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Marine Corps Virginia


December 30, 2012
FedExField

Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

Opening statement:
“I’m really proud of our football team. For them to fight for seven weeks to put themselves in this position just says a lot about who they are and what level they’ve played at for about seven weeks. That we accomplished our first goal [is] really a tribute to the character of the guys in that locker room.”

On if he has ever been a part of a run like this:
“I don’t think I’ve ever been 3-6 and ever had seven in a row. No, I don’t think so. I’ve never been able to cross that to be honest with you. It is a great feeling.”

On the idea behind the pressure the defense put on Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo:
“We did something that we haven’t done and we thought we had a chance to keep him a little off-balance. It worked. Tony is a heck of a football player and you have to keep him a little off-balance. If he knows what you’re going to do, he’s going to tear you apart like he has for the last half of the season. We feel very fortunate to be able to keep him a little off-balance and there’s the difference in winning and losing the game.”

On running back Alfred Morris’ performance:
“I’ve told our guys to win as many games as we have, that means a lot of people are playing at the Pro Bowl level. I separated him in the locker room and said of all the guys, the guy that has separated himself today from the rest of the pack and that was Alfred. For him to play at that level for a full 60 minutes and get 200 yards with over six yards per carry – or right around six yards per carry – is really a testament to not only him, but the guys blocking for him. [I’m] very, very happy for him.”

On if the team knew they had to win to make the playoffs:
“I’ll be honest with you, we talked about that one time the whole week – never even mentioned it in any conversation. We talked about our goal. We never talked about the possibilities of getting in with not winning. I know the guys are smart enough to know what was out there, but we never talked about it.”

On quarterback Robert Griffin III still making big runs despite hurting a little bit:
“I agree with your assessment there. He always tells me he’s fine and you can see that he was hurting a little bit, even though he won’t admit that to me. It shows you what type of competitor he is to play at the level he did and orchestrate that type of performance being hurt a little bit. I didn’t see that during the week, to be honest with you. I didn’t see that type of him being a little bit… I don’t want to say he was a little bit slower, but you can see that he wasn’t his normal self when he was running. But he made enough big plays to give us a chance to win.”

On linebacker Rob Jackson’s interception:
“He did a great job. The back swung off and did a little peel route. Rob had the awareness there to take a man-to-man coverage with the type of blitz that we had. Tony [Romo] had to get rid of it very quick and anytime you’ve got a running back going against an outside linebacker, usually it’s a mismatch. Rob did a great job looking at it, being under control and making a big play.”


On where this win ranks in his accomplishments as a coach:
“I think the main thing for our football team is that they’re not satisfied with where they’re at. That was our first goal. There’s only one team that’s happy at the end of the season and that’s when you take care of your other opportunities. We’ll be focused. It’s a four-game season. We’ll be all focused for this one. You work to get here. There’s only one team that’s happy at the end of the season and we want to be that team.”

On Griffin III’s impact on play calling:
“We’ve talked about it a little bit. He has the ability to do some things that a lot of people can’t do. We’ve kind taken a few things and it’s kind of been fun to be able to do some of the things in the run game and zone read to keep defenses a little bit off-balance.”

On if he thought Griffin III was limited:
"Well, I didn’t think about him being limited, to be honest with you. He was probably 4.5 speed instead of 4.3 speed today. That’s not too bad.”

On thinking long-term:
“You don't think along those terms, you just think week by week. You can't think long-term because when you think long-term you don't accomplish anything. We had to focus on the job at hand and have great practices every day. Doing that gave us a chance to be where we are at right now.”

On playing as a team:
“Yeah, notice when we talk about character and you put character with people that have ability and a team that plays together, then you have a chance to do some special things. For them to fight back after that 3-6 start and have the resolve how they are going to work through it says a lot about who they are and what level they played at the last couple of weeks.”

On the offensive scheme:
“Well, a lot of it depends on what the other team is doing. Depending on what their defenses do, sometimes we’ll run the football well, other times we are going to pass the ball. Dealing with their defense, since we are having success running the football, we kept it up and we had a few big plays when we needed it in the past few games. The key is putting some points on the scoreboard and try and get some first downs.”

