Everything Mike McCarthy, Dak Prescott and the Cowboys said after beating the New England Patriots

Chris Torres/

Everything Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy and the Cowboys said after beating New England 38-3 at AT&T Stadium on Sunday. All quotes courtesy of the New England and Dallas media relations departments.

Coach Mike McCarthy

On how the team played tonight

“I’ll just start with complimentary football, it’s a tremendously long year. This was a distinct challenge, it was a great challenge that was right on time for us, especially after our experience last week. It’s the definition of complimentary football, the defense with the takeaways and the point generation. I thought special teams played well. We had the one big play there. Offensively, I thought we moved the ball very well. Time of possession, keep the defense fresh, obviously you always want to score every time you have the ball. I think this makes us a strong strong football team.”

On the fake extra point

“Got to give John (Fassel) a ton of credit. It’s something he brought to me on Tuesday night, something he saw on film. So, we repped it all week, we had the check on it. We got the look, and it was just like anything in this game, the players did a great job preparing and it was very well executed. We just felt it was something we may have the chance to take advantage of.”

On the attempted 66-yard field goal

“I’ve seen him kick it (Brandon Aubrey) deep in the high 60s. I’d love to give him that opportunity right before the half.”

On DaRon Bland

“You can see it right away. Just an extremely disciplined young man. He was given his first opportunity, his ability to play inside, outside. Excellent ball skills, which the whole back end [has] as a group, I don’t know if I’ve seen so many guys that can hawk the ball. It’s just great to see your young players have that success, especially when you know how much they put into it. I thought he played phenomenal today.”

On the defensive touchdowns

“We wanted to get started on offense, but the defense really set the table with the takeaways and the field position. Weeks 1 and 2, the performance was very similar. I thought our defense really got back on track this week.”

On the redzone offense this week

“Just got to keep working. This is a good place to be when you’re winning by a significant margin of victory, and you still feel like you have lot of work to do. I like where we are.”

On Jake Ferguson

“I think Jake has really been given the opportunity to be a complete tight end. The run protection and the passing game. He’s always had a knack for yards after catch. I just think that you’re seeing a guy that’s paid the price, he got his weight up from year one to year two. He needs to maintain that. The tight end position, they do a lot of heavy lifting. They’re asked to get in there and compete in the C gap and the D gap area, and also we’re asking more of those guys in protection as far as assignments there. In the passing game, he has a real good feel for man versus zone. Very, very bright football [player], very, very instinctive football player.”

On if this week’s performance helps going into next week against San Francisco

“I don’t look at it that way. It was important for us to win the game today. That’s really when you start the week’s work. I mean we’ve talked about this in the press conferences; they came in and they cleaned it up on Monday. It’ll be no different tomorrow. You know just because we won the game, the correction process is exactly the same. There is some things that happened this game that we can definitely learn from. I know especially on offense with all the empty pressure that we saw. It’s important for us to take this experience and grow with it and apply it. We clearly understand who’s next. Tomorrow is self-scout and clean up and make sure that we got our house clean.”

On Dak’s (Prescott) efficiency today

“I think he’s in total command of the offense. I thought he did a really good job taking what they gave him. He got a lot of different looks there. They were extremely high in disguise and that held true today. I loved his patience today. We had a couple situations, had the one protection situation, he did a good job just protecting the ball. Sometimes when there’s a mistake, just don’t make two. I thought he did a great job managing the game today.”

On Ezekiel Elliott’s return today

“I thought it was awesome. Frankly that’s the way it should be. Why can we not respect people before us? What he meant to the organization; I thought the tribute was outstanding. It was great to see him afterwards. But everyone understands when the ball is kicked off, it’s a football game. I’m sure it was no different for him. It’s about respect, because at the end of the day that’s all we all really want. This is a hard business, it’s difficult to be successful. I was very proud of the organization because he deserves to be recognized. I thought that part of it was a homerun.”

On this team being 9-1 the last three years after a loss

“I just think you have to point to the locker room first. We have a lot of leadership here. I’ve been impressed with that, especially the last two years. I think we’re all on the same page of the process of how we operate. The pandemic was an odd year. This is three years of the program. There are things that we’re always going to have experience with, it’s just that every game’s different because of the the ebb and the flow of it. I think our guys do a really good job of not getting too high and not getting too low. I think that serves you very well over a 17-game season. At the end of the day this is a player’s game. I think our players came to work. We had a good week of preparation. It’s nice to see it rewarded with a good victory. Like I said earlier, we’ll get in there and clean it up tomorrow. We paid for it, and we’re excited about the next one.”

On the homefield advantage the Cowboys have

“I mean you have to win at home. As long as I’ve been in this league, and you go back to the early 90’s and Arrowhead and its no different here at AT&T. You have to win your home games. You got to take advantage of this phenomenal crowd, this incredible atmosphere, it’s the same way on the road too. We’re very very blessed to have a tremendous fanbase. But you got to win your home games, you look at all the playoff teams, the numbers tell a story. It’s about protecting your own house.”

On if he remembers going into Week 5 of a season with a cornerback being tied with his starting running back for the most touchdowns

“That’s a good thing isn’t it? Great defense. We’ve led the league the last two years in takeaways, it’s no surprise for us as far as how our guys play. I think it’s great to compete against those guys, they make the offense better. Like I said we still have work to do.”

RB, Tony Pollard

On importance of bouncing back today...

“That was a big win for us. Especially against a fundamentally sound team like that. The Patriots are going to bring it every year, no matter what the situation is. It was a big game for us, bouncing back, fighting through that adversity.”

On where this team is...

