Everything the Washington Commanders said after losing to the Dallas Cowboys

Yffy Yossifor/yyossifor@star-telegram.com



What did the Washington Commanders coaches and players say after they lost to the Dallas Cowboys 25-10 on Sunday at AT&T Stadium?

Here are all of the quotes from the Commanders locker room, courtesy of the team public relations department:

Coach Ron Rivera

On the passing game.

Well, I think one of the things we worked on this week was obviously trying to protect the quarterback and give him an opportunity to get the ball out. For the most part there were some things that were working pretty well, and we just got to sustain them at that point. We get opportunities to score, we’ve got to score. We get down there, we’ve got to score touchdowns. Kicking field goals, especially in the second half, was not good enough.

Can you differentiate what’s on the quarterback to improve and what’s on the offensive line?

Yeah, we can. We’re going to take a look at it and we’re going to get those things straight. Right now, we’re going to have to see what gives. I don’t want to jump to conclusions because, as plays go on, certain things happen. You’ll see certain players get open if the quarterback has time, and you’ll see sometimes decision-making…those are all things we’ve got to get right.

On the penalties.

Well, I’m disappointed for the most part. Certain penalties are concentration focused. Sure, it gets loud. Sure, the crowd gets into it. Sure, they’re jumping the line, something like that. But we’ve got to sit in there and we’ve got to be disciplined. That’s something that we as coaches got to make sure gets corrected. That was not good enough. We hurt ourselves and took ourselves out of certain opportunities. Early in the game, we’re moving the ball and get a holding penalty. Those things happen that really messes things up.

On if he should have been more aggressive, waiting to “take a shot” just before halftime.

I thought we took a shot early in the game, too. Again, taking shots is something you need to do. If we don’t take shots, especially with the guys that we have, we’re wasting ourselves. I’m glad we took a couple of shots. When you take them, it’s really up to the quarterback and what he reads and what he sees.

On his message in the locker room.

I think there were some really positive things that can be taken from what happened out there. We did some positive things running the football. We did some positive [things] shutting down the run, but we’ve got to sustain it though. When you’re running the ball successfully, you can’t take minus plays, especially at the start of the second half. We came out, set a tone, did some things really good in the first half as far as running it.

On if the penalties up front were the primary reason for putting Saahdiq Charles in at guard in the second quarter.

Well, I think part of it but I also think Trai isn’t quite where he needs to be yet, so the decision was to do with Saahdiq and get him in there.

On if the thought he’d be further along than they are a quarter of the way through the season.

Well, we’ll see. Just like you said, it’s a quarter of the way. I mean, again, we’ve got to get going, things have got to happen. We’ve got to make some positive things happen. You’ve got opportunities, you’ve got to take advantage of them. This was an opportunity I thought we could have done a little bit better.

On Carson Wentz’s play in general.

I thought he had his moments, but, again, it’s the same thing. We’ve got to sustain the success that we’re having. I thought for the most part that the offensive line battled, gave us some time, We had some opportunities that, again, we missed.

On Wentz’s level of autonomy to change plays at the line of scrimmage.

For the most part, it’s about going through your progression and that’s on him. Those decisions that he gets to make, we practice those things. He works through those things. He understands those concepts.

On the run game.

I was pretty excited about it. I thought there really good things. You run the ball successfully, you get us into scoring position as couple of times, but as I said, we just can’t have negative plays. If you want to find one thing that really, [I’m] pissed off about, it’s just honestly about those types of things. Once you’ve got success going, you’ve got to sustain it, you’ve got to capitalize. You’ve got them back on their heels, put points on the board. That’s how you discourage a team like this.

On what happened with Jahon Dotson.

Hamstring. He got held when he was trying to break across, it tugged on him a little bit. It would be nice to get a penalty called once in a while.

On only two catches for Terry McLaurin. Was it because of how plays were drawn up for him or because you just weren’t able to get the ball to him because of Dallas focusing on him?

It’s a little bit of both. Again, you have to look at the entirety of the game and what happened on each play, and to get up here and say one thing or the other would be a little premature until we’ve had an opportunity to break the tape down.

On what he saw on William Jackson’s plays that resulted in penalties.

