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Everything that coach Mike McCarthy, QB Dak Prescott, Cowboys said after beating the Eagles

What the Dallas Cowboys said after beating the Philadelphia Eagles 33-13 at AT&T Stadium on Sunday. Postgame transcript courtesy of the Dallas Cowboys media relations staff.

Coach Mike McCarthy

On the importance of this win

“I mean, it’s definitely an important victory. These division games are so difficult, always have been, regardless of the year. We understand when you get to double digits, you know 10 wins, 11 wins, really give you a clearer picture of what you need to get done. They’ve been playing great ball all year. So, you know, we felt like we had the opportunity in Philadelphia so we needed to get this game and more importantly, I just wanted to see us take a step as a football team.

It’s about winning. Always about winning, but you know, you got to improve - you have to improve down the stretch here. You want to be playing your best football in December. And I think we got off to a great start tonight.”

On if there’s any extra satisfaction based off what he went through this week and if he had any issues coaching tonight

“No issues. Really, I just wanted to do my part. I just wanted to make sure that I was prepared as I normally am. I was I was a little nervous about it today. Because it’s a long year, we’re all creatures of habit. You know, you go through these normal seven-day weeks and when you miss time...but I was able to make it up, and frankly, I think the best part about it is I was able to get more sleep than I normally do. But the players did a great job. The coaches did a great job, and we didn’t miss a beat and I think we demonstrated that tonight.”

On the defensive performance tonight

“It’s points you know; they do they do a nice job of playing to the sticks. Jalen Hurts is such a threat. And obviously with the offensive line and the way you have to defend them, to win the down and distance battle is a challenge. And obviously, the takeaways are something we take a lot of pride in. The fourth down stop is probably the biggest one, especially momentum wise because you can feel on the field that there was a huge momentum swing in the game. So, yeah, I thought our defense was lights out tonight. I think it’s like anything...you clean up your last game. You’re able to learn from it, but you could feel it when they came back from the Thursday night game against Seattle. You could feel it in the coaches on Monday and then obviously carried it through this week. So, there’s no surprise they were going to play well today.”

On if there was an emphasis on trying to force fumbles tonight

“It was really a huge emphasis for Dan Quinn and the coaches coming out of the second trimester. I think we only had one forced fumble in the second trimester. So, it was really the big emphasis you know, the week, self-scout and obviously we got off to a great start tonight.”

On Stephon Gilmore

“He’s so smart and just his ability to play with leverage. And then, just the way he attacks the bal. I mean, he’s been doing it forever in this league and he’s got such a gift that you know, the whole package of reading the routes, playing to leverage so obviously two huge plays for us.”

On if Brandon Aubrey ever surprises him

“It’s not that surprising, because I wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing. I mean, if you just watch him kick every day, he’s just so consistent. He has tremendous strength. His ball flight is just so consistent, the way the ball comes off his foot, so obviously, we have we have great confidence in him. I think these kinds of kicks are something I’ve always felt as a head coach you give your kicker these kind of opportunities in games early in the season. It sets up for a big kick like this in a big game here. I think those kicks will definitely pay dividends in the playoffs and get to where you want to get to.”

On being balanced offensively

“That’s the way I like to play. We’ve obviously been productive in the passing game here in the last six to eight weeks, but the balance is so important. It’s a key characteristic of being a complimentary football team. To win the time of possession you have to generate first downs; I think we had 17 in the first half. We were able to control that clock too. We keep our defense fresh, you see the results. I thought that was a big part of the win tonight.”

On what he was thinking on his drive to the stadium today and if it crossed his mind where he was on Wednesday

“No, not really. I have a routine that I do on gameday. I was just frankly trying to get here as fast as I can. And I was surprised really, I think it was about 2:15, how many people were here already. The only thing I was thinking about was I hope our players aren’t late because of traffic. That’s what I was thinking about on my way here. But no, I have a routine that I do, get the stadium earlier. So that was really part of my angst, was just to get here and stay in a routine and get ready to you know, call the game. I mean, I was excited to compete tonight.”

On when he got comfortable coming back

“Probably I mean, just really going back to Thursday night. You’re sitting there doing the first calls. And I was in all the game plan meetings except for short yardage, goal line and two minutes. So, I was able to catch up to that, but, you know, it’s just I’ve done it the same way for so long. My Monday schedule, especially as a head coach, really almost as a coordinator, you know, the seven day plan, there’s a routine to it. There’s a volume of video that you watch, there’s conversations that you have. The way our staff is set up. Brian Schottenheimer and I usually have more conversation earlier in the week than obviously we had this week. We actually even met again today, went back through the run game with Jeff Blasko. He got here early, just wanted to make sure we were ready to go, that we were on the same page.”

