Head Coach Mike Smith
"I felt like we did some very uncharacteristic things today in all three phases. I thought we started fast that first drive. After that, I felt like the Cowboys dominated the rest of the ballgame. It's something we will have to address. We will watch the tape and make the corrections as we get ready for the New Orleans Saints."
"We are not going to make excuses…They threw the ball well. We let some completions that we felt we could have defended better had we gotten more pressure on the quarterback. We could have been more successful, but we're not making excuses. This is our team. We go out and play every week. We just have got to play better."
On the TD before the half:"That was a situation where we had an opportunity to get off the field with no points probably. They had no more time outs and might not have had an opportunity to spike the ball and try the field goal. So, I think it was a very big play. Tony Romo made an outstanding athletic play. We had three opportunities to get him on the ground and didn't get him on the ground. When they score going in right before half time, that's big for them."
After the first drive:"We did not run the ball very effectively and we didn't protect the quarterback. That's something we've done the first five games. He was under duress quite a bit during the game and he was sacked three times. That's something we have to go back and work on. They did a good job. They came after us. They were the more physical and the better football team. I take my hat off to them."
On the running game:"We not rushing the ball nearly as efficient as last year. It's something that we have been working on all through the season. We will continue to work at it in terms of looking at everything and how we put the run game together. We are always evaluating everything we do."
On the Dallas Pass Rush:"They were rushing passer very efficiently. They were on five man pressures, bringing five men in passing situations. I think they were more physical. We've got to back and watch the tape to make the evaluation."
"We script our first 15 plays. We wanted to get off to a fast start and I thought we were very efficient. The second drive, we had the two drops and then a penalty…That kind of flipped field position on us there. We got the first score and then tried to hang on until right before half time. I think that was big, big play in the ballgame. To go down 17-7 right before half and then have to get right back out on defense to kick off the second half was big."
"I don't think we tackled as well as we can. We had some opportunities to stop some plays short of the first down and did not do that. We will work on our tackling. Tackling is something we pride ourselves on as a defensive football team. It was uncharacteristic of us."
"I am certainly disappointed with the outcome of today's game. Right now it's about flying back tonight, making the corrections tomorrow and getting back to work. We've got a tough division opponent coming up in New Orleans. So, we are going to have to make some corrections and play better next week."
On the Cowboys Defensive looks:"I think it was a lot of what we had seen from them so far this season. I think they just out-executed us. They played better than us. We were close, but we made some mistakes. When you come on the road to play a very good football team and you make those kind of mistakes, it's tough to walk away with a win. Hats off to them. I thought they did a great job. It was not much different than what we had seen. We expected to come in and play a good physical defense. We go that today."
"We wanted to come out here and start off fast. It was a 16-play drive on the first series. We ate up some time and obviously punched it in at the end. (Dallas) did a good job as they came back and made adjustments. They played well up front and in the secondary. It was frustrating because we feel like we can play better, but that was a good defense we went up against today."
"I think pressure affects the passing game, regardless of who is out there playing. I thought Dallas did a good job of getting some pressure in different situations. Even with them bringing the pressure, I thought we still hung tough back there. We distributed the ball a couple of times with some pressure on. They've got some great players up front. They are a tough match up."
"I think they did a good job on the back end to cover some different things. They changed it up a good amount, but that's kind of what we expected to see from them. Again, I think they played pretty well the entire day."
On Keith Brooking:"Brook did a good job today. He played physical and we expected that from him because that's the kind of player he is. He is an emotional player. We knew that from playing with him in the past. He did a good job today."
On the Falcons' performance:
"We did some uncharacteristic stuff that's not very common for our guys. We were put in situations to make plays and we just didn't come up with the plays at the times they were needed. And they were able to. And we just didn't capitalize. I think that is what made the difference."
On Romo and the Cowboys offense:" We knew we had to get to him. Like I said, I think we put ourselves in position to get there. But we might have been just a step or a second too late. And that got him plays. We just have to finish the plays when we have the opportunities... It is still early in the season. We can't dwell on this loss because we have to go to New Orleans next week. We'll review the tapes and see what went wrong and get ready for next week."
On facing New Orleans next week after a Dallas loss:
"That makes it a little bit easier because you have to focus on what you need to do to beat New Orleans. It's one good thing about this league - you have to learn to put these kinds of things behind you and learn from them and then move on."
"I think the first drives of the first and second half we went 80 and 90 yards and scored. And then we kind of slowed down. I think with turnovers, miscues and what not we weren't able to get into a rhythm after those first drives of the halves. They did a good job bringing pressure and getting us out of some of our stuff. Kudos to them. But we need to play better for sure... The first drive of the game, we had 80 yards on the field and felt good about it. But in the end, we should have gone in 10-7 at halftime, and then Romo did a good job getting out of that sack a couple times. It just kind of wasn't going our way today and we didn't help ourselves at all."
On an uncharacteristic team performance:"We did a great job protecting thus far, all year long. This game was not good. We'll go back and look and see what they did. I'm not sure what they did up front with the linemen. They definitely brought some pressure, that's for sure... Just one of those days maybe? The defense for Dallas did a good job making us make some of those uncharacteristic errors. It's a combination of us not being on the ball and them playing really well."
On the Cowboys score before halftime: "They have a great defensive front and they play great football. They were the better team today... It would have been nice if we had gotten that stop. But that's part of the game, you have to play every snap, all the way to final tick of the quarter. But we didn't do that, so we knew offensively we had to respond pretty quick once we got the ball back. "
On the team's performance:
"I don't know exactly what it was about the team's opening drives. We just played good. Once we get rolling and get into a rhythm, it is hard to stop us. We just have to avoid the bumps in the road... The Cowboys played great. They are playing with a lot of intensity out there. They just played great. They were the better team. Things like that in football are going to happen. You can't play the perfect game every game."Tyson Clabo
On the offense's performance:"I really think it came down to our ability to protect. I mean, they kicked our butt. And we have to do a much better job. To their credit, they are good pass rushers. We just have to do a better job... I'm not surprised at all. We knew we had a challenge on our hands. The problem with their deal is the fact that they have five good pass rushers. And we are a lot of times just one-on-one with those guys, because you can't put a back on them. So they just got the better of us today. I give them all the credit. They brought it to us pretty good."
On New Orleans next week:"It is going to be electric down there. We've been down there before. The place is deafening when their fans get riled up. I thought we handled the noise really well today. We're going to have to do that again. It will probably be even louder than it was today."
On protecting the QB:
"They kind of whipped us. It wasn't a surprise to me that there was a challenge. They are really good pass rushers. We just have to do a better job. It was really inexcusable."
MORE FALCONS-COWBOYS COVERAGE:
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