One of them, I’d definitely would like to see him just relax a little bit and not get so eager. He was in good position, right with the guy, stride for stride, and when he went up for it, he got his hand on him and you can’t do that. I saw why the flag got thrown. The other one, I’m still trying to figure it out. I thought there was something called hand fighting, and I thought when someone starts the hand fighting, then whatever happens, happens. That was a little surprising that that one got called.

On the touchdown.

Honestly, I’m going to have to look and see exactly what that route was. Again, it was thrown in the seam. It was right in front of him. He didn’t squeeze it.

On the two plays wiped out because of penalties. Do you get the sense the team was pressing for plays?

I don’t know if it’s a sense of pressing for plays. [It was] the referee’s decision to throw the flag. We had guys that were in position, made plays both times.

On where the team stands at this point.

I think this teams stands where it’s time to take another step. You look at the players, you watch the entirety of the game, play by play by play by play, you see enough that tells you you should play better. We need to play better.

Quarterback Carson Wentz

On how he starts to analyze the issues that lead to a loss

“It’s hard to say this quickly after a game, but we had a plan, coming into this game, I thought it was a good plan and I thought we executed some things decent early running the ball and I thought we kind of made a commitment to that. We kind of shot ourselves in the foot, a couple of penalties, the dumb intentional grounding that I had, just a couple of things that kept shooting us in the foot. If you’re going to play and run the ball and try and be effective against a really good defense, you can’t do that. You can’t get away with shooting yourself in the foot like that and it definitely cost us.”

On if he’s surprised that the success of the ground game didn’t lead to more success in other areas

“You’d like to think, you’d like to think. I thought we did a good job coming out here kind of establishing the line of scrimmage in that regard and did some good things there. You’d like it to translate into a better job, by me, completing passes and getting the ball out and doing different things. Between the mistakes, obviously the lack of execution on my part, different things like that, penalties, we just didn’t make enough plays in the end.”

On what are some of the areas in which he is most frustrated regarding execution

“Hard to say right off the bat. Obliviously the turnovers. One before half trying to make the play, that is what it is kind of, but you definitely want to leave that ball a little more outside to give my guy a shot. Guy made a good play, but I’ve got to be better and smarter with that. Late in the game, trying to find a way to push it down the field and go find a way to score, guy made a good play. But just trying to be smarter in the situations, just being consistent and execute, trying to convert third downs. It’s hard to say, there were a lot of things going on out there today. But I’ve got to be better, I’ve got to be more consistent.”

On how to keep the group together after back to back divisional losses

“I think we’ve got to build on the positives. I think we came in today and it’s a really good defense, it’s a really good front. Hats off to them, but I thought the way that we kind of established the line of scrimmage early on, I think there’s things we can build on. I think we’ll try not to think the sky is falling or the world’s ending or anything crazy like that. What do we do well, how do we build on those and we’ve got to clean up the small mistakes, the details that, in a game like this. They come back to bite you pretty quick.”

On if defenses have done anything different the last couple of games versus the pass

“I don’t think so. Every team is different. It’s a new game every single week. They’ve got good players over there too. It’s hard to say exactly what they did. Form my vantage point, it looked like they did their thing. They did what we expected them to do and they just made more plays than us, out-executed us, and hats off to them.”

On if he is surprised by the lack of success in the passing game recently

“You’d love to be more successful and more dynamic. Hindsight 20/20 you’d love to be coming in saying we’re cooking with this, this, this. Those guys make good plays over there. I’ve got to be more accurate, I’ve got to make better plays, better decisions. Give those guys a chance. Early I thought we some decent things but the penalties and mistakes, those things definitely cost us and it’s hard to in second and fifteen, third and long, and consistently convert against a really good defense like that.”

On why Terry McLaurin may not be having more success

“Hard to say, hard to say. Obviously. Coming out with this game very committed to run the ball and establish the line of scrimmage, which I thought we did some good things. And because of that, maybe he wasn’t as involved early, which I don’t know really if our passing game was really involved early on in any way. I don’t know what Terry had for catches but I know I want him to be more able to. It’s not one thing or the other, it’s just execution. It’s me, it’s all of us. So, it’s hard to put your finger on it and they get paid too over there, they make good plays. I know we’ll find a way to keep him positive, keep him going.”

