Brandon Carr (39) celebrates one of his two interceptions against the Chargers.
Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr intercepted Philip Rivers twice on Saturday, and credits Deion Sanders for the way he was able to bait Rivers into making the throw to Robert Meachem:
“I got that from Deion,” Carr said. “I’m not going to tell too much, but I’ve seen him do that."
All the hoopla over Brandon Carr's two interceptions overshadowed Morris Claiborne's NFL debut, but Claiborne's first NFL game turned out be a quiet and uneventful affair anyway. Claiborne played for the first two quarters and allowed two short completions on two targets for 13 yards allowed. He thought his Cowboys' debut was "good" but not "great":
"Was I great? No. But I feel like I played a good half in my first NFL game," said Claiborne. "I know there’s going to be more to come. I’ve just got to keep working and get better."
"I think I did good. I didn’t blow any assignments," Claiborne said. "So I think the mental part was pretty good."
More post-game quotes after the break.
Brandon Carr had encouraging words for the rookie after the game:
"The lights weren’t bright for him," Carr said. "It wasn’t a big moment for him. He kept his poise very well, and he went out there and battled, made some tackles. He finally got his first taste of NFL receivers, and I can’t wait to get back at home and see what he does at Cowboys Stadium."
The Cowboys are kicking off the first of two joint practices with the Chargers today. It's a little unusual to have joint practices after a preseason game, but that's the way it is this year. Sean Lee finds something positive in that:
"When you practice and then you play in the preseason game, usually you’re tired a little bit from practicing," linebacker Sean Lee said. "This time you get the game, you went hard in the game, now you get a day off and we get to go just as hard in practice. I think we’ll get more out of it."
The Cowboys and Chargers met for joint practices last year, and Garrett expects a repeat of last year's sessions.
"We really share a lot of the same values in terms of how we practice, so it really went well," Garrett said. "I’ve been in some situations with these things where you don’t practice the same way, everybody’s kind of off kilter and out of rhythm, but the practice tempo we have will be upbeat, it’ll be competitive, get after each other, but at the same time we’ll be respectful of each other in those situations."
Tony Romo had a good outing, as did the majority of the offense, which must be good for the morale of the offense:
"Yeah, I thought some of the young guys stepped up and played pretty good tonight," said Romo. "I think our offense is continuing to get better and better each week, and I like the direction we are heading, but we have to eliminate the mistakes."
Mario Butler looks like he has the fifth cornerback spot locked down pretty tightly. "He’s going to be hard to keep off this team," Jerry Jones said on Saturday. One of the things the Cowboys really like about him is his versatility, or "multiplicity" in Garrett-speak. Playing different positions is not an easy task, but Butler says the extra snaps he's been getting are helping with that:
"Just getting the experience and being on the field for all three positions from going to corner to nickel, from nickel to safety, there’s a little bit of an adjustment you got to make on how you train your mind and your eyes. There’s a lot of stuff that go on there for each of them."
"I think I did a pretty good job," Butler said. "I had a couple errors. It’s nothing I can’t fix. Pretty positive game so far. Every week you just want to learn from the mistakes you made the previous weeks and never make the same mistake twice."
Alex Albright played outside linebacker as DeMarcus Ware's replacement against San Diego, and was a little critical of his own performance in the game:
"I think the defense as a whole played well. Me, personally, not so much," Albright said. "Giving up 28 points just doesn’t sit well. Especially with myself when I was out there most of the time. I have to look at my own performance and ask what I could have done to prevent that."
And while it's true that he only notched four tackles compared to the nine he had against the Raiders (playing mostly from the ILB spot). Not every performance shows up in the game stats, and fellow OLB Victor Butler praised Albright for knowing "the game almost as well as Sean Lee."
"Alex Albright filled in [for DeMarcus Ware] and did a hell of a job, to me, sticking up for that role. He could have stepped in and been lost, been out there chasing cars like a dog. But instead, he stepped in and knew what he had to do and did his job. That just contributed to Rob Ryan and those guys are doing a hell of a job of getting everybody on this defense on the same page."
"We put in a check this morning and the situation comes up in the game. He was the first one to spot it out and signal it to the whole defense," Butler said. "Not Sean Lee. Not the safeties. It was Alex Albright. I just attribute it to Rob Ryan getting on everybody, making everybody accountable, making everyone know what the guys behind you do."
If you were watching the final minutes of the Chargers game, you probably saw Cole Beasley throwing up on the field and on the sidelines on the final drive. Not a big deal, according to Beasley:
"I was tired, but the reason I came off was because I landed on the ball, and the ball knocked the wind out of me and made me have to throw up a little bit," he said. "Tired had a little bit to do with it, but it was more the ball knocking the air out of me." "I’m not ashamed on it at all," he said. "I just happened to land on the ball, and it made some stuff come out of me."
"You'll probably see me throw up a lot more than just then," Beasley said. "I throw up a lot before the games, too. I'm not ashamed of it at all."
Sometimes, when you hear a player answering questions, you can't help but think that they're repeating almost verbatim what their coaches have been telling them. I'm pretty sure wide receivers coach Jimmy Robinson has talked to his receiving corps a lot about "attacking the ball", and Kevin Ogletree appears to have listened:
"I think that has to be our game as a group of receivers," Ogletree said. "We’ve got to snatch it when it’s out there. That ball is in the air, it’s got to be ours or no one’s. I think we did a good job of making some plays today, making some contested catches, and we’re going to have to continue to get better at that."
It seems to have worked, because it looks like Ogletree's performance on Saturday caught Jerry's eye:
"What I liked about Ogletree was, in tight, when it was a collision to get the ball, he made the big catch," Jones said. "One of the criticisms of him is physically he needs to get better when he has the physically contested ball. I think he's shown that with that big catch. We know he's got speed. We know he's got quickness. I thought he made a statement for himself."
Felix Jones is a bit of an enigma so far. He doesn't appear to have the speed he's displayed in previous years, nor is he a sure pass-catcher. Jason Garrett urges patience with Felix:
"He's still getting there," coach Jason Garrett said. "The big thing you have to remember about Felix is he wasn’t in the offseason program very much because of his shoulder injury, and it's less about the conditioning test and more about just coming back from that injury and having been off the field and away from our team so much in the offseason."
"He has to continue to play and practice hard and get himself in physical shape to play football," Garrett said. "But I think he looks good. He looks like he has some quickness and some burst. It was good to see him out there for a few snaps."