On running back Alfred Morris’ performance:
“We are going to give him an opportunity to show us what he can do, especially when they are playing us in different coverages to take away our passing game. We put a lot of pressure on him. I thought he stepped up and played at an exceptional level. Not too many guys can rush for a couple hundred yards. We put the majority of the work on him.”

On the Redskins’ defense:
“We had some outside blitzes and we had some inside blitzes. [Quarterback Tony] Romo is pretty sharp, but I think our inside blitzes kind of surprised him a little bit. The outside blitzes, he’s been watching us do those for the past few years, so you’ve got to get good timing on those blitzes that would affect a guy like him. Most of the time he got rid of the ball, just in the nick of time, but a couple of times we maybe got him to throw a little bit earlier than he wanted to… Both offensively and defensively, as well as special teams, you win as a team. Like I mentioned today for our defense, the plays that they made, they played at a very high level.”

Cowboys Quarterback Tony Romo

On how tough the loss is:
“It stings. I know all the guys are hurting in there. I’m sure they’re feeling the same things I am. You put your heart in to this thing for so long, throughout this year, this offseason. We had to overcome a lot of stuff just to get ourselves in this situation. We had a chance; I’m just disappointed that we couldn’t get the job done.”

On throwing three interceptions, specifically his last one:
“I think they sent a rusher inside that was going to break our protection. I thought the safe throw was to throw it to DeMarco [Murray] under the swing, right to the sideline, and the guy [linebacker Rob Jackson] made a play, peeling off as a defensive end, and I wish I had made a better decision at that time. It was disappointing. We have done a really good job in the final five or ten minutes this year to give ourselves a chance to win a lot of football games. It just hurts a lot right now to even think about or talk about.”

On if it stings worse to lose the Redskins:
“I think this game was important to both teams to continue on. We were banged up going into this game, and at this point I think we’d have a tough time getting some guys back next week, some of the injuries don’t look very good. But, even saying that, we still thought we had a chance, so it stings, it hurts, especially the way it ended, I’m just very disappointed. I wanted that for a lot of people that put a lot into it. It’s just very frustrating.”

On why the team struggled to find an offensive rhythm:
“Well, they just came after us a lot with some pressures that gave us some trouble. We did the best that we could. At different times, we didn’t handle it as well, at other times, we handled it well. But, give them credit, they played a very good football game and made it very difficult to move the ball on them through the air.”

On the first two interceptions:
“You never want that to take place, especially with the way you have been playing. Give them credit because they made the plays when it mattered and we didn’t. It was disappointing because we had been playing better.”

On the cumulative effect of the past two seasons ending the same way:
“It definitely stings more when you lose a game like this. You have to fight like heck to get in this position and all you can think about is what you didn’t accomplish. That is all that is going through my brain now. We fought hard and didn’t give in during a lot of difficult positions. I know we were behind in every ball game we played. We had to overcome a lot to put ourselves in a position that a lot of other teams couldn’t. I’m proud of the guys for that but it doesn’t feel like that now. It feels like you didn’t accomplish what you set out to do. That’s all you think about and feel right now. It does not feel good and I feel like I let our team down. We have done such a good job in those last five or 10 minutes to win a lot of games. We were back in that position again and it’s on me. It is a very frustrating thing to think about. You want to be in that position and we have been successful in the past.”

On the last interception:
“The kid made a good play. I’m upset with throwing it to where he could catch it. It is disappointing.”

On his legacy as a player:
“Your legacy will be written when you are done playing the game. When it is over with, then you can talk about those things. It is difficult to get over the hump but I know that football is the ultimate team sport. I have to continue to improve and so does our football team. I don’t think I have played in a meaningless football game yet in the regular season. We have won our share of games but we have also lost our fair share as well. But our team is different than it has been in the past. We didn’t have some of those pieces tonight. I think our team is going in the right direction and that’s good. None of that will be talked about or thought about tonight by me or anyone. It is just about what we didn’t do tonight. It is a tough pill to swallow, especially when I threw that interception at the end. That will eat at me for weeks and I pride myself on doing those things to help this team win.”