On if he had confidence they can get out of this slump

“Absolutely. You go in this locker after the game and guys are frustrated, guys are obviously not happy about it, but I can just it in their eyes, because they’re frustrated, because they’re hungry. They want to get better. We want to grow, we want to win. It’s a bad feeling in our mouths after two straight games, two straight divisional games, three straight with a couple of losses that we’re really right in the fight in all these games. Guys are hungry. Guys want to get batter. I’m excited to see how we respond, how we bounce back this week after a couple of tough ones.”

On changes to the offensive line

“Nick [Martin], as far as from a mental standpoint, getting the calls, making things happen, I thought he did a really good job. I don’t know how everything else went up front, but I though Nick did a really good job stepping in. Being here for two weeks, it’s a tall task. I thought he did a really good job today.”

HB, Antonio Gibson

On how frustrating it was today: “You can’t play against the other team and ourselves. That was about it…Y’all keep saying frustrating. It wasn’t too frustrating. We got it or we can do it. Like I said, we can’t just play against ourselves and the other team. That’s tough to do in this league.”

On if he feels they are close to breaking through: “Definitely. We keep showing pieces and pieces here. We just have to put it all together.”

On what gives him that hope: “I trust my teammates. I see what we do at practice. I see how hard we work. I see the time we put in. But at the end of the day, it’s a tough league and we’ve got to be sharp when we come out here. We’ve got to play all four quarters.”

On shifting to the run game: “Just pounding on them, you know, that wears a defense out. Being physical up front and trying make them give out, that’s what we did today.”

On the difficulties gaining yards after catch: “It wouldn’t say it was what they did. We’ve just got to pick it up and do what we need to do.”

On where they are in the season: “It’s still early in the season. It is tough to be where are right now. We can change it around just like that and that’s what the plan is. Go in Monday, look at what we need to look at and correct what we need to correct. Go back to work Wednesday.”

T, Sam Cosmi

On what happened today: “I think penalties killed us. Once we get in a position where we were going down on the ball and driving, it can be a drive killer for sure. So, I think that killed us today. I feel like we were consistent and ran the ball real well. We’ve got to find a groove and work towards that.”

On offsetting the Dallas pass rush: “I think we did a good job. You’re never going to be perfect, but I think we held our own. They’ve got a good front, a good line. I think we did pretty decent.”

On if he’s surprised with 1-3: “I mean, I’m not happy with it. You could say, yeah, I’m surprised about it. It’s just how everything’s kind of going. We can only control what we can control individually and as a team. We have to always come back and tried to work towards it. It sucks, for sure, where we are right now. We’ve just got to find our groove, especially as an offense, and just work towards that.”

On if it’s fixable: “Oh yeah. Everything is fixable. The ship hasn’t sunk. We’ve got a couple hits here and there. This ship has NOT sunk. So, I definitely think it’s fixable. I definitely think once we find our groove, we’re going to be a really good offense and a really good team. We just got to find it and work towards it and fix it.”

WR, Jahan Dodson

On how his hamstring is feeling: “It just tightened up on me a little bit. It was just cramping…I went back in for the next drive but then they told me to shut it down.”

On sustaining offensive success: “I’m going to say it every week; It’s execution. We had some good drives. We were executing. Shooting ourselves in the foot, though, you can’t do that against good football teams. I think we had 10 or 11 penalties for over 100 yards. We just can’t beat ourselves at the end of the day. In this league especially, you’re playing against good teams every week. Teams are going to capitalize on that. So, we just have to focus on not beating ourselves to begin with and then just execute.”

On if it’s fixable: “100 percent. Starting with pre-snap penalties. Everything we’re doing right now is completely controllable. We just need to work on those things in practice each and every day, every week to make sure we’re ready for the games on Sundays. It’s obviously frustrating not winning. We just have to figure this stuff out, watch the film, correct ourselves and get better.”

On if it’s surprising the offense has faltered: “It’s just playing the game. I’m not sure. The start we had wasn’t surprising at all to us. We knew our capability. We knew what we could do as an offense. We’ve just got to find ourselves. The last couple weeks we haven’t been playing to our capability. We showed some glimpses today. But we kept shooting ourselves in the foot with penalties setting us back. Especially against a team with a good D line like that, you can’t set yourself back like that. You’ve got to be on the even downs and make sure you’re ahead of the sticks. We weren’t doing that today.”

