Head Coach Raheem Morris
(Opening comments) Obviously were disappointed in the loss. Lot of good things on offense. Too many big plays on defense. Did a good job on stopping the run, or playing the run tough, not necessarily stopping it. I dont know if you can stop a guy like Marion Barber. But when you hold them to what we did today, its not as bad as you would like to think. You know, Tony Romo, he did exactly what we thought he would do; hold onto the ball, create big plays on the field. That just kills you in the long run. We have to have more pressure. We only had the one sack with Ronde Barber. We did get to him, hit him a little bit. We have to get more pressure in his face. We have to get more people around him. We have to have more people making him uncomfortable. We knew if you allowed him to hold onto the ball, he can make plays. I was really pleased with the way Byron Leftwich played today. He played like an absolute stud. He went out there like a warrior. He got hit a lot. My offensive line did not allow a sack, but he did get hit. He did stand in that pocket and threw the football down the field. I think he completed the ball to 10 different receivers today. Im really pleased with some of the things we did on offense, but weve got to get better. We ran the ball well. Cadillac Williams got us going. He got us off the blocks. Derrick Ward kind of got some things going in the second half. We have to find that comfortable zone for those two and those three where they can take over games and really finish them. At the same time, you cant keep those guys going if you get big plays.
(On Tony Romo touchdown to Patrick Crayton down the sideline) That was what we talked about. That was the play with Romo holding onto the football, holding onto the football, steps up to create the play. You lose your eyes downfield. The play clock in your head has to be longer with Romo, it just has to be. He held onto the football, he looked back at the quarterback, Romo threw a dart and there goes Crayton rushing down the sideline. Its still not an excuse. You have to get ready to play. You have to get ready to play faster. You have to get ready to play better. Thats just the nature of the beast. Thats how he is. He makes plays with his feet. He makes plays with his eyes. He makes plays downfield. He throws it down there.
(On what he said to Sabby Piscitelli) He knew exactly what he was supposed to do. Theres no secret about it. I looked right at Sabby. I grabbed him right next to me. He looked at me and said plaster. You cant make that mistake. Its part of being a young football team. You have to just do it. You cant come off the field and know its too late. They got a touchdown already. You have to know that while its going on. You have to realize who youre playing. You have to realize the situation and know whats going on. You have to plaster them. You just cant have that stuff happen.
(On being in charge for his first game) It was great. I thought we managed the situations of the game fairly well. Wed like to have done that halftime situation a little better. We wish we could have gotten a first down there, that first time we had the ball, not the second time, the first time we had it. Maybe extended that game a little bit. Maybe went to halftime with the lead. I could have done some things there a little better. Ill get better with that stuff too. For the first time out, I was pretty pleased with how the coaches communicated. How the coaches got things across. How I communicated with those guys. How we handled situations. It wasnt a bad situation. We just gave up too many big plays on the defensive side of the ball. On offense, we created some things. We have some big plays. We just have to score touchdowns. Earlier we had the two, one was a blocked field goal, one was a missed field goal. Those were the ones on offense we have to convert so were not necessarily in those situations. But when we do get in those situations we have to make them.
(On Byron Leftwich getting hit a lot) Byron Leftwich got hit a lot. Thats going to be what Byron is. Byrons always been that. Thats why hes so big. Thats why hes so tough, hes so physical. Because hell absolutely stand in there and throw that football. Hes going to deliver it while hes getting hit. Youre concerned, but at the same time thats his game. Thats the Doug Williams-like game. Thats all of those types of guys. Now we have to protect him a little bit better. We have to keep him from some of those hits. Hell help himself out a little bit. In the second half, now thats just a man trying to win a football game, trying to do everything it takes. He could have thrown some of those balls away, but he stood in there and tried to throw some tough balls to Michael Clayton. Im really proud of some of those guys on offense. I sure hope those questions about Mike Clayton signing back with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were answered today. To see that guy catch that ball up the middle with a safety bearing down on him, stay up, spin around, not even come out of the game and get up off the field and walk off like that. Thats the type of toughness were going to be about around here. Some of those guys get some real kudos from me when it comes to their play.