On if he will start to think about next year:
“I will but it will take me a little while because I put everything I had into this. It consumes all of your thoughts and actions. It is a hard thing when it ends like this. I don’t know how else to explain it but it is going to be a rough time for me because I know how much effort and time it took to get into this position. I know how much you have to work for your football team to get into this position.”

On the emotional recovery from the loss:
“For me, I’m lucky to have a great wife and a great kid. You have to hang on those things and your faith when you feel like you’re down. When you work so hard at something, it is hard when you don’t accomplish it. It is even more difficult when you have a chance, it is right there and you aren’t able to produce. I know that is the ultimate team sport and it takes everyone but that doesn’t stop you from caring and thinking about what you could have done differently with the decisions you made.”

On the future of the team:
“Our football team is going in the right direction as a team and an organization. We have a lot of good, young talent. We had to go to a lot of different personnel tonight that we didn’t necessarily want to, but that is football. I know our team is going to have a chance to get better and better. All I can do and control is go out and get better. Eventually, if you keep getting better and the team continues to improve, you will be able to accomplish your goals. You have to know that if you weren’t good enough this year, we have to come back better next year. I know I will be working my butt off this year to be a better player next year.”

Cowboys Tight End Jason Witten

On tonight’s game:
“It’s tough. It’s really nothing you can say at this point. Obviously, it’s disappointing. I will give them credit. I feel like we had a good game plan coming in, they just outplayed us. I said earlier this week it’s about execution. It’s not about emotion or any of that other stuff. They out-executed us and deserved to win. It’s a tough one to swallow right now.”

On not making the playoffs:
“It’s an empty feeling in your stomach. Obviously you can’t describe it. You feel like your right there and you can’t seem to get over the hump. It’s going to have to take more. We have good players, but it is going to take more playing better and finding a way to finish those games. It’s a tough league and bottom line business. We just have to find a little bit more to get out there, execute and find ways to win those games. It’s a tough feeling right now obviously.”


Cowboys Cornerback Brandon Carr

One how he would describe the game:
“A tough battle. They just out-executed us. We fought hard. Played hard as a team all 60 minutes. Kudos to the Redskins. They put up a great performance. I hope they can represent us well in the playoffs.”

Quarterback Robert Griffin III

On if the team’s run was simply a matter of the team believing in itself:
“I think everybody believed in what we had already. It was just about going out next game. When your back is against the wall, it will make that come out in you. Everybody stepped up big, and changed their mindset after the bye week. It was one game at a time. We took that cliché to the max, because we knew we had to win every game and we couldn’t rely on anyone else to help us get to the playoffs and win our division. We went out and did that.”

On how his leg felt tonight and what he was asked to do:
“Move the chains, that’s all they asked me to do. They want me to be able to run that play, to take some stress off the offensive line, and some stress off of Alfred [Morris], even though he didn’t look like he needed it tonight. I was able to be effective; ran for a touchdown, so that was awesome.”

On what it has meant to him to have wide receiver Santana Moss do what he has done for the team:
“It’s awesome. I was a big Miami fan, growing up. So to be able to play with him and what he has done over his career through college and the pros, it’s awesome as a quarterback to have that guy in the huddle with you. I appreciate everything he has done and he’s taken his role like everyone else on the team and perfected it to the max. That’s all we ask of him. You know, Alfred went off this game, so hopefully the receivers will go off next game.”

On what Moss said to him after the game:
“He echoed what most of the veterans have said. That I haven’t been here for the long haul yet, neither has Alfred, or a bunch of the rookies, but those veterans appreciate what we have been able to do this year, and what we have been able to do since the bye week. They have been through some harsh times and some bad times. He thanked me, and I never want to take credit for anything, but he said I brought the team there. He appreciated that and that we were going to keep it rolling.”

On Morris:
“Alfred did a great job. He makes runs that are blocked for three yards [into] seven-yard gains. The offensive line stepped up big for him tonight and gave him some big holes to run through. He’s out there running over guys and continuing to move his legs, getting those hard yards. We always told him he’d get 200, if he broke a couple of long ones and he broke a couple long ones tonight, so that was great.”