On Jake Ferguson

“He was showing off for his grandfather, Barry Alvarez. Yeah, he had an extra gear no doubt. But Jake has been tremendous. I mean, you just love his passion and really, you know, he’s increasing the identity of our playstyle on offense, and that’s been huge. Obviously, his production speaks for itself. But, he’s getting more opportunities. He does the dirty work too that doesn’t show up on the stats, but you know, we all love just the way he plays. Just so proud of him, he keeps getting better each week.”

On the December schedule ahead and where the team is with Buffalo next

“Yeah, we’ll get into that tomorrow. We get to enjoy this until midnight, they tell you, the midnight rule. But yes, you know, we got three of the next four on the road. So that’s part of the third trimester; we look at this as a gauntlet. I think it’s a great schedule, in my view, because it gives us a chance to play playoff football. Every team we play is going to be battling for the playoffs. So, you know iron sharpens iron. I think from a training, callusing the type of games that we need to be in. I think this lays up really good for us because we got to go on the road and win. Our guys, I don’t even know the last time we played in Buffalo. Just going to Green Bay last year. The weather is different. It really wasn’t that cold. You got that part of it. But we practice outside. There aren’t too many days since the season started we haven’t been out on the grass. So, you know being outside is important, but it isn’t winter climate, it is on turf. So, we’ll be ready to go.”

On if he starts looking at playoff scenarios

“I mean they’re there. It’s just like anything, if you don’t take care of your division you’re looking upstream. So right now we’re tied with the Eagles. We both have four games left. So Buffalo, I don’t know if they won today, they did win? So they’re battling. That’s really all that matters once we wake up in the morning, because we have to get that 11th win.”

On Johnathan Hankins injury

“Ankle sprain. They didn’t tell me high ankle, but it was an ankle sprain I know when they took him in.”

On if that was the only injury

“I think so. Rico Dowdle returned. His ankle had been stepped on. But he returned to play.”

QB, Dak Prescott

On how he thinks he played tonight...

“Solid enough to get the win. I told you before, I’m my biggest critic. I don’t think I’ve played, obviously, my best game. I’m a completions guy. I want to get it rolling. There was a streak down there that felt like seven-to-10 or so that were a few incompletions in a row. But then we got it going. We got it back going and we got it back on track. Great two-minute drive.

Different things within the day. The defense played their asses off. Our kicker was great. (Brandon) “butter” Aubrey was great. Yeah, so obviously we did enough to win. But I always want to be better.”

On if any part of tonight’s win was for Cowboys Head Coach Mike McCarthy as he recovers from his emergency appendectomy surgery a few days ago...

“Yeah, we talked earlier in the week, and I said, “we had a great practice on Thursday and part of that was making sure that we prepared the right way. [We needed to] take as much stress as we can off of his plate and just get prepared.” Today was no different than any game day. Obviously, I understand that he had surgery just the other day. He’s a tough guy. I know I called him out earlier in the week and said he here’s an opportunity to show it. He definitely showed it. It feltnormal. He called some great plays and [had] some great timing on some plays. Honestly, even the sack-fumble was supposed to be a touchdown the other way. So, he called a great game.”

On if the team recognized McCarthy after the game...

“No, we didn’t. You know he’s quick and easy. Chop, chop, chop. We broke it down. So, you know, we’ve got time. We’ll get it in. Appreciate that, though. Now we’re giving game balls for appendicitis? For recovery?”

On what this game meant to the team...

“Yeah, it was big. We needed it. Let’s not sugarcoat that. We needed that. Obviously, I’ve talked about it before, and Mike (McCarthy) talked about grabbing a huge chunk of confidence and moving forward. Being able to do that against a team like that here at home, a place that we’ve had a lot of success at over the last two years, puts us tied for the front of the division. Yeah, but with a couple games left with both teams and understanding, as I’ve talked about, it’s about us running our own race and checking it out there at the end. This was huge. It was huge. It was a great atmosphere from the jump. It felt like a playoff game. Run game got going. It always starts with the offensive line. The receivers made some plays. The defense was lights out. I gave up the only touchdown of the day on their side. The defense was lights out. As I said, our kicker “butter” (Aubrey) showed up, as he always does. It was a great team win and a much-needed win. But we’ve got to turn the page quick, especially in this league, and especially with where we’ve placed ourselves. I can’t sit here and celebrate on this. This was our expectation of tonight and we played to our standards. So, now it’s doing that again next week.”

On when he gave Cowboys kicker Brandon Aubrey the nickname “butter” ...