“We’ll take it one game at a time and steady getting better over time, but we still have a lot of room for improvement.”

On if he talked to Ezekiel Elliot...

“Yeah, I talked to him after the game.”

On what that was like and his thoughts on the pregame honors...

“He deserved it. Everything he’s done for the organization and the way he put his body on the line. But we had to do it to him today.”

On biggest takeaway...

“Just playing complimentary football like we’ve been doing. Just keep building off of that and executing better in the red zone.”

On the progress of red zone execution...

“It’s slow progress but slow progress is good progress at the end of the day. We’re moving in the right direction. It’s early in the year so I feel like we’re right where we need to be.”

On the offense playing later in the game today...

“Just trying to get something going. Just trying to execute a little better and see if we can get something done before taking the guys out.”

On the defense’s performance...

“I mean they make our jobs so much easier when they’re scoring the points for us. What did they have two touchdowns today? They make it that much easier on the offense. All we do is just do a good job of playing complimentary football and getting a dub.”

On facing San Francisco next week...

“We’re always ready. It doesn’t matter who we have coming up next week. Anybody they put up against us, we’ll be ready.”

On if there’s more motivation from recent matchups against the 49ers...

“We definitely have a bad taste in our mouth from the two times we played them. But it’s a new year, we’ll start from scratch and we’re ready to go.”

On if it will be a litmus test...

“That’s every week for us. Every week that’s how we look at it.”

TE, Jake Ferguson

On the importance of bouncing back today...

“I think it goes back to our team motto of “Seize everything.” I think that’s something where we just came in this week and hey whatever it may be, whether it’s a walk-through, meeting, practice. Anything. Walking around eating lunch with guys, we’re taking advantage of that. We’re making that connection that much stronger so that when we do get out on the field, it’s lights out and we’re playing complimentary football.”

On what he said to Luke Schoonmaker as a leader...

“You just have to talk him and I know what kind of player Schoon is and that was just a hiccup. I’ve had something like three drops and it’s important to be there for him and just remind him what kind of player he is. He’s a great player and nine times out of 10 he makes that play and that’s a touchdown. But it’s just going to come down to this week, as a whole unit we’re going to get on the jugs because I still do have drops this season and we’re not changing anything.”

On his confidence of being Dak’s security blanket...

“I’m just trying to be in the right spot in the right time frame. Get on the same page as him and that starts with that connection like we talked about. Like hey Dak, what are you thinking on this? If we have a play in practice where we just don’t quite connect, I’m going up and I’m talking to him and I’m saying do we want this after practice. Are you feeling this? And he’s giving me his input and what he’s thinking, and I think that goes a long way so when I do get out there it’s I’m in the right spot at the right time and we’re really on the same page.”

Cornerback Stephon Gilmore

On the defense’s play against the Patriot offense and Mac Jones...

“I think he can throw it going deep. He’s got a good arm. I just think we had a good week of preparation. Guys were flying around, and we were making plays. If we are able to play like that, I like us against anybody.”

On turning turnovers into points...

“I mean, one thing about here, we talk about every day, every week, we’re scoring on defense. It’s fun. It’s fun to be able to do that because if we’re able to do that with our offense, the sky’s the limit.”

On DaRon Bland’s play....

“On thing about D.B., he’s focused every day. He doesn’t say much, he comes in and works. He competes, and it’s only his second year. He’s got a bright future and (I’m) just trying to teach him as much as I can. One day he’s going to be one of those guys, for sure.”

Defensive Back DaRon Bland

On the pick six...

“He got an early one across the field, so I couldn’t let him do that again. Then I saw open field when I got the ball so I said, ‘nobody’s catching me from here.’”

On your opportunity to play when it presented itself....

“I always try to stay on top of my technique. This time knowing, I had to step up again. I’ve already done that part before so...”

On the adjustment from playing inside to outside as a defensive back and it being difficult...

“Not too much.”

On being able to step up for the defense with Trevon Diggs’ injury...

“I have to be another playmaker. We lost one playmaker. So, it can easily be one of our days.”

Linebacker/Defensive End Micah Parsons

On coming back after the loss last week...

“Just because it’s all about the balance game. Not when things hit you in the face, it’s all about adversity. Coming back after it, I think that’s what true champions are better at. Anybody can come in and win games, but once you face adversity I think when you look a man in his eyes and say, ‘Are we going to get better?, how are we going to overcome this?’ Adversity makes true champions.”

On seeing your teammates scoring on defense...

“I’ve definitely got to get into the endzone. I’ve got to join my man Bland. We always got little prop bets for each other in the locker room. Things like that. Obviously Bland takes the pot this week. So, we’ve got to catch up to him. You know, it’s always fun.”

About this defense that creates so many kinds of these opportunities...

“Just the disguise, mannerisms. The things that these guys put in each week. They way [Dan Quinn] helps these guys deal with. The way we rush for these guys. We play for one another, and it just always clicks when we’re on.”

DE, Demarcus Lawrence

On playing against Ezekiel Elliot...

“At the beginning of the game, it was definitely a surreal moment, but once we took him down a couple of times it was like alright, it’s Zeke but you know we still have to do our jobs. Much love to Zeke, glad you came back to visit us and good luck to you for the rest of the season.”

On the importance of stopping the run...

“It was very important. If we don’t stop the run, we’re not going to have a good game, so it was important.”

On when the attention turns to San Francisco...

“Is that who we play next week?”


“Alright I’ll turn to San Francisco on Tuesday. “

On looking forward to next week after the last two season matchups with San Francisco...

“This is just another step in our road that we’re going to have to travel. It’s still the regular season. It’s still early so it’s all about just getting that win, bottom line.”