On how important leadership was since the bye week because the team is young:
“Just because of your age doesn’t mean you can’t be a leader. The team showed me that, when they voted me captain. Whenever you have a guy like Trent [Williams], who has matured a lot, or who I have heard has matured a lot over the years and become more of that leader type to the offensive line… We are young, talented, athletic, whatever you want to say, but the one thing you can never account for is a man’s character. We have a lot of guys who have played this year injured, banged up, but still gone out there and put it on the line every week, not just for personal gain, but for the benefit of the team. Trent’s played hurt this year, I’ve played hurt, Alfred’s played hurt, that’s just the way it goes when you have to play 16 games, and hopefully we get to play a lot more.”
On how he feels about being an NFC East champion:
“Awesome. It’s safe to say, I’m the happiest guy in the room. I was nine years old in 1999. I stand before you at 22 and the Redskins are the NFC East Champions. To me, it’s just incredible. I was talking to Alfred after the game and this has been the first time the Redskins have been the [NFC East] champion since 1999 and we came in here and did it in one year. The sky’s the limit for this team, not only this year, but in the future. We are definitely looking to capitalize on it this year.”

On the team’s mentality entering next season:
“You have to work hard every year no matter what level of sports you’re at. You can have a team that goes 13-3 one year and wins two games the next year. You can’t get complacent. You can’t think teams are going to lay down for you. You have to continue to try to get better, and that’s what makes great teams great.”

On the team’s goals for the playoffs:
“We want to go all the way, but it starts with Seattle. That’s all we’ve got on our mind. I don’t know about the other guys, they’ll probably celebrate a little bit tonight, but I’ll probably be thinking about that game already since I usually don’t celebrate. But after we go out and do what we want to do and win the Super Bowl, then I’ll celebrate with everybody.”

On the team’s approach during the current seven-game winning streak:
“We just know that when it’s on the line, we’ll step up and make the plays that have to be made to win the game. It’s been that way for several weeks. I couldn’t be any more proud of our offense or defense [or] the coaches. Everyone just bought in and had the same mindset. We know what we have to win.”

On if his health affected the play calling:
“I don’t think my health influenced the passing. I was healthy enough to run. I think that’s why coach [Mike Shanahan] called upon me to run. Whenever you have games like this, it’s real cold, receivers’ hands might be a little cold, you have to have that running back, that offensive line, that fullback that has the mentality to go out and run the ball. If they’re not stopping it, you might as well not go away from that plan, and that’s what we did. I don’t fret about the passing yards, the touchdowns or anything like that. I want to win games. If it’s the running back that gets 200 yards and I’m celebrating with him, making it easy for me, I’m all for that. We know the receivers will be called upon pretty soon to make a lot of plays for us, and they’re ready for it. But whenever you have a running back like Alfred do what he did tonight, you have to keep riding that.”

On if Mike Shanahan rejuvenated the team during the bye week:
“I think he did. What he issued was a personal challenge to the players just to realize that you can’t have a loss and say, 'Oh, we’ll get it next time. We have 14 more games or 13 more games.’ Every game matters, and if you don’t bring that approach, then you won’t play. I think everyone took that as a personal challenge, and we showed up that first game out of the bye week and got on a roll. I think everyone responded extremely well to what coach did. It’s just a testament to him.”

On where this win ranks in his career:
“This is the top one. This is a championship game. We won the [division] championship. Hopefully, we can win the overall championship of the league, but this is the best feeling I’ve ever had. I sat in the locker room at a loss for words, just because it’s that important to us. We went out and did what we said we were going to do. We won seven straight, won our division, and now we’re in the playoffs. Now it’s up to us to decide how far we want to go.”


Running Back Alfred Morris

On his reaction to the game:
“Crazy. I am just thankful that I was able to come out today and give my all like I do every game and the run game was working today. I am just thankful that we are in the playoffs.”

On what it was like to win seven games in a row after having a 3-6 record:
“We definitely believed. All odds were against us. We had faith in each other and we put self in the background. We became a selfless team and we put ourselves in a playoff situation, taking one win at a time to get to the playoffs and we are here now. We believe in ourselves, even if no one else believed in us.”

On what was happening to make the run game so successful:
“I am not really sure. I think they were bringing a lot of pressure, trying to disguise it a little bit and we were able to find some creases. The over-aggressiveness, [we] used it against them. They were over-pursuing and I was able to find some cutbacks. It just worked out perfectly.”

