Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (Post-Game Transcript)

On not making the finish:

“Yeah, you said it. It’s a game of inches, that’s why you’ve got to love this game. It’s tough. It’s tough to win. We fought our [tails] off. Obviously, they did. Great NFC East matchup. They came out with it tonight, but as you just said, an inch or two on one of those three plays and we could be talking about a different outcome. But, you know, they got this one. Sucks. We’re going to take it, and we’re going to move forward and use the fight, use a lot of the success. A lot of good things came out of this game despite the loss. On the road, division game, great opponent they are, success that they’ve had in their environment. As I said, it sucks in the moment, but a lot of good we can take from this and use as we keep going.”


On the team locking in with each other:

“I mean, it goes back to the work, it goes back to the chemistry, the trust. A lot of guys put in work in the offseason. There were many days where it was just me and [Cowboys WR] CeeDee [Lamb] to be honest with you. When that happens, there comes communication, a chance to talk, a chance to just get on the same page and, as I said last week and before, you’ve got to credit [Cowboys Head Coach] Mike [McCarthy], [Cowboys Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer], those guys for the designs and putting him in favorable matchups, and then obviously it’s just CeeDee Lamb being CeeDee Lamb. Being a big-time player, some run-after catches, some big time catches. And wanting the ball, wanting to be in those positions, wanting to be in those situations. Because we talked about, probably a month ago, from the frustration, that’s what that came from. Because he knows what he can bring to this team. He knows what he can do with the ball in his hands, and it’s just been consecutive weeks now that he’s continued to show that and don’t expect anything to change.”


On his thoughts during the last drive:

“[Shoot], we’re going to win. At no point in my mind throughout that game did I think anything different. Obviously, it sucked in the first possession and that second-to-last possession not converting that fourth down. But having tons of trust in our defense, they go out there and they do what they need to do to get the ball back, and with under a minute left, we’ve still got trust that we’re going to go out there and we’re going to – trust and faith in our guys and with the work that we put in that we’re going to get it done. Yeah, we got close. We got close. We were doing things the right way. We’ve just got to – an inch here or an inch there. Make that difference and we’ll find a way to gain that.”


On developing trust with weapons outside of WR CeeDee Lamb:

“They’re doing things the right way, they come in each and every day with the right approach, young guys who are hungry to learn, young guys who are hungry to make plays. They want more responsibility, and when you see them make catches and make plays like that, that’s what it comes from, them practicing the right way, them being in the right spot, doing things at practice, making those catches at practice when we compete and go against our defense, and then when you get out here you just have trust. I’ve talked about it before, that’s me just going through my reads, trusting the guys that coaches put in those spots, and these young guys have been stepping up and making plays.”


On signaling that Cowboys T Chuma Edoga was eligible:

“Everybody saw I did, I don’t know why he didn’t give me a yes or no, yeah I don’t know. I assumed after I did it enough times I was wasting his time and so yeah, I really don’t understand that, and he said that he’s got to do it himself, and Chuma said he did it, so I went to make sure, but I thought I didn’t hear it over the intercom, obviously I got stuff going on in my head, I thought anybody could report, especially the quarterback could report for him, but you learn something new every day.”


On the final drive’s two sacks:

“Yeah, obviously both. I’ve got to be better and get the ball out of my hands in a situation like that. A little detail on one of the routes there that could’ve been cleaner that didn’t happen, but as you said for us to get down there and then just kind of stall out, we’ve got to be better. We practice these situations a lot. Obviously, you don’t practice getting there then backing up and so. But still felt we had a chance on that last play, a play we felt very, very comfortable with. I think that last moving back five yards obviously hurt that play, that play was supposed to be right there in the end zone about a yard, just that last pushing us back to the 30 [yard line], a little bit outside of the 25 [yard line] makes that play a little bit tougher, when guys are standing right there at the goal line. But it’s tough, it was a great game on both ends, and tough to be on the losing end, as you said especially when you had so much success and got down to the redzone and didn’t complete it.”


On being two and a half games back of the Eagles:

“Run our own race, run our race. Obviously, we have a goal of winning this division, being the best team in the NFC East and the NFC and then obviously we know that pushes to playoff position and all that. But, at the end of the day, we’ve got to run our own race. We have New York next week, and focus on New York, simple as that. When we start checking tickers and worry about who these guys got, what they’ve got going on, we’re getting out of our lane, and probably not taking care of things we need to be focused on. I know for me personally, that’s just me, going to be leading the guys, and I know Mike’s got the same message of run our race, and when we get to the end of this we’ll see where we are, we’ll see our positioning and feel good about where we are just because we’re trying to build each and every week and that’s as important as anything nine weeks into this thing.”


