Philly scored on 4 of last 5 possessions. What did they figure out?
Well they're a good offensive football team and they challenge you a lot of different ways. The biggest challenge when you play Philadelphia is their tempo. They get up to the line of scrimmage quickly and they run their plays. They're plays that you see over and over and over again, but they get you out of position if you're not ready to play. That's the number one thing when we play against these guys. When the ball's ready, we're ready. When we were able to do that tonight, I thought we did a good job defending the run and also slowing them down in the passing game. As the game wore on, there were times when they got us on our heels a little bit and we weren't quite as ready as we needed to be. They found some holes in the running game that got them started and then they were able to make some plays in the passing game.
Was the team not set on the winning play?
I don't fully know that. I'll get a chance to look at that tomorrow when we watch the tape.
How hard is it to handle being so close but with nothing to show for it?
Well I thought we battled really well over the course of these last six games. I thought we've done a lot of good things. I love how our team plays – we scratch, we claw, we fight really in all aspects of our football team. Unfortunately that's not good enough. You have to play the right way at the critical moments of the game to win the game. This is the NFL. We all understand that. We'll go back and look at it. We'll build on a lot of the positive things that have happened. I love the spirit of our team. I love the relentless nature of our team. Those things are really, really good. Those are things that we can build on. Our team doesn't blink. They keep battling. They keep fighting. And that's important. Now at the critical moments of the ballgames we have to find ways to make stops, make plays on offense and do the things that teams that win the ballgames do. We've done that in the past; we're confident we can do that again.
Was there any discussion about Greg Hardy after the release of the photos?
I'll just say this one thing about the Greg Hardy situation. We as an organization don't condone domestic violence. We take the issue very, very seriously. We knew that when we signed Greg Hardy that there would be some criticism that came with that. We laid out expectations for him right from the start. We decided that we were going to give him a second chance, but in doing so, the expectations and the standards we set would be very clear to him. And how he and really everybody else is supposed to conduct themselves on the football field and off the football field – those expectations are very clear to him. We decided to give him a second chance. He's worked hard for our football team up to this point. He knows what the expectations and standards are, and we're going to hold him accountable to those.
Were you bothered when you saw the pictures?
That's all I'm going to say about it.
Has he been apologetic enough about the situation?
That's all I'm going to say about the Greg Hardy issue.
How much did losing Sean Lee hurt the team?
Well Sean's a good football player. We all know that. He's a guy that helps get our defense lined up. He's a guy who makes a lot of plays both in the run game and the pass game. He was productive early on in this ballgame, but that's the nature of these things. The next guy's got to go in there. Hitch went in there for a little bit – he got banged up. And then Gachkar played. Gachkar got a lot of snaps in the game. From my vantage point, it looks like he was doing some good things. We'll watch the tape. But everybody's got to be ready. If you're part of the 46-man roster going into the ballgame, everybody's got to be ready to play. Those guys stepped up and that's an important part of playing good football. If somebody goes out, the next guy's got to step in and play well for you.
Been limited on offense before, but tonight had weapons. Did you have enough to win?
Well I thought we did some good things offensively. I thought we had good balance throughout the game. I thguoh Darren ran the ball very well over the course of the game. I thought Matt made a lot of big plays in the game. Little plays, big plays, some touchdown throws. Seemed like he was seeing things well. Obviously the interception for a touchdown was a big play in the game for them, but I thought he came back and just responded well to that. The next drive was big, he gave us another chance at the end of the ballgame to tie it. So he's a guy that you love his competitive spirit. I think it's contagious and I think you saw a lot of that tonight. How he handled the successes of the game and how he handled some of the adversities.
Assess Dez Bryant's game:
Yeah, I just think Dez is getting healthier and healthier. Last week he probably wasn't quite himself and missed a lot of time and didn't have full practice days leading up to the Seattle game. He was able to practice more this week and he looked more and more comfortable in everything we asked him to do. He made a couple of big plays early, and then obviously later in the ballgame the touchdown catch was outstanding. He's a heck of a football player. He plays the right way and I think the more he practices and the more he plays, the better he's going to get.
You talked about liking fight and scrappiness of team. Does that wane after losing 6 straight?
That's the challenge. Oftentimes this happens in your professional life, but sometimes it happens in your personal life when you feel like you're doing things the right way and you don't get the result that you need. You can call it whatever you want to call – if it's faith – but you've just got to keep going. You've got to keep banging away. You've got to keep doing things the right way on the practice field. Playing the right way. It's our jobs as coaches and it's our jobs as players to figure out how we can win these ballgames. I think it's a matter of just doing the right things towards the end of the game. I like how our team plays, and we're going to get back to work tomorrow to try to find some ways to get over the hump here. But we'll keep battling, keep banging away. We'll take it one day at a time, one week at a time. I like our team a lot.
What do you tell guys after they spill their guts and still lose?
Really just that. I'm proud to be a part of this football team. Anybody who knows anything about football who watched our team play, they play the right way. These guys – you said it – they spill their guts. They put it all out there. As a coach, that's all we can ask for. Now we've got to continue to try and give them tools to help us win the ballgame. You can build on relentlessness. You can build on fight. You can build on competitive spirit. Like I said, we'll get back to work. We'll be off tomorrow, the players will get back in Tuesday and we'll get back to work getting ready for Tampa.
Assess Matt Cassel's finding Cole Beasley tonight:
I think maybe it was style of defense. There were some opportunities in there. Dez was getting some attention, Witten was getting some attention, so I thought Matt did a really good job fining the guy in the progression who had the most favorable matchup. Bease just did a really good job. He ran a lot of stuff underneath or just gave him good places to throw the football. I thought his run after catch was outstanding as well. He's just a damn good football player and he showed up really all throughout the game and made a ton of big plays for us.
Do you feel this team has no margin for error?
Well, it's the nature of the NFL. It's competitive. Look at all the games that were played today. Throw the records out and look at how competitive these games are week in and week out and that's what makes the NFL great. You've got to have all the positive things that we're talking about – the spirit, the fight, the relentlessness. But then you've got to do the other things to win the ballgame. We'll get back to work tomorrow. Determined to get that done for us this week.
What did you see on the winning play?
Hard for me to tell. He threw a deep over route and it looks like the guy made a good run after the catch and was able to take it in. So we'll get a good chance to watch that on tape.
Assess Lucky Whitehead's night:
That was a big play. It was a big sequence in the game to come back and I thought it was symbolic in a lot of ways in the mentality of our team throughout the game. When something happened negatively for us, the adversity that happened over the course of the game, we just kept coming back and kept responding. It's one thing to have that mentality, it's another thing to translate that mentality into making a play and that certainly was a huge play in the game. It gave us an opportunity to come right back and go down and score. I thought the offense did a good job cashing in on that field position.
Has having Greg Hardy on your roster made this season worth it?
I don't want to talk any more about Greg Hardy.