On if he felt he had to carry the team with Robert Griffin III looking like he was not 100 percent:
“I never felt that way. I knew in order for us to win, we needed to get the ground attack going. Like I said, I come out here and give it my all, regardless of who is healthy, who is not, what the situation is. I am going to go out and leave it on the field and I did just that. It just turned out being my best game this season thus far. I am just thankful that we were able to get in this postseason. We are going to continue to take it one game at a time.”

On if it was special to break Clinton Portis’ single-season rushing yards record:
“It was special, it never was really on my mind about the record. I don’t want to discredit it. It was special to pass Clinton Portis’ record. He was a great back. I actually looked up to him. I guess you can call myself a fan of Clinton Portis. He told me before the game, 'I want you to break the record.’ It was just an honor. Coming from where I came from, I am just thankful and it is just a humbling experience and I am thankful to be here.”

On if he had a feeling it was going to be his night:
“Yeah, I did. There have been times that we came out in the first half and our ground attack got going – the second half we took a dip, but we made it our goal not to let that happen this week. We were going to go out there… In the first half we got it going and we were like, 'In the second half, we’re going to keep it going.’ We were not going to let them slow us down. We gave the wide receivers a break; they’ve been working hard all year. So we gave those guys a break today; so they have to be ready come postseason.”

On picking up some yards behind Josh LeRibeus:
“[Josh] LeRibeus did a great job. I mean all our rookies [did], just another rookie stepping up and doing his job. In this league you always have to be ready for when your number is called. I was ready when mine got called; LeRibeus was ready when his got called. Like you said, I was able to pick up some yards behind him. Although he had a lack of experience he went out there and handled himself like a pro.”

On Chris Cooley saying tonight he became a star:
“I’m never a star; I’ll never be a star. Other people might think I’m a star but I’m just Alfred. I’ve been the same since way back when and I’m not going to change. I’m still going to be the same guy that walked in and nobody knew who I was. I’m still going to be that guy. I couldn’t change even if I tried.”

On what he thinks the Redskins can do in the playoffs:
“We are going to see I guess. Only time will tell. I mean we have the weapons. We have the play calling. We have everything it takes to do something special this year. We knew that at the beginning of this year. It all comes down to how bad we want it. Are we going to go out there and execute? Are we going to go out there and do what we know how to do and play the type of game we are capable of playing? That’s what it comes down to.”

On if he is glad to have an extra 24 hours to prepare for Sunday’s game as opposed to playing Saturday:
“I really don’t need the extra time. I mean, if we had to go tomorrow I’d be ready to go. It’s just the type of player I am; it’s the mindset I have. I’m always ready to go. I think one of the most asked questions is 'Are you ready?’ I’m looking like that’s an insult. I’m always ready. Extra rest is good, but if we had to play tomorrow, I’d be ready.”

On overshadowing Robert Griffin III in tonight’s game:
“I don’t look at it like that. It’s a team effort. We all come out here and do our job. Like I said, tonight was just my night. I’m just glad; I’m thankful that we are in the playoffs. It’s been forever since we have been here and I’m just glad to be a part of it, glad to be contributing to our success.”

Linebacker London Fletcher

On how it feels to win the NFC East:
“How do you think that feels, man? It feels great, man. Victory is ours. We accomplished one of our goals. Just being able to get this franchise a division title, [that is] something that hasn’t happened since 1999 and it feels good. We’ll be having a home playoff game. What we’ve been able to accomplish this year, these last seven ballgames… Our men just focused in and were able to doing something great.”

Linebacker Rob Jackson

On his interception in the fourth quarter:
“I didn’t realize it at the time. I was just doing my job and once I actually caught it and got back up and saw the fans, it felt good. Just celebrating. It felt good.”

On beating Dallas to make the playoffs:
“It feels good, man. It feels good. We let it be known the first time wasn’t a fluke.”

Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan

On blitzing Dallas:
“We knew Romo doesn’t like pressure in his face, so that was our big thing. We had to get pressure up the middle and not so much outside to be able to keep him in the pocket. That’s what we were able to do.”