CB Ronde Barber
(On the Cowboys big plays) Obviously we cant give them up. The one that broke our back kills you but we have to play smart. We have to be a smart defense. We have to slow it down, let plays come to us and dont try to make them. We have to be ourselves really. Ill give [the Cowboys] all the credit in the world. They are a very talented offensive football team but we have ways to take a system away and we had our opportunity but didnt.
(On the early points in the game) I thought we started fast. We got them in certain situations to start the game. We held them to field goals, our offense went down, scored and even the touchdown right before the half, it shouldnt have happened but we still felt good about it. We had our chances. The final score is definitely not indicative of how we played.
(On if the blame should be on the safeties) At the end of the day, we are the last line of defense. We know its a good running football team. I told our guys this before the game. Obviously it is a new scheme, I think we can play it well; we just cant give up big plays and do stupid stuff. Once we realize that plays come to you and you dont make plays, we are going to be a better team.
WR Michael Clayton
(On the loss) Ill tell you that this is the only loss of my career that I have a smile on my face. You know I love what we have, there are just a couple of things we have to nail down. We have everything we need right now. Im happy with the play calls. We went out and made some plays, we left something out there on the field, but offensively we have everything that we want. So, we have a stepping stone now. Now its up to us to build on it and this team definitely has the character to do that and Im excited about the next 15 games.
(On offensive plays) In the offseason, we put forth a tremendous effort, getting better everyday and jelling together and we put it up to us to not let anything distract us on offense. We had to grow up real fast. We got some new faces out there. Cadillac Williams came in and ran the ball tremendously and like I said, its the only loss of my career with a smile on my face because I know what we have now and the only thing is to go to Buffalo and get a win.
(On the hit across the middle) Its going to happen. Its no fear. Those who know me know how I play the game. Its what we do, you know this is our mentality being a physical football team and defenses that come against this offense know that theyre going to have a heck of a fight when they come in and play us and thats what its all about.
QB Byron Leftwich
(On the game) Youve got to just understand that was only one game. We understand that we did a lot of good things. The difference in that football game was four or five plays. You look at the football game and if you really watched, the difference in us being up and them being up was about four or five plays. Weve got to get back to the drawing board and correct the things we are going to correct, build on the things that we did well and be better next Sunday. Thats what well do.
(On the offense with WR Michael Clayton and WR Antonio Bryant playing) The potential is there. Weve still got to work on some things. I havent played longer than a quarter with those guys when you think about the preseason. None of those guys really played longer than a quarter together, so that was really our first time playing together. I wont use that as an excuse, but we are capable of doing anything on that football field with the players that we have, we know that, we understand that and well get better.
(On if he was frustrated with some of the dropped balls) Thats football. Thats the nature of it. Ill miss more than those guys will drop. Dropped passes are the last thing that I am worried about.
(On the luxury of having so many running backs) Thats why I can sit here after a loss and feel bad about the loss, but at the same time I know where we can go. I know where we can go as a team. I know what we are capable of doing. We showed spurts of good things here and there, but at the same time we have to do that for four quarters. All those things are very fixable and I think everyone understands that. You didnt see anyone in the locker room holding their head down. We lost to a good football team today. Give those guys credit, they beat us and they made more plays than us. We have to come in here tomorrow and get ready for Buffalo.
(On if the game plan changed after Dallas scored a couple of touchdowns) I dont know. We have those running backs, but we have AB [Antonio Bryant] and Michael Clayton also. We have Jerramy Stevens and K2 [Kellen Winslow], so we are going to attack people any way we can. Whatever is working at the time, we are going to do that. We go play. We have a gameplan, yes, but at the same time winning football comes down to guys making plays. We just didnt do enough of that today. They did that, give those guys the credit. We lost to a good football team. Well watch the film, get better from it and get ready to go.
