Everything the Dallas Cowboys said after beating the Indianapolis Colts at AT&T Stadium on Sunday. All quotes courtesy of the Dallas and Indianapolis media relations departments.
Coach Mike McCarthy
On the fourth quarter
“Explosive, I mean I think really the defense set the tone obviously with the takeaways and the run game, you know the backs. Just like anything it starts up front and I think our perimeter players just continue to make plays throughout the game. We were able to break it open there in the fourth quarter.”
On the second half
“I just think like anything, you got to just trust your preparation, not to get into what they used to call coach speak. Every week, it’s nice to be in these seven day runs because I feel like it just gives you the optimal opportunity just to come out here and get going and make the adjustments that you have to make each week. I felt like we were ready to play. I thought they made a few plays early, which credit to the Colts. We call it a Cowboys six game. We knew this was going to come down to the fundamentals of ball security, tackling, getting off blocks, big play opportunities. I thought our players did a good job just consistently staying after it for four quarters.”
On CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup having strong games
“Just yards after the catch. Their defense is very systematic, very disciplined. You know they tackle very well, so we talked all week about breaking arm tackles and getting the ball to the second level. Like I said, I was impressed with the roster, obviously just from an offensive perspective, competing against Gus Bradley in the pass, I think he does an excellent job. I thought our players delivered and just stayed consistent throughout the whole game.”
On the running game
“Yeah, and it was tough. They’re doing combination blocks, they do a good job of getting their linebackers loose, so that was a challenge. I thought our pattern schemes would really benefit us, particularly the toss crack package that did a couple variations we did there. We’re doing a good job staying balanced and you know I think it serves us well.”
On starting Tony Pollard
“Yeah, I think those guys are an outstanding one-two punch.”
On Anthony Brown getting hurt and the plan going forward at cornerback
“We’ll get Anthony evaluated and see where we are. We’ll just continue to work our young guys in. Actually, with the team that was one thing that I felt was important to recognize. I thought a lot of our young players played big tonight. They’re not rookies anymore. We’re a very young football team that’s playing young guys the whole year. And the benefits of it are starting to show up. I thought those guys did an excellent job tonight.”
On playing young guys early paying off now in December
“I think it’s all part of the draft and develop mindset. That’s something I’m well experienced in and you know all the extra young guy meetings and the extra time these young men put in, it’s great to see them have success.”
On if he needs to have a win like this once in a while
“Oh yeah, it’s definitely nice getting to the 50s a couple times a year. It helps your statistics for all the great analytics around here. You know it’s complimentary football because when everybody is playing well that’s what happens, you’re able to hit waves in the game. This game is so much about momentum. The ability to just counterpunch and come back. But when you do have the wave going, just make sure you cash in on points and we were able to do that tonight.”
On how involved he’ll be when Odell Beckham Jr. shows up tomorrow
“You know we have a plan. We have a plan for his visit and so forth, so looking forward to getting with him.”
On how the receivers have stepped up this season
“I just think our guys, it seems the more progress, the more guys continue to work. CeeDee, everyone keeps asking about CeeDee, I mean he just keeps cashing in each and every week every time that he gets more opportunities. Had some excellent plays today. I thought Michael [Gallup] you know battled through. Michael’s had a rough week; there was a number of guys that were battling through sickness and they all showed up big today. Trevon (Diggs), you know, it was real impressive to see this group get ready to play.”
On the defensive creating turnovers
“Everybody practices it, I get that. But we put a lot of emphasis into a lot of time into a lot of extra video and our guys just eat it up. You can see the aggressiveness of our defense, and we still had some other opportunities too. I know we were plus-four, we were probably in, cause you know we track takeaway opportunities too, I’d be interested to see if we hit the double digits mark cause you know anytime you’re in the area of double digits, 10-plus opportunities to take the ball away, you know you’re flying around and anticipating where, you’re doing a lot of good things and that’s what it looked like to me tonight, defensively.”
RB, Tony Pollard
On scoring 54 points…
That’s a big win for us. In all phases. I feel like we came out in the second half and got it turned around and got things going in the right direction and did a good job finishing.
On offensive explosion in the fourth quarter…
We did a good job of finishing. We had a couple of games earlier in the year that we didn’t do as good a job on finishing and that we let get away from us. So, we just tried to maximize and take advantage of all of the opportunities that we had.
On the running game being effective…
That was big for us. The offensive line did a great job out there today, blowing guys off the ball and making it easy for us to find the lanes and pick holes. We just stuck with it all game and it paid off.
On the difference between the first and second half…
I would say guys playing relaxed and letting the game come to them instead of trying to force things or just trying to go and make the play instead of just trying to let the play come to you.
WR, Michael Gallup
On how he felt…
I’m not going to lie to you, I’ve been sick all week; I don’t feel that great. But a little flu game, we’ll take it.