“I don’t know. I gave it to him not too long ago after probably his first 10 kicks or maybe even kicks in training camp. Yeah, it’s just because he’s smooth, super smooth, and makes them all. He makes it as easy as butter. He deserves it.”

On taking the team to the Super Bowl...

“That’s what I play for. What this team plays for. Talking about a common goal. I’ve always mentioned that. That’s what this team has their eyes set on. But obviously, we have to take it one game at a time. As I talked about my performance tonight, it was good enough to win but I hold myself to super high standards. If I play my best game, we were putting up 50 out there and, so, that’s not going to change. And I’m going to keep pushing for that. That’s the work that I put into this thing. That’s the preparation that I do. Yeah, I mean they did a great job with defense. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a good team over there and they did a great job. They had a good plan of trying to make us go the long way maybe taking a lead, had jumpers early in the game, tip ball. A couple of passes were a little off. Just hearing that, credit to those guys, but as I said, we did enough. I did enough to win, but because my expectations are on that common goal for this team, I always want to play to my best.”

On the last time of thought about the Super Bowl...

“Every day. That’s part of running our own race. Every day. I’ve got different reminders throughout my daily routine. Things that I’m aware of perhaps. Alarms that I set. Different things throughout, but it just allows me to keep the goal in front of my mind. Allows me to be disciplined. You talk about sacrifice. You talk about doing something that you may not want to do at the time but doing it like you love it. When you have those little reminders and you have things like that, that just helps. Just locked in, focused. We have a great team, a great support system around that’s doing the exact same thing and playing the part.”

On the value of knowing that the defense will help the team get the win...

“It’s complimentary football. That’s what you talk about, and it goes both ways. Obviously when they get turnovers, we’re trying to go score. It goes the exact same way when we’re not performing well for those guys to say, ‘Hey, we’ve got to pick it up for the offense.’ This game, I think is a great parallel to last week. They didn’t have their best game. We’re getting off the field on third down and were able to score when we needed to keep ourselves in a game until we ultimately took over and they made their stops and no different tonight. We weren’t playing up to our standard but they’re making stop after stop getting us the ball back and then ultimately, I give them a touchdown. It looks like it’s going to be a close game right there and then they make some stops, and we get it going again. It at least lets us get some field goals that changed the game to the two-minute drive I spoke on, so it’s about complimentary football. I mean, it goes both ways in the sense of picking one up and then capitalizing the same man when the other guy makes a play. So as long as we can continue to do that special teams getting involved. Tough team, tough to beat.”

On what happened during the strip sack...

“That was a touchdown play. Mike [McCarthy] dialed up a great play right there. My eyes are downfield. I see if I can get half a second, a third of a second, more maybe. I’m about to get the ball off and really throw it with anticipation in that sense and so I had the ball kind of little low getting ready to hurl down the field when Fletcher [Cox] grabbed me. At that point, I think I was going for the tuck and just trying to tuck it away and it came out. That’s football. I’m on the ground, watch it roll and watch the guy pick it up with a clean scoop. To fill in, that sucks. But at the end of the day, you know we’re still up for one. A couple of us on offense haven’t had some plays go our way. Before that, me as leader, I’m in the huddle getting those guys going, and then boom, I’m the one that has a play and so they did a great job you know coming up to me, no difference, and that’s what it’s about picking me up in the same instance. Then we had an opportunity to go right back out there. Get past that. Put that behind us. The game was still in our control. The ball is in our hands, and I’m always going to flush and move on too.”

On checking up with Micah Parsons while he playing while sick...

“I talk about expectations a lot about myself and my expectations. I’ve got very high standards and expectations for Micah Parsons, and he wants that. He’s shown that he deserves that and can live up to him. I checked on him, but it wasn’t much of a “how are you doing?” It was more of go have a flu game type performance if you’re out here and you can play. I know that’s what you’re thinking. I’m thinking the same thing. I know you’re going to be tired, that’s part of it. That’s when you get to show how great you are. It was really just reminders throughout the game. He walked by me, I got a chance to say “Hey Micah.” I’d say something, shake his hand, and dap him up often and keep it rolling. Kind of little the littlerelationship or transactions that we have during the game right there. It’s just to you know, keep him into it. Make sure that I’m trying to feed that hungry mindset that he has. The guy’s a hell of a player. He’s a game changer. And a lot of times you get into games, and they have a game plan throwing three people at you and it can be frustrating. A lot of times it’s just picking him up from that and just telling him to stay resilient. But tonight, is about being resilient knowing understanding your tired and understanding that you know you don’t feel your best. But you’re still able to play and I expect you to go make plays as you do yourself. And he did it once again.”

