It’s time to see what the team is saying about the loss. One thing that will be missing is Tony Romo quotes because he hardly gave any. I think he took this loss hard because his media performance after the game was decidedly short and to the point. He took the blame, he said his thumb was fine and the other normal clichés, but he was mad, with himself and the loss. But I found it encouraging. He doesn’t like this feeling at all, so my money is on him doing something about it. He will be driven to perform from here on out, let’s just hope is thumb is not a problem going forward.
Wade Phillips talked after the game and he was at least happy we got a bye in the playoffs.
"With the Seattle loss, we have a bye the first week. That was our next goal," Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips said of his team getting a free pass to the Divisional round for the first time since 1995. "We didn't expect to make it that way. We wanted to make it by winning the game. But our final goal of the regular season is to gain home-field all the way through and we can still do that. We still have all our goals, but certainly it's disappointing to lose this particular game."
Good job, Wade. Everybody knows we lost this game and we looked bad doing it so finding something good out of it that is at least tangible helps. At least you can give the team something positive going into this week’s practices. You can still say you guys accomplished another goal on the checklist. Now just win the next two and you will accomplish another goal, home-field advantage.
Why did we lose the game? Wade cuts to the point.
"Sacks, interceptions, fumbles - those are mistakes," Phillips said when asked what specific miscues cost his team the most. "We hadn't had this feeling in a while. Obviously we didn't play our best. They played well. We didn't play well. That's what it came down to."
What Wade doesn’t mention but what we’re all curious about is the missing running game. We want to know why we quit running the ball and Jason Garrett sort of agrees with the point.
"That's not the balance you want," Garrett said. "But you're trying to call the ones that give you the best chance."
Eh, I guess, but it didn’t look like the passing game was our best chance in this game.
"Once the game started the execution wasn't as clean, and it starts with me," Garrett said. "On the offensive side of the ball we have to coach it better."
OK, I said last night you get a free pass.
What did Julius Jones say about it?
"It's not my call," Jones said. "Personally as a running back, you want to run the ball and try to be as effective as you can. I don't know. All I can do is all I can do. It's whatever."
What about Mation Barber?
Sorry, I couldn’t find a quote from the notoriously media shy MB3.
There was a bright spot to Sunday. The defense rebounded from a bad performance in Detroit and turned in a great effort on Sunday.
"I'm very encouraged by the defense," [Jerry] Jones said. "I thought we played well, and I thought we had some good individual play out there as well, but the defense as a unit overall played great."
They did play great. But I guess you can always nit-pick, and some of the players did.
"We should've held them to five," linebacker DeMarcus Ware said. "You always need momentum things, turnovers, some type of sack, or just some type of momentum builders. We didn't have those this game."
"It's not good enough," Ellis said. "You're a realist, so sure the defense did perform better, that's real. But also what's real is we didn't play good enough to win. That's even more real."
That is true. The defense played very solid, but they failed to create that momentum-changing turnover that we desperately needed. Still, their effort was admirable and certainly enough to win this game. The offense just failed to perform.
T.O. now has two weeks in a row where his production has been very low. I was actually a little concerned about how he would react, an automatic reaction that is ingrained in my brain. But the hold of the pod was strong and Owens was nothing but professional after the game.
"There were some opportunities," Owens said after the Cowboys dropped their first NFC East division game of the season. "I think (the Eagles) did a good job defensively, and there were just some opportunities that we missed. I really didn't get frustrated to the point that it took me out of the game but I felt like there were some opportunities there and we just didn't connect on them."
I wasn’t even going to share this JJT article because he’s in freak-out mode that Wade Phillips wouldn’t acknowledge the injuries right after the game. What a weird thing to base an article on. But it had this quote from Gurode that I couldn’t find elsewhere.
"I didn't want to come out," Gurode said. "I wanted them to give me a pain pill or something, but they wouldn't do it because they wanted to be careful. I hate coming out of games, because that's my line."
You got to love that. Let’s all hope the MRI shows nothing more than what the docs have already said. Chris Canty says he’s playing next week while Watkins was in a boot and we’ll have to wait and see.
Like I said before I never think a loss is a good thing. But I’m hoping the Cowboys will use it as motivation and a moment to re-dedicate themselves to their ultimate goal. If you come back stronger then the loss was OK – T.O. agrees.
"I think it may have been good for us to lose this game," Owens said. "There is obviously something - we need to just go in and look at some film and see the opportunities that we missed. We just have to come back in Tuesday and re-group."
Jerry Jones, ever the optimist, says this:
"If we were going to have one over the next five ball games, if we get to play five, I would rather have it before we get to the playoffs," Jones said.
But I like DeMarcus Ware’s thoughts on it over all the others. Simple and direct.
"This is going to make us work that much harder," said linebacker DeMarcus Ware, "because we've got to win."
Indeed you do and it starts in Carolina.