(On the attacking mentality at the end of the first half) I loved the one with seven seconds left. We were about to kick the field goal and Raheem [Morris] and I had a conversation. He trusted that I would do the right thing with the football. As a quarterback, you always want those opportunities. That thing was closer than it seemed. I knew I couldnt put it in the air, because I didnt want the time to run out. I knew it had to be a ball that was thrown pretty hard, that way if we get it we score and if we dont, weve still got enough time to kick the field goal. The last thing I wanted to do was to drop back and throw the ball in the air and we dont have those two seconds at the end. It didnt work, but we still had the field goal attempt accomplished. We added a play and still gave ourselves a chance to score a touchdown and as a quarterback you love when your head coach does those things for you.
CB Elbert Mack
(On the miscues in the secondary) We just had some miscommunication. It was just a couple of plays that we had to make and unfortunately we didnt make them and they capitalized on them.
(On having the right personnel on the field at the time) We had the right personnel, everything was crisp. Like I said, there was bad communication between the corners and the safety. There is stuff that we have to get worked out. Well work out the wrinkles. Well be alright.
(On if the mistakes are correctable) They are very correctable. Its just out there playing fast. You just have to take the plays as they come. Were taking one game at a time.
S Jermaine Phillips
(On what he believes went wrong) It was just communication. On one of the touchdowns, I missed a tackle, a tackle I should make. We have to stand up and take responsibility. We had a couple of busts and some communication issues.
(On if they are easy fundamental issues to fix) Its all about communication. Well get back to the drawing board next week and I think well be fine when we get to Buffalo.
S Sabby Piscitelli
(On what happened in the secondary) We have to go look at film and clean it up. As a whole, there are some things that we have to adjust to. We have to learn from our mistakes and make sure it doesnt happen again.
(On the confusion in the secondary) Like I said, we just have to clean it up, every aspect of the game. We have to get the communication right, we have to each know our assignments and we have to communicate. If youre not communicating then you get lost out on the field. Our secondary will bounce back and clean it up.
(On if the same mistakes from the preseason carried over) Absolutely. Like I said, we have to watch the film and everyone has to stand up to their responsibility, including myself on a couple of plays. We cant give up plays like that, we know that as a secondary. We will bounce back hard and learn from our mistakes.
(On if there was confusion on assignments) I dont think it was knowing who had who. Like I said, there were situations that they did a great job at. They put us in situations that we were unfamiliar with and we didnt communicate correctly. I put that on myself in not communicating correctly in some of the plays. Well improve on that.
LB Barrett Ruud
(On the game) Its frustrating because I think its about us, especially defensively. It was more about breakdown on our end then it was to getting out-manned. We played well most of the game but you cant give up four or five explosive plays like that and expect to beat Dallas.
(On big play at the end of first half where Dallas WR Miles Austin got free) It was a man defense. We just have to make sure of our tackles. We covered okay but he made the catch. You have to make the tackle. He was able to evade the tackle and made his way to the end zone. Its just little things. Well clean those up. The encouraging thing is that all of this is very correctable.
(On getting better at putting pressure on the quarterback) The quarterbacks are too good in this league to let them make a couple reads, especially when you have a match type coverage. It definitely has to be a priority but everything has to be a priority right now. Its just detail. We have to get back to its about us. If we take care of our responsibilities, well play well.
RB Derrick Ward
(On being able to establish the run) Thats what the game plan is. Everybody knows were going to run the ball. We have four capable running backs to lead the team in rushing. Thats what we have to do. Its a marathon. It would be nice to start 16-0 but thats not how the NFL goes. We have to keep working hard on making adjustments.
(On the running back rotation) Cadillac [Williams] started it off for us. He got some good positive yards for us. He showed some bursts of speed and toughness. Thats what set the tone for us to run the ball. Hopefully we continue to do that throughout the year and put up some big yards on the field.
(On wearing Dallas defense down as game went on) We feel that we can do that the whole year. To be able to have four running backs to rotate throughout the game is going to pay dividends for us because were going to be fresh throughout the whole game.
DE/DT Jimmy Wilkerson
(On the mistakes) It was the little things like being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It is something that we are going to continue to work on. We still have 15 games left. We just cant let this loss get us down.
(On the Buccaneers pressure on Dallas QB Tony Romo) We were just trying to figure out what they were going to do and try to capitalize on that. It could have been that we were overly anxious just because it was the start of the season but we are going to go in and watch some film tomorrow, correct it and move on.