On offensive players like Tony Pollard making efforts on pass pro this season...

“It’s been a huge part of it. And it’s each and every guy taking pride in their job responsibility. He’s got to go make some dirty blocks and he knows he has to do that at times for me to get the ball off, and that was a great example of it. It’s the same way when you see receivers blocking defensive ends. You see them down the field blocking for those guys on run plays, or whatever it may be, as we’ve talked about before. Our guy clearing out a route so another guy can get that play and get into that window. This is a very selfless group. Everybody just wants this unit to succeed. Wants this unit to be their absolute best and we understand that for us to do, we all have to do our job, play our role in each and every play, and the rest takes care of itself. We’ve got so many playmakers so many great players on this team. And on this all, I mean, this team offense. When you do that, you handle to your job, and don’t try to do too much, you just stay within it and great things are going to happen. Sometimes it leads to you having to do the dirty work and TP [Tony Pollard], Rico [Dowdle], they’ve done a hell of a job all season long, to be honest with you.”

On his views of the emergence of Jake Ferguson...

“Hell of a player. Confidence is through the roof with him. He’s a fun guy to play with. I can tell you that. He’s a fun guy to play with. Active, he will do whatever it takes to make those dirty blocks, as I’ve talked about, being selfless. Wants to make the catch. Wants to jump over guys. It’s incredible. Just his mindset. He’s not going to take anything from anybody. He’s going to get as much as he can. He’s a very, very agreeable player. I think that’s what you need at that position. He’s really emerged in a sense as more than just a playmaker but a leader on this team and just the way that he’s continuing to take care of business. But doing it in a fun and a light way. Communicating with guys. Super proud of him and his efforts

TE, Jake Ferguson

On the importance of this game against Philadelphia...

This was a big one. Not only like you said, divisional. But you know, December football. This is where you start to separate yourself. This is where teams start to separate themselves. I think overall this was just a great, great, great team win in all three phases. Complementary football. Offense helping defense, defense helping out special teams and all around.

On how Coach McCarthy held up on the sidelines...

He was doing good. I tried to give him a big hug but he said, “soft hug” and I said “alright, alright.”

On his hurdle...

Big Biscuit is in the air. Yeah, I mean I see them trying to tackle my legs. At some point they’re going too low so I have to go high.

On how important it was to set the tone early...

We talked about it all week, setting the tone early. Playing our game of football, playing Cowboy football. Like I said earlier, complementary football. Everybody helping out everybody. Playing for the man next to you. You saw that today. You saw that all around every phase. When we do that, we’re usually playing some really good ball.

On how important it was to win for momentum going into the next few games...

For sure. Like I said, December football. This is where you separate yourself. This is where teams separate themselves and I think as a team you go back in the meeting rooms and look at the film, clean it up and go back to work.

On playing like this shows the ceiling for this team...

Yeah. Like I said, I think it goes down to complementary football. It comes down to how we prep the whole week and just having the supreme confidence in ourselves, in our scheme and everything we’re doing throughout the whole week so that when we come in here it’s lights out and we can just play.

On the run game tonight...

Yeah, those dudes were balling. I love the way both of them run. They’re running hard, they’re running mean. They just keep going. I think also just a big shout out to the big boys up front. You see them working, you see them fighting through things. The work they put in during the week, it doesn’t surprise me. Just as a whole, offensive line and running backs, I think they’re doing really good.

On his run after the catch been more of a result of confidence...

I think it starts in practice. Me and Coach Wells, we drill this stuff. Also Coach Haslett, we drill this stuff. We’re running through the blaster. It’s not a normal blaster, it’s got some weight to it. Running through that every day, feeling that, it just makes it a little bit easier when it comes gametime.

K, Brandon Aubrey

On when the last time he spoke to media...

Oh my gosh, I don’t remember. Week four? Week five? Something like that?

On if he has done one anywhere else...

Not with Notre Dame. I didn’t do one with Toronto except for draft day.

On if he can make a 70-yard field goal...

I can. Absolutely.

On what the circumstances would have to be to kick one...

Probably, end of half. Up by the score or something, something like that. Get the ball back at the end of the half.

On Coach McCarthy’s confidence in him...

Absolutely. Having the confidence and faith in me to send me out there in the first quarter, second quarter I think was the other one, gives confidence to me obviously. The coaches keep calling my number, to have that faith in me, gives me confidence.

On setting an NFL record...

Yeah, I’m just trying to go out there and do my job. Honestly having the opportunity to do that, I’m sure not a lot of guys have the coaches that are willing to give them those opportunities. So just being able to convert those opportunities and keep them coming feels good.