On how he would grade himself with the outside notion that this was a Litmus Test:

“I usually like to think highly of myself, but I don’t know what kind of test that is. Litmus? I am from Louisiana and Mississippi. [Laughs]. Different words you know. I mean obviously if that is the case, we didn’t pass it. It sucks. You want to come into this game, everybody in that locker room believed, and we still do. Don’t get me wrong. We were inches away, as we talked about on three different plays from this being a different game or being a different outcome near the end of the game with the way it was being played. We are getting better. I can promise you that, and we are going to continue to get better. We are getting better and we’re okay. Were damn sure okay.”


On working through the frustration of it being a close game and a game of inches:

“You have to believe. You have to believe, and this is the National Football League, and you just played the team that played in the Super Bowl last year and you have to understand who they are. Give them all the credit in the world on both sides of the ball with the coaching staff and their players, this atmosphere. You have to give all that credit. There are no moral victories in this, I can promise you that. Not by any means. Being inches away, we know we are doing the right thing. We have to continue to work at it, continue to work at it and get better, and find a way that we are working to improve. It is simple as that. You are getting better, or you are getting worse. Nobody is staying the same, so we are going to keep working to get better.”


On how he played:

“I feel good. I feel great. The freedom within this offense, being on the same page as Mike. Some we talked about play-caller purpose. Guys are fighting their [tails] off and wanting to extend plays. I feel good, but at the end of the day I judge myself on wins and as I told you all before, I am my biggest critic. I can promise you that I can tell you about two or three plays off the top of my head I will lose sleep over. I will continue to work, and I will get better because of them.”


On his confidence in the team’s offense:

“Very confident. It’s the work that we put into this thing. When I’m playing well or as I say ‘freedom’ just growing into this thing. The first couple of weeks we talked about just footwork, footwork, footwork and now really listening to my feet and allowing the offense to play within itself. Guys getting open, guys running the ball, guys being hungry and getting into space. Things are working as we planned. Being on the same page with Mike, with [Cowboys Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer], and a lot of communication going throughout the game for us. But at the end of the day, it’s about getting wins and we didn’t do that today, so we’ll get back to it. We’ll continue to work at the things we’re having success at, the things we didn’t do so well on offense, and we’ll just try to get better. Honestly our defense played great that’s a really good offense and they gave us an opportunity a couple of times to win this game so there’s room to improve.”


On the game coming down to inches:

“It’s a game of inches honestly. The first one to [Cowboys TE Luke Schoonmaker] great catch, great job to go get the ball. It’s crazy the guy’s knee was down just a little early, it’s a game of inches and on mine I’m just mad at myself not diving or tagging the pylon I had it.”


On if he was surprised by Eagles DE Brandon Graham’s speed:

“No, I’m more disappointed I didn’t trust my speed and just get vertical. Knowing who was chasing me, obviously Brandon’s a great player, has speed and has been a great player on the edge his whole career. But at that point I had it and was just going for the pylon and played it too close. Obviously if we get that the last two possessions are different.”


On if he was surprised by getting flipped by the goal line in the fourth quarter:

“Flipped? No, I knew it was going to be that to be honest. Saw [Eagles CB] Darius [Slay] out there and maybe if it was just me and Darius, I could have tried to run him over, but obviously I felt somebody else coming. Felt like I could get over the top of anything, again, in those situations I am going to protect my legs as much as taking shots to the knees or anything. It’s close, in a sense, do I reach the ball out? We always go over things like that, knowing that there are more bodies around, probably made the right decision in that case.”


On if he has been able to develop his calmness in pressure situations:

“I feel like I’ve had it in a sense, just to be honest with you. It comes from the preparation at the end of the day, simple as that. The work that you put in, the work we’ve put in in the offseason, the work that I’ve put in throughout the week. Obviously, you don’t want to plan to be in those situations because you know that is that, but you have to go through the preparation just in case, and I’ve done that. You know what I mean, and in understanding now that, I guess, now in the ladder part of my career, it’s younger guys that I’m in there with. I know how important that is as well. When I was younger, it was important because I knew I had older vets that I couldn’t show panic to. Something that I’ve always tried to take pride in. At the end of the day, it just results back to my preparation and the work that I put into this. Believing in myself, believing in my teammates, believing in the work that we’ve deposited to be able to come out and have success in those moments. We were close tonight, as I said, on that last play, knew the play that was coming in and felt good about it all the way even through the catch and they did a great job of defending the goal line and that’s the National Football League.”