RB Carnell Williams
(On his first game back from injury) The loss just spoiled everything. I didnt come to stand out as an individual and lose ballgames. Im a winner and this team is a winner. Unfortunately, we lost but the team is going to get better. I came a long way and put in a lot of hard work.
*(On if he felt good) * No doubt, I feel great.
(On running hard) The offensive line did a great job early and late. Unfortunately, a few plays didnt go our way. Were going to be okay as a team.
(On long play to set up his touchdown) The offensive line got body on body, receivers did a great job blocking and I made a guy miss here and there and its off to the races.
TE Kellen Winslow
(On the offense) We were moving the ball, we just didnt put it in the end zone when we needed to. A field goal got blocked, and we missed one. Those things matter.
(On how he felt in the game) We were a little gassed, but everyone was gassed. It was just who executed and who didnt. They did more than us. Weve just got to come back, rally up and get ready for the Bills.
(More on the offense) We were okay, we just didnt put it in the end zone. Im excited to be here. We played real hard and all we can do is come back for the Bills and prepare for Sunday.
(On his drop in the fourth quarter) I didnt look it in. Thats a ball I usually catch, like you said. It could have changed the whole game. Thats what Ill be thinking about until next Sunday. It hurts, but all you can do is come back and make the next play.
Head Coach Wade Phillips
(On the game) First of all, I was proud of our team. We came to a tough place to play. We know it was going to be a tough game. Our quarterback and receivers made a lot of big plays. A lot of different people made big plays but the three wide receivers all made big plays for us. I think everybody was wondering whether we would get the ball downfield, whether it was going to be a dink and dunk offense and its not. Tony [Romo] had another big game. I thought our special teams played really well. You know we had three touchbacks, their field position after kickoffs and a blocked field goal early in the game was big for us. I thought we did well there. Thought we got worn down a little bit at the end defensively, but I thought [Byron] Leftwich played a heck of a game. I mean he got hit I dont know how many times and kept going, did a good job. We didnt do a good enough job against the run the first half. The second half is when we shut down the run, but we forced them into the passing game and our offense scored a lot of points. So we were in good shape. I played against Byron before. It was similar figures I think and it was a similar score, so obviously we were on top. I just thought we came in here and like I say, a tough place to play. They were fired up and I thought they played well, but I thought we really played well ourselves.
(On the end of the first half) Our defense stopping them three and out right there and getting the ball back and scoring right before the half certainly was big for us. We still have some things to do offensively, defensively and special teams, but it was a good start for all of them. The time before the half was really important for us and calling the timeout and getting the ball back and us being able to produce.
(On QB Tony Romo) Tonys a great quarterback. Hes a winner. Hes going to make plays to win games and Im glad we have him.
(On the Buccaneers defense) I thought they played hard. Weve got some really good players and I thought our team just played well. Theyre going to win some games.
(On the Cowboys defense) We were pretty aggressive on the calls. They called some shifts and blitzes sometimes where they got through there. We started playing a little more base defense later on and that helped the running game. We were worried about their passing game too. Byron was the guy we were worried about and I thought we did a good job against him, but [Michael] Clayton did a good job against us. They have talented players on their offense, the running backs and the receivers and the tight ends.
(On if he was more aggressive at defense) Yeah, we were coming after them a little more. We wanted to try to put some pressure on the quarterback early and they ran the ball on plays we thought they were going to pass it. We had seven at the half.
WR Miles Austin
(On touchdown catch) It was a Z9, like a regular 9. I beat the man but Tony Romo threw a nice back shoulder ball, so I caught it and whenever you get a back shoulder ball the defense is always, they dont really know where you are. The corner must have fallen off. I dont know what he did. I ran up the sideline and gave the safety an inside move and stayed outside and scored the touchdown.
(On how important it was every time the Buccaneers made a run to answer) Yeah, I think it is. You always want to see how you respond to adversity and situations like that and I think we did alright. We have a long way to go but it was a good start.
