Summary of Wade Phillips' press conference today.
After watching the tape, as always seems to be the case, when you win you don't do as many good things as you thought, and when you lose you don't do as many bad things as you think. Our #1 goal is to win the game. Some guys played well, others didn't play as well, some only had a few bad plays, one or two plays, but they took advantage of those. We didn't run the ball enough, that's my fault, we do have audibles at the line of scrimmage, some games we audible out of running plays, this time we did too many. We only had one negative play, no sacks, only one minus play. When we tied it up we should have stayed with the running plays, that's my fault. Felix Jones was set to go in the middle of a series, to have a change-up from Marion Barber, like we did with success in the last game. But the series were chopped up, it didn't work out for us and we didn't run Barber enough. Our mistake. Defensively we had a horrendous second quarter, in the second half, we overplayed sometimes, guys were trying to make plays in the running game and over-pursued or got out of position. Guys were trying to make plays, some guys made plays, Bradie James was in on 18 tackles and Zach Thomas was in on 17. We had some players do good things, but like everybody they might have messed up one play and that hurt us. It's a loss and that what counts. I believe in the team, we'll bounce back, we'll get stronger. We have those kinds of players, good character and leadership. We're mad we didn't play our best, it will bring out the best in us.
We had guys trying to make plays instead of playing their responsibility (in the second half against the run). We teach them to play their responsibility first and then get to the football. Several instances of guys trying to make a play and if that doesn't work it causes a domino effect. The blitz where they ran for 31 yards, that was our mistake coaching-wise, we didn't cover every gap.
We work on that all the time (making sure only 11 men on the field), it was after a time out and that made me mad. We signal who goes in, we do have different personnel groups but we've always had that and one of the players didn't get it. That cost us. We only had 3 penalties so that was good, but that one hurt us badly. They would have had to make 47-yard FG and we would have had more time and our time outs to come back and score. We fought back, we won second half of the Philly game 17-7 and won the game, we won the second half 14-9 in this game but it wasn't enough. We showed a lot of heart and fought back. The players on the field would have called a time out if the players knew there were 12 men on field.
We gave Tony Romo the opportunity to audible, they were in 8-men fronts. But sometimes we need to run Barber through there no matter what the front is. It wasn't all called passes, Tony made the right options but we could have made yards running the ball, but we realized it after the fact. You can run against an 8-man front. We played 8-man fronts in second half and they made plays. We probably could have done the same.
We try to get the ball to best players as much as we can (in response to Terrell Owens' comments question). We have quite a few good players, we didn't get it enough to Marion this game, not enough Terrell last game. We need to control the ball more, make longer drives, and then we can get everybody the ball.
I'm not going to pick out individual players to discuss (in response to Terence Newman question). It goes back to me and the coaches, we didn't play the passing game well in first half, some of it is scheme, some of it is individual players not playing as well as they can.
Turnover margin wasn't a problem in the first 3 games, but we need more turnovers, we only have two, but we've only given up 6 this season, but a -4 turnover margin is not good. We hit the QB many times. On one of their TD's we thought we had him and he made a great play. We have individuals who can make turnovers happen, we just keep emphasizing what the other team will do and try to get them in the right spot.
I think all good players want the football. We still had 24 points, 300 yards passing, it was a decent game offensively, not a great game. Would have liked for the outcome to be different but it wasn't. Defensively we let them control the ball. Having more plays might have made more things happen.
I wouldn't say the play-calling was equally balanced, in 2-minute drills we threw every down, before the half and the end of the game. I thought we could protect enough and be able to hold ball, they were playing man-to-man, we though we could beat it with receivers running the full route, sometimes we did, sometimes we didn't.
I didn't say we didn't have time, we had no sacks. They blitzed some and we picked it up. More than once, Marion checked out and into the pattern and nobody covered him, we just didn't hit the right guy all the time. I thought the protection was fine.
I don't think Romo made a mistake checking in and out plays. It's how we set it up. We didn't just say run this "Iso" or a lead draw, we gave him audibles and it didn't work out well for us. We probably should have just said run the "Iso" with no audible. We need to establish a running game at home. We didn't run the ball enough bottom line.
We came out of the game healthy, nobody got really banged up. Pat Watkins came out of the game and then went back in with his shoulder problem. I am concerned about that and we're checking on it. Going to look at that this week.