On his touchdown: “I just had one on one coverage. I ran a simple corner route. I was able beat my man and Carson put the ball in a perfect spot, something that I knew he could do that we’ve been working on all week. I was able to come down and make a play for the team.”

TE, Logan Thomas

On the lack of offensive consistency: “I think one column you can look at is penalties and then another one is missed assignments. I take a lot of credit on that for myself. I could have played better in the first half. All in all, we beat ourselves. Give credit to Dallas, but we beat ourselves with the penalties.”

On what he attributes that to: “You know, it’s something different every game. We’ll have to check the film, but we’ll figure that out tomorrow.”

On how he could have been better in the first half: “I had one or two missed assignments, bad hands on a play or two and didn’t play with good leverage on a play or two. Other than that, the second half I played well. Honestly, we ran the ball well the entire game. For us, it’s just not beating ourselves.”

On how to get out of this rut: “Come back Wednesday. Practice. Then you get another shot again next Sunday. That’s how you get out of the rut.”

On how to move forward: “Take one at a time. It starts at home next Sunday against Tennessee. We’ll try to back on track there. Obviously, they are starting to move a little bit and get their stride back. Hopefully, we catch our stride – we did a lot of good today, but we did some bad today too.”

On the mindset in the locker room: “I think we understand who we are, what we are and how we got beat based off fundamentals and some penalties that we caused on ourselves.”

CB, William Jackson, III

On the penalties and whether he felt like Washington was getting picked on: “I just feel like the refs are going to call what they are going to call. I just have to keep playing and keep playing aggressive.”

On containing the Cowboys rush: “Just did well with the run.”

On what he takes away from a game like this: “Just got to get back to the drawing board, figure out what is going on, and come back next week better.”

On whether he felt like there was anything he could have done about the pass interference calls: “I feel like, if they jump into you, it’s an offensive game and you can’t touch them at all. I feel like, if they jump into you and they throw their hands up, what can you do?”

On whether he expected safety help over the top on the Lamb touchdown: “I was thinking I had a guy in the middle of the field and I just was going to play it outside in. But they did a good job of creating a two-by-two which took the safety out.”

On the defense: “We just have to play better right now. We are better than what we are showing. We just have to go out and show the world what we really can do.”

DT, Jonathan Allen

On whether he is surprised by the outcome: “I don’t think surprised is the word. I think it is more disappointed. We know what kind of team we have. We are the only ones who believe in us and what we can do. You are what you put on film. At this point, we are 1-3. It’s a long season ahead. The one thing we are not going to do is turn on each other and start making excuses. I mean, the officiating was horrible, but that’s not the reason we lost. It helped, but that’s not the reason we lost. We have to do better as a team, and that is what we are going to do moving forward.”

On what he thinks about the penalties: “If I am being honest, I think it was very one sided. But at the end of the day, that is not why we lost. Defensively, we have to do better. Offensively, we have to do better. Everybody has to do better.”

On whether they still believe in each other and what gives him the faith they can turn it around: “If we don’t have faith, what else do we have? You don’t get to this point in your career by not having faith in yourself and what you can do. If you don’t have that, then how are you in the NFL at this point?”

On if all the things going on are fixable: “Everything is fixable. Everything is fixable. We just have to do it.”

On whether fissures will emerge in the locker room if the losing persists: “I can’t really worry about that because we are not going forward with the mindset that we are losing. We are going to start winning some games. That is the mindset I have, and that is what we are going to do.”

S, Kamren Curl

On what he takes away from a game like this: “We are going to watch the film, but I feel like we just have to make a couple more plays. It came down to probably like a handful of plays. That’s NFL football. You have to be efficient every play.”

On the penalties: “I don’t know, shoot. That is what the refs do. We are going to watch the film and we are going to talk about it as a team.”

On whether it is frustrating having two turnovers taken away: “Yeah, it’s frustrating. But we still have the opportunity to go stop them again. We just have to keep working on getting off the field.”

On whether he is disappointed with the results even thought they accomplished some of their goals, namely, bottling up the run game: “Yeah, we lose a game we are going to be disappointed. We just have to keep building. We are going to see what we did good on film and keep building off of that.”

On the team’s mood: “Just try to be 1-0 next week. We have the Titans coming up. We don’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves, we have to keep playing football.”

On whether the defense is gelling and making progress: “We are out there playing together, playing as a team. We have to keep building; we have to start dominating people.”