(On answering questions as a receiving group) I think it takes a whole season, personally. I am not going to say we answered the questions in one day, but were going to continue to work. Thats what we do, our whole group. Sam [Hurd] did a great job on special teams. Kevin [Ogletree] didnt come out and play today, but Kevin, Manny [Johnson] and Jesse [Holley], those guys are working hard in practice. As a group were going to try to work as hard as we can.
LB Keith Brooking
(On answering offseason questions by todays performance) Any road win is a great win. Ive been in this league long enough to realize how tough it is to come on the road, regardless of the team. The expectations they have and what people have for them coming into the season, the change of the offensive coordinator a week before the regular season started, regardless of what was happening, any road win is a huge win for us. We are just excited to come out on the road and get a win like we did and build off of it. It wasnt easy, thats for damn sure, it wasnt easy. We fought hard, it was hot, all the elements, but thats what football is all about. In the end, we made the plays when we had to make plays, thats the key; Good football teams do that. I have high standards. Defensively they gashed us in the run game and had a lot of yards on us, especially in the first half, but we made some adjustments, came back in the second half and played solid defense. We gave up a couple big plays in the passing game, but all-in-all at the end of the day, we made the plays we had to make to win the game.
(On a good week one) Well, were one and zero. Half the teams in this league are zero and one, so were off to a very good start. Weve got to get back to the drawing board tomorrow, look at our film, have accountability across the board throughout our whole football team, learn from our mistakes and be very critical of only yourself. Thats the way we do it here. Just learn from the mistakes weve made and become a better football team next week.
QB Tony Romo
(On game plan regarding the deep ball) I think theyre an aggressive defense. Youre not just going to come out and check the ball down against this team. Theyre going to take a lot of that away so sometimes you have to push the envelope a little bit down the field. But, once again, it was just taking what the defense gave us, and we went out there and executed some pretty good plays today.
(On proving the offense can provide explosive plays) We dont think about explosive plays. We just play what the defense is giving us; were just trying to go out there and execute on that specific play and I think we did that today. We were able to take advantage of some opportunities and we still have to get better in some areas. We had a few too many things that hurt us a little bit there that we have to get on the same page with, but when we do, I think well continue to improve.
(On the impact of WR Miles Austins 42-yard touchdown catch before halftime) It was very big. It was a close game and it gives you another score to take the lead and feel some good momentum going into the half.
(On spreading the ball around to a lot of different targets today) I just think it helps in the sense that you have enough people that you can do different things with, but in a sense it still comes down to what theyre doing. And defensively, if theyre going to go with the same coverage every time, then Im going to throw to the same guy every time. Coverage and pressure and everything dictates whos doing it, and we have enough guys that can get into position to run different routes and thats exciting.
LB DeMarcus Ware
(On the injury he sustained early in the game) In the game I got a minor concussion. I hit one of the offensive guys and I was out for a little while. I had to come back to [the game]. I am good now.
(On the chance of him not returning) No it wasnt because I wasnt knocked out or anything like that. Maybe it was a little blurred vision or not knowing exactly where the sidelines were. Everything is alright now.
(On the Cowboys defense) I think in general the defense played really well. There were some things that you always have to work on. Everyone was running to the ball and making plays. I think we can improve from here.
WR Roy Williams
(On how he felt after todays game) We won. Thats what I said ever since I got here. Its all about wins and not about individual performances; its about winning ball games.
(On he and Patrick Crayton being the difference) It was our time this Sunday, but next Sunday its probably Marion Barber or Jason Witten or somebody. So you never know. You just want to make the best of your opportunity and we did today.
(On Tony Romos career high passing yards) Career high passing yards? Without Terrell Owens? Its good. Its good for him. Its good for the team to get a win. Its a team effort and everybody contributed. Thats one of the things I am very proud of our group. As far as wide receivers, I pulled them off to the side and told them, thats what we work for. We have to get better and we only get better.
TE Jason Witten
(On the Buccaneers defense) Theyre a good defense. I dont think there is anything about that you dont believe. Theyre a good defense. I thought we had some big plays that helped us out and that is good for us because we have been kind of methodical with our approach, making long drives and making those big plays that is big for our offense.