behind. We're just focused on the moment."

Byron Jones, FS

*Regarding getting nine wins in a row: *"I've never been a part of anything like this."

"We're facing adversity throughout the game. We're going through some tough situations and we're finding ways to come out."

David Irving, DE

"We just started slow. We can't afford to that with team like this...We just kind of woke-up, starting sharpening ourselves mentally. We were beating ourselves. We just had to get in the right gaps and execute correctly."

*Regarding getting the field goal right before the half: *"It was definitely empowering."

*When asked if they have enough in the tank to play again on Thursday: *"Yes, of course, we'll be ready. We've got a nice rotation on the D-Line, no one's dead and we practice much harder than we play. We'll be prepared."

Maliek Collins, DT

"You never know when your time is, so you've just gotta ball…And really just focus on every snap because you never know when that play could be yours."

*On being part of this impressive rookie class: *"We just come in and we try to do our job…I just come in and try to do my job and be detail oriented."

Morris Claiborne, CB

"I knew this defense was this the whole time. Somebody goes down, the guys stand up, and we don't have too much drop-off. We're still with that mindset of going out and getting the job done, no matter what."

"He's good and he's been great for us. Stepping in when guys are down…and holding up his end of the bargain. Just going out and doing his job and not trying to do too much…He's got a great mindset to play this position and he;s done a lot for us."

On when he might return form injury:"Right now it's a day by day thing. Hopefully it'll be sooner rather than later."

Sean Lee, WLB

"I think we're playing the right way. Even when we do struggle, we know if we get back to what we do, do our job, play with the right intensity, we can stop teams."

"I thought we started a little slow defensively…We did a good job of settling down and becoming more disciplined and playing as a team a little better."

"We're playing team defense. And we know that there's a certain way you have to play when you step in. And we saw that today"

Regarding winning nine in a row:"It's unbelievable to be part of something like that. There's so much tradition here. This is so much fun for me, being able to be part of a team, that's playing football the right way, that's able to win"

RB 21 Ezekiel Elliott

On thoughts regarding gameplay:

"We're a physical group of guys. We talk about this all the time. We wear guys down. It's a four quarter game."

On toughness of the Raven's run defense:

"It was definitely a big challenge. They were physical and they game planned really well. They always seem to have an extra guy in the front to fill the box. Like I said, we're a physical group of guys and we learn what we need to do to change."

On feelings behind record rookie rushing yards:

"It feels great. It means a lot. We've got a great front. They go out there and pave the way and run their tails off. They make it easy for me certain days. It means a lot with the pedigree of this position playing for the Dallas Cowboys. It means a lot to me to go out there and break a record. Its one step more to where we want to be. One step more to greatness."

WR 19 Brice Butler

On value behind Wide Receiver weapons for Dallas:

"We have a lot of guys. Depending on the game plan and the flow of the game anybody can make a play. I was able to catch a long ball which sprung the offense a little bit. After that it felt like we were doing what we wanted to after that. It can be anybody. Anybody can go out there and make a play."

LG 65 Ronald Leary

On dynamics of the offense:

"I think we're a really good offense. We hold ourselves to a higher standard so I don't know if I'll say we're that dynamic. We have a lot of weapons. We can run the ball and pass the ball. We have great players on offense that can go out and make great plays. We just have to keep it going."

On professionalism and tough days when not being able to play:

"Every day was tough, every single one. I think that helped me out as a football player and as a man. Going through those tough days you have to find a way to stay positive. I have strong faith so I prayed a lot about it. I just let it take its course. There were definitely some dark days."

RG 70 Zack Martin

On keeping the ball on the offensive side and controlling the clock:

"We know we can control the ball. We've got guys that can convert on those third downs. We pride ourselves on those third-down conversions. We are able to move the sticks and keep the ball for a long time."

WR 11 Cole Beasley

On QB Dak Prescott's consistency and getting in a rhythm:

"You just have to get a rhythm in the game. You have to get a feel for what they're doing. It took us a little bit tonight. He did a good job of fighting back. That's the good part about our team. We're going to fight regardless of whether we're having success or not having success. We just have to keep grinding through it and eventually plays will come."

WR 88 Dez Bryant

On nine straight wins and thoughts on success:

"We're taking one day at a time and focusing on what's happening at that moment. We're not looking too far ahead. We care for one another and that will remain. We just battle each and every day."

On Baltimore "throwing up the X":

"We don't focus on that. There's not retaliation anywhere. We just focus on us. We just want to play our game and focus on each and every drive."

On how the offense changed after a rough early start:

"Like I said all along, one thing we do a good job of is when something doesn't go right, we don't panic. We adjust and we make things happen." 

On what the ninth straight win say about the team:

"It's belief. It's the faith that we have in one another. We just keep God first. That has a lot to do with it. We don't focus on the outside stuff. We just stay together and play together. We do the best that we possibly can."

TE 82 Jason Witten

On overcoming adversity and fighting back:

"They are the number one defense in the NFL for a reason. They're really good. We knew it was going to be kind of an old school smash mouth football game. I'm proud of our team just hanging in there. Just weathering the storm and grinding it out. We were able to hit some big plays. It's one of those games you know. Coach talks about it all the time. Its never more prevalent than today. As an offense you just have to stick with it and stay together. That's what our team did today."

On thoughts after ninth straight win of the season:

"It's great. I don't hang banners after 10 weeks. It's a testament to this team. We have to continue playing this way moving forward. In all three phases this was just a really good win for our football team."

On taking on big hits and how you feel physically:

"I feel good physically. They got a good hit on me. They play a zone defense, rally to the ball and attack. It's similar to our defense. They cup it and get after it.  They're good. It was all within the rules and just those games you have to catch it and get North and South. There were some big conversions for us to be able to do that when they play a soft zone. I thought Dak did a really good job of throwing the ball where it should go and taking advantage of them when they come out small. He got Dez with the big touchdown. Those are how those games break through. You grind and grind. When you have opportunities to get North and South and get first-downs and convert and then big plays will come."

On why Jason Witten came out of the game:

"They got a good hit on me. I needed a breather there. I'm all good. It's fine."

On missed catch in the end zone:

"Ya. I'll have to go back and look at it. It was a great play call. It worked out really good for us. We just missed a little bit. It was a really good opportunity and we just missed."

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