On accomplishing Mike Shanahan’s dream of winning the NFC East:
“It’s awesome. It’s great for this organization and even better for the city. I can’t believe it’s been since 1999 since the franchise has won the NFC East title, so to win it now it’s pretty special.”

On if it was the team’s best defensive performance this year:
“It’s up there. It’s got to be. We forced three turnovers and credit our offense for not giving up the ball. It was an outstanding team win.”

On what the team has accomplished since starting 3-6:
“It’s a great story because no one would have thought this was even possible. We really stuck together and really bought in after the bad start. Look where we are now.”


Cornerback Richard Crawford

On the front seven putting pressure on Dallas quarterback Tony Romo on his interception:
“They were killing. It speaks for itself. He was just throwing the ball away. It just speaks for itself.”

Defensive End Kedric Golston

On winning the NFC East:
“I’ve been here through 4-12 seasons and the bad times and almost being the joke of the NFL. To do this with this group of guys, the old and the new, from Lorenzo [Alexander] to Reed [Doughty] to Stephen [Bowen] and Niles [Paul] and back to the old with Santana [Moss]. I was thinking before this game about some of the great players that I’ve played with and how I’m looking to enjoy this as much as I am. With the Cornelius Griffins and Randy Thomases and those guys that did a lot for this organization and didn’t get a chance to experience this… I’m looking to have them be a part of this and thinking about all that this organization has been through the last ten years. It’s good to be here. We’re going to enjoy this one, but we understand it’s just the beginning of the ultimate goal. We’re here now, and we’re going to take it one game at a time. I guess we’ve got Seattle here at four o’clock on Sunday.”

Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett

On what happened on the final interception:
“Tony tried to lay the ball over Rob Jackson’s head and he made a play on the ball.”

On how hard this loss is:
“Obviously this is very disappointing for our team. You come here with the intention of winning the ballgame and we thought our preparation this week was outstanding. Our effort and determination for this game was awfully good and indicative of what this team has been doing all year long. At the end of the day, we did not get the job done. They played better than we did, they deserved to win the ballgame and we give them credit. They did a great job as a coaching staff. The players deserved to win the game. We didn’t get the job done.”

On quarterback Tony Romo’s performance:
“It is hard to explain. We had the two interceptions early that we overcame. The defense did a good job and we battled back from a 7-7 score at halftime overcoming those and then we had the one at the end of the ball game. Obviously, taking care of the football is critical every week. It is critical in a game like this. We missed an early opportunity with that first interception but we got the good field position, but you have to keep going. We give them credit.”

On what needs to change:
“We need to continue to get better in all phases of our football team and all phases of our organization. The guys did a great job of overcoming the different combinations of players that we were playing as this year wound down. It was a great challenge for us in this ball game to slow down this rushing offense and they did a really good job. They run the football well with their runner and they do a lot of things off of that that is pretty effective for them. We didn’t do enough to slow them down. We didn’t do enough offensively to score points in this ball game, and again, they deserve to win the game and we did not.”

On not having Miles Austin or Dez Bryant at times:
“You just have to put the guys out there that are available. We lost Miles early on in the ballgame and we lost Dez a little bit later. So you just have to play some different combinations. We had James Hanna out there and we also had some young receivers who played some, Cole Beasley played some and Dwayne Harris and Kevin Ogletree, and those were the guys we had available to us and you just have to make it work.”

On if the Redskins blitzed more than he expected:
“They’re a blitzing defense so I would not say they blitzed more than we expected. That’s part of what they do. It’s a big part of their defensive package. They just kind of Rolodexed those blitzes through both in the regular and also in the third down situations.”

On if Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III looked hurt to him:
“I thought he played a really good game from what I could tell. We haven’t seen the tape. Certainly, he’s dealing with that knee injury but was effective running some of those option plays that he did run and I thought he threw the ball fairly well when he had opportunities also.”


On why Romo isn’t more successful in critical games:
“Well, he’s played really well in a lot of these big games in his career and there have been a couple of these games toward the end of the year that are critical games. We haven’t gotten it done as a football team and Tony’s certainly a part of that, but everybody’s a part of that. We just have to try to get better. We have to get ourselves in this kind of position again. We have to learn from this experience at the end of the day.”

On Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware’s injuries:
“DeMarcus has been banged up for most of the year and he’s done a great job. He’s battling through so many different things. We talked earlier in the week that there was no way that he was going to miss this ballgame. But he had a hamstring and an elbow and a shoulder for probably the last three or four weeks that he’s been dealing with. He’s a warrior. We’ve got a lot of warriors on our team that play through a lot of different things and that’s the nature of the NFL. We’re real proud to have those guys on the football team with the right kind of people and certainly DeMarcus Ware heads that list.”

On if he will remember the season for playing through adversity and enduring tragedy:
“I think we’ll probably remember it for both of those things. I’m really proud to be associated with this group of guys. These players and coaches went through a lot this year, overcame a lot of adversity, handled things the right way, got stronger as a result of it and that’s really a special thing to be a part of. If you ever have a chance to be a part of a team and guys like this who handled the obstacles that they’ve had to face over the course of six, seven, eight months, it’s really a special thing to be a part of and I told them that again tonight. Certainly, the result was not the one we wanted. They got the job done. We didn’t and we have to live with that. So, that’s part of understanding what happened this year. We put ourselves in a position to win the division and we didn’t get it done. So, we have to go back. We have to remember this feeling tonight that we have in this locker room that we have on that bus ride, that we’re going to have on that plane ride going back. We have to use that as fuel going forward.”

On why it was tough to stop Redskins running back Alfred Morris:
“I think they’ve been pretty effective all year long running the football. They’re the No. 1 rush team in the National Football League. They do a lot of different things. Certainly, having a quarterback and a variation of things they do off of their basic running game helps their running game. But he’s been very effective all year long against a lot of different defenses. He was effective again tonight running the ball for them.”

On Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant’s injury:
“Back. He hurt his back. He really couldn’t even walk.”

On why it was difficult to adjust to the pressure up the middle:
“Well, what you need to do when they pressure you like that, you just simply need to make a play because there’s opportunities to make a play. There’s a lot of single coverage outside so you need to catch a slant, catch an in-cut, break a tackle and go and we weren’t able to do that. If you do that, you can run them out of that pressure, so it wasn’t something that we were surprised by. They’re a pressure team so we have to be ready for that. We work hard against those kinds of things but you have to make them pay for it and we didn’t do that consistently enough in this game.”

On Cowboys wide receiver Dwayne Harris:
“He’s done a really good job. He started a few weeks ago as a returner and he made a number of returns for us and I think that’s spilled over into his play on offense. He made a couple big catches for us again. He made another big return for us to put us in position at the end of the ball game so he’s really taking advantage of the opportunities that he’s gotten.”

On Cowboys wide receiver Miles Austin’s injury:
“Lower leg.”

On Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall’s performance:
“DeAngelo’s a good corner. He did a good job covering our guys in different situations tonight but he’s a good player.”

Cowboys Owner/General Manager Jerry Jones

On his thoughts of the game:
“I would say that they were the better team. They played like it. They played well enough to win. They deserve what they’re getting. Hats off to the entire organization. They’ve done something pretty phenomenal to come back like they have with the season they started with. I give them all that they deserve.”

On quarterback Tony Romo’s three interceptions:
“We know those were adding up after the first two. I thought we had gotten a break after the first two, we were still in good shape to play the game. Frankly, I thought that right on through. When I look at the last pick, I also look at what it took to get us in a position to score if we could get possession--could take it on down. That’s not making excuses but that guy made a good play on the ball. How we got in the position to keep possession and get on down there is also some of the good things we experienced there.”

On his feelings after ending another season without making the playoffs:
“I am impressed with the way that the Redskins are put together, across the board. They’re going to be formidable as the Cowboys look to the future. We have to look where we are within our division. We’ll look and see just exactly how to approach a team that has some of the players they’ve got and good coaching they’ve got. We have a big challenge ahead of us. They are in the tournament and we are sitting at home. This is very disappointing. We have players that have also fought hard all year, but it did not get it done. One of my jobs is to basically evaluate, analyze and make decisions in the offseason and help us be in better shape going into playoffs.”
 

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