On having a good last couple of weeks…
I would say just having that confidence. Dak’s helping me out a lot, letting me get touches and stuff like that. Just getting that confidence back and getting back to MG.
On the mental obstacles he overcame to score tonight…
It feels great. Knowing that you can do that when you’re not at your best. That’s just a big motivator for the next games when you aren’t feeling great. So big boost, big boost.
On how he feels physically outside of the flu…
Outside of the flu, definitely. My knee has been feeling great. Throughout the week it took me awhile – a couple of weeks ago I didn’t feel great until like Thursday. Now it’s like you come in on Tuesday and Wednesday, so I’m feeling good now.
WR, CeeDee Lamb
On if he’s ever seen a fourth quarter like tonight…
Never in my life. That was the most exciting yet craziest fourth quarter I’ve ever been a part of.
On if he felt like they had the game in control before the offensive explosion…
Yeah, for sure. I felt like we had a couple of miscues, but they were all on us. It was nothing that they were doing and just understanding that we had to just play our game and let the rest take care of itself.
On this being a confidence booster…
Yes and no. Just kind of understanding that as you said, we aren’t going to drop fifty every week, but we plan to. And that’s just the mindset that we have. And just understand that offensively, our job is to go out there put up points and defensively, if they get takeaways and score themselves, that’s perfectly fine with us too. Playing complimentary football and understanding that we have each other’s back. Whether that’s one’s down and one’s not or however you want to put it, offense is going to take care of defense, defense is going to take care of offense.
On excitement level of possibly adding Odell Beckham Jr. …
Very exciting. You have to understand what he just did last year and adding him to the team… Come on bruh; He’s very exciting. Odell is Odell.
On how impressed he was with the rookie class…
Them boys stepped up. Just having that next man up mentality, but for the young guys it’s huge. I mean I’m young too, but the experience takes me a little longer way but just understanding that all I can do for them is just kind of give them a hint and then at the end, everything is on them. They went out there and played football and they looked great doing it.
On his touchdown catch…
It was like all a momentum thing. I was trying to fight for extra yards and then obviously as I was going down, I felt he was behind me. And then when I was going down, at that point it was just all instinct.
On maintaining the WR1 role on the team regardless of if Odell signs…
I’ve been ready for this opportunity. All my life I’ve always looked at myself as THE guy. Whether it’s running the ball, catching the ball, doing whatever I have to do offensively to help my guys score points. At the end of the day that’s really all I’m here for. I love the guys that I’m building this bond with: QB1, Dak, Zeke, the list could go on and on, all the O-line. I’m grateful for each and every one of them.
Linebacker, Micah Parsons
On being disappointed in not getting a sack..
I’m always disappointed. Now I’m starving so now I anticipate a good week next week. It’s one of those things when the ball was coming out super quick tonight. They obviously didn’t want us to get going, but we ended up with a win so that’s even better.
On just missing your first interception….
It’s definitely coming soon. They’re just teasing me right now. I don’t know if it’s going to come in year two, year three, but I’m going to get one. It’s coming.
On the upcoming meeting with O.B.J….
If we get him, great. I think he’ll be another foundation piece to this team and make our offense even more explosive. But if he’s not, I wish him the best. I love what he does, and I love who he represents, and just keep going.
On the performance tonight and the ceiling this team has and how you’re in the groove you’re in right now…
It’s definitely another statement win, but obviously you’ve just got to keep your humility and understand, it’s just right now. I think we accomplished and did a lot of great things last year, but we’ve got to continue to do it for it when it matters.
Safety, Jayron Kearse
On Malik Hooker’s performance tonight..
We talked about it all week, we talked about it all week. He said he was going to get him two. He was happy to get one and then the fumble recovery for a touchdown. Either way, he got the ball twice. I’m happy for “Lik.” It’s just a testament to the guy he is. He continued to fight, dealt with injuries early on his career. Got here, he’s been a guy that leads, been a guy that just goes out and plays the game the right way.
He said was going to have two picks?
Yeah. He said he was going to have two picks.
That was during the week?
That was early during the week. We just knew he was going to touch the ball. It was bound to happen. He had to touch the ball. I’m happy for him.
Cornerback, DaRon Bland
On being a rookie with three interceptions and your ceiling with this team..
I mean, I can’t tell you right now. I’m not looking that far down the road. I’m looking for the next game.
Once you get one, do you get greedy?
You do, but we preach on this defense the plays will come; so, no chasing.
On this rookie draft class…
Each one they brought in, each position, they’re playing. Pretty much. So, this draft class has been very special.
Safety, Malik Hooker
On this defense hitting their stride…
They’re ain’t no ceiling. We’re still hitting our stride. We feel like we still had some mistakes in that game that…. We could have stopped a couple of their first downs. We’ve got to fix those details still, but they’re ain’t no ceiling for this defense. We’ve got a lot of guys from top to bottom that’s capable of dominating the game. We’re just going to keep putting our best foot forward and keep building off of that.
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