Philadelphia Eagles News

Game Vs Cowboys: Eagles Defense

On the team's morale following the loss:

"We're highly disappointed because we didn't play good enough to win in any phase of the ball. A good team came in here, we took their best shots, they took ours, and at the end of the day they came out with the win. It's all about the win. Nothing else matters."

Defensive Coordinator Bill Davis

On the play of the defense overall:

DAVIS: "Defensively the 23-play drive was the one that I was most frustrated with because of the penalties that were associated on that. We were there to make plays and we didn't get ourselves off the field. I was real happy with the goal line stance and we held them out of red zone touchdowns. The last play, we were trying to make a play with an all-out blitz and they got one in on us. Other than that, I thought the guys battled the whole game, tried to keep it close, and they had six points on the board for a long time until the end. We'll just keep grinding and keep working."

On whether the defense was hurt by the short amount of time the offense was on the field:

DAVIS: "That's really not the case. On the 23-play drive [by Dallas] the offense has nothing to do with that. What we're in control of is three-play drives, six-play drives. How many come at us is irrelevant. It's what we do with them. When we have a 23-play drive, the offense is on the sideline the whole time. That one is on us, and that was the hardest one. We had a lot of three's, four's, six's, and that's what we need to do as a defense. As far as being back out there, that's irrelevant and part of football. There's usually 12 series in a game, and we had 12 tonight. So there was nothing unusual about tonight."

On losing inside linebackers Kiko Alonso and Mychal Kendricks during the game due to injury:

DAVIS: "We had to scramble because we lost them both in a short period of time. We activated our dime package on the sideline. We hadn't practiced that in about two weeks, but guys did a great job filling in. Everybody stepped up and that's what has to happen. We were getting pretty thin, but guys responded well."

On the effect that losing Alonso and Kendricks will have if they are out for an extended period of time:

DAVIS: "They're huge. They're great players. They're big losses, but we're also confident in the guys that will step in. We had some good stuff out there tonight. [Jordan Hicks] did a nice job out there and DeMeco [Ryans] is always solid."

On whether he saw improved technique from the first game of the season:

DAVIS: "I absolutely did. They're an NFL team so they're going to get so many plays. On the long pass to [Dallas RB Lance] Dunbar, we were anxious to see what that was going to be. We're very confident that [Hicks] can cover him, but on that play Dunbar won. The overall corner play was better. Game one showed us where we started. Game two showed us where we improved a little bit and what we still need to fix. Game three has to be better." 

Malcolm Jenkins

On the defense's performance:

JENKINS: "We're just trying to compete. Last week we gave up more big plays than we wanted to and this week we competed our tails off. We got turnovers and did a great job against the run. At the end of the game we were trying to make something happen with a big blitz. I thought we competed well today. What we need to do is take that next step and capitalize on turnovers and score on defense. I think that's the mentality that we need to have, and that's what we'll work on. We need to have the mindset of being very, very stingy. We have to amp the turnovers up and score defensively. That has to be our mentality going forward, regardless of whether our offense is doing well or if they are struggling. There are a lot of things that we can build on. It's not the end-all be-all for the season."

On starting the season with two losses:

JENKINS: "It happens. This is what you train for. This is just adversity. It doesn't mean anything is over but it's not how we wanted to start. It's something we have to fix, and that's on all three phases. We have to get it corrected if we want to do anything."

On his fumble recovery:

JENKINS: "I look at it from my perspective, which is that I should have scored. That's all you can ask for. In hindsight that was a huge play and a hustle play on their part. Those are opportunities we are looking to put in the end zone. We just try to worry about our side of the ball. Obviously our offense had a struggle today and it was a defensive battle. At the end of the day, their defense played better than ours."

On how they changed defensively without injured linebackers Mychal Kendricks and Kiko Alonso:

JENKINS: "I don't think much changed because other guys stepped up and played well. Jordan Hicks came in there and played well. He got matched up with some tough receivers and backs, but he held his own. He wasn't nervous and we didn't have to make any checks or adjustments because of him, and that's good for a rookie. I don't know the status of the other guys, but Jordan Hicks was thrown into the fire and I thought he did a good job. He got put in the advanced course class really early and he did well."

On Head Coach Chip Kelly's message to the team after the loss:

Jenkins: "There are things that we have to get fixed, and it's urgent at this point. When you start 0-2, it's on all three phases. It's not just the offense, or just the defense, or just the special teams. We all have to figure out things. I think Chip's message was that it is on the coaches first from a game-planning perspective. They want to put us in the best situations to be successful. The players need to take responsibility on our techniques and practice habits so we can ultimately make plays. The urgency is there to correct some things. If you focus on the bad, more bad things will happen."

On how the team plans to turn things around:

JENKINS: "There's a lot of talent on this team, but talent means nothing in this game. It's all about executing and playing harder than the other team. We didn't get it done today. We need to be more consistent and build off of tonight. We were being stingy, we came up big in the red zone, and we had some key turnovers. We have to be purposeful in our practice and have the intention to put points up defensively in games."

On whether the defense was tired throughout the game:

JENKINS: "It's never as bad as everyone thinks it is. The only drive that I think we were tired was the two-minute drive before the half, and most of that was our fault because we didn't get off the field and had some penalties. Other than that I think we did a pretty good job of getting off the field early in the drives. We control how long we are on the field. We take our time on the field as our own personal responsibility."

Eagles LB Jordan Hicks

On getting the opportunity to play extended snaps due to the injuries to Kiko Alonso and Mychal Kendricks:

HICKS: "You have to be able to step up in the National Football League when your number is called, and I feel like that's what I did."
On whether his strip sack of Dallas QB Tony Romo felt like a potential turning point in the game:

HICKS: "Absolutely. We always emphasize turnovers. Whenever you cause a turnover for the offense, it's a big play."

On whether he is prepared to play 30-40 snaps per game if needed:

HICKS: "I'm fine. I'm fine."

On potentially getting an opportunity for more playing time due to injuries at the inside linebacker position:

HICKS: "You never want to see anybody go down, especially one of your fellow linebackers. It's tough, but it is what it is. I've prepared like I was going to play every game, and I'll continue to do that. We'll see what happens going forward, but if my number is called, I'm going to be ready."

Eagles CB Nolan Carroll

On whether the Dallas offense did what the Eagle defense expected:

CARROLL: "For the most part. They had a couple of lucky ones in there, but it is what it is. We just have to work harder this week and see what we messed up on Tuesday, and go from there."

On whether the defensive problems have been due to the game plan or due to a lack of execution:

CARROLL: "I don't think it's a game plan issue at all. We have complete confidence in our game plan. We just have to execute. There's only so much that [defensive coordinator] Billy [Davis] can do. He can call the play, but he can't go out there on the field and execute. That's on us. We just have to lock in mentally and expect what's coming and just go out there and lock it down."

On the frustrations of starting the season 0-2:

CARROLL: "It's frustrating because of the excitement that we had coming from the preseason and going into the [regular] season. Things just haven't been going our way, so we just have to go out and work."

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