On surprising himself....

Not really. Just going out there and doing it one at a time. Just taking it one kick at a time and I know I can make any of the kicks they’ve asked me to do. To go out there and make it is just something I expect myself to do at this point.

On if he thinks back from where he’s at now...

Yeah absolutely. Going back three years and working as a software engineer and just grinding away in my off time. Just trying to get an opportunity and the USFL came around. Very grateful for that. And obviously this is my wildest dreams and they’ve come true and I’m just trying to keep going.

On if he feels nerves...

Absolutely.

On how he controls them on long kicks...

Breathing techniques. Focus on the process. Just don’t focus on results. Go out there and talk to myself throughout the whole thing and don’t let any of that creep in.

On how important Bryan Anger and Trent Sieg have been for him...

They’ve been incredible. Obviously, I can’t do my job if they don’t do theirs first. I don’t remember a single bad operation this year so that’s really pivotal for the streak we’ve got going.

On how big of a Cowboys fan was he growing up in Plano...

Massive. Watched every single Cowboys game. Every week we’d make a big deal of it. Sit down with the family and just watch.

OL, Tyler Smith

On Dak Prescott...

He’s the same guy he’s been since day one. Elite, elite, elite. A true leader, through and through. He’s playing his game. At least in the offensive line room, we take pride in him. We protect Dak. Make sure Dak can do his job by us doing our job.

On what has allowed the offense to succeed...

I think it’s reps honestly. It’s building that chemistry, being battle-tested throughout the season, more games, more experience, more looks, more things you’ve seen, more things you know you have to correct in practice. That’s just about getting better every week and I feel like all the guys come in with that mindset of improving in each and every day. Nobody is ever satisfied and that’s something we have to continue to do.

On if the team felt they had to battle through after losing the last game against Philadelphia...

I mean obviously, the way that last game went we obviously felt some time of way. We took it week-to-week-to-week until we got to here. And today we handled business and that’s something that we’re going to continue doing regardless of who’s in front of us. Definitely there was a sense of urgency in the fact that they got one up on us and we’ve got to get our get back. GBG as a mission accomplished.

Defensive End, DeMarcus Lawrence

On a home win against the Eagles...

This place was enthusiastic tonight. You know, the fans came out. Me and my teammates came out ready to play. We handled our business. I feel like our coaches did a great job this week of setting us up with a great game plan and we came out and executed tonight.

On the pass rush tonight...

Oh man. We were getting after them. You know. We had a good day. But it’s good until you see the film. I feel like we still have a lot we can learn from; get better at. We’re just going to keep taking it one day, one game at a time. Continue on our journey.

Safety, Jayron Kearse

On the key to your success on defense...

Just playing our brand of football. Not really much about them. Us just going out there an playing our brand of football. Getting to the ball, causing turnovers and being tight in coverage.

On the first game and them (the Eagles) getting three turnovers and this time you (the Cowboys) getting the fumble recoveries...

That was just the difference in that game at their place. The ball bounced their way that night. And tonight, our guys got out there, got that ball loose and it bounced our way tonight, and we were just able to get on it and recover those balls.

You good? On the incident you had tonight (when you went down)...

Cramped up. That’s it.

On the importance of this victory...

It was just huge, as far as confidence, and just showing us. We already believe that we can play with anybody. Just going out there and proving it, putting it on tape and showing that we can play with the best of the best.

Defensive End, Micah Parsons

How are you feeling (regarding being sick)?

The best I can do. The best I can do.

What was the battle like to be able to play today?

Last night I woke up with a one-hundred two, three fever. Just like...I took as many drugs and I.V.’s as a man can take to possibly be able to play today. I just need to go home and rest.

On the significance of this game and this win....

Yeah, I think everyone’s been waiting for that statement win, we’ve been talking about statements. We got this high-powered offense that came into our stadium and how good we’ve been at home. We wanted to put a statement at home especially how that game went last time. It could have went either way: fifty-fifty. We forced three turnovers last time, but it just fell their way. So, it’s good for them to finally fall our way.

Cornerback, Stephon Gilmore

On beating the team that was leading your division and not giving up a touchdown on defense...

I just think we know what type of team we have. We know what type of players we have. During this time of the year you have to play your best ball. We know we were going up against a good team, a division team, and we were just excited for this opportunity.

On being around championships and knowing what it takes and what today says about your chances and where you stand in that

Super Bowl pursuit... Just got to take it one game at a time. Like I said before, we know what type of team we have. But we have to prove it every week. We did it this week. We’ve got to turn the page, enjoy it and get ready for Buffalo next week.