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Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

What Kyle Shanahan, Brock Purdy, other 49ers said after 42-10 win vs. Cowboys

Oct 9, 2023 at 12:01 AM

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San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, quarterback Brock Purdy, and others spoke with reporters after Sunday's 42-10 win over the Dallas Cowboys. Here is everything they had to say.

Transcripts provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff.

49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Thoughts right now on this significance of OL Aaron Banks bicep injury?

"We don't know yet. Fortunately, it was a higher one. The low ones are the ones you miss the year for, but we don't know if it was strained or pulled yet, but it was higher."

Considering the opponent, where do you rank this as far as QB Brock Purdy's performances thus far?

"I mean he was really good. Everybody was pretty good. But thought he missed one throw throughout the day, from what it seemed like, just a little behind [WR Brandon Aiyuk] BA in the first quarter on one and everything else seemed pretty flawless. He did a great job versus a real good pass rush, some tight coverages, guys gave him some time. Also, the guys made a lot of plays too."

The trick play touchdown, TE George Kittle had a lot of moving parts to it. How many times will you practice that in a week before the game?

"We just walked through it once. It's been in for a while. We ran it in the NFC Championship last year, didn't look as good. [RB] Christian [McCaffrey] was at quarterback, that was second half. Detroit ran it earlier in the day. They scored to [TE Sam LaPorta] on it. So, something that we've had in for a little bit. We just walked through it every week and keep it up for when we needed to call it."

Did you see the Detroit play?

"Yeah, I saw it before the game."

Did that kind of encourage you to call it?

"It was based off what we were going against today. We planned on calling it, but definitely seeing it work for someone else gives you more confidence."

What was the origin of that play? How did you install it?

"We installed it a couple years ago. It's something we saw, I think [Assistant Head Coach/Running Back Coach] Anthony [Lynn] suggested it to us last year. We carried it for a while, never used it until the NFC Championship and it's up every week and just brought it out today."

What do you call it?

"Flea-flicker, that's a tough one. Toss 18 flea-flicker."

As this week was going on, did you get the sense your team was locked in, that this kind of performance was possibly coming tonight?

"Yeah, I did. I was real excited about us this week. I knew it was our biggest game so far this year, as far as nationally and just media wise and the hype. Sometimes you get worried your team might get too up for stuff. But just watching them all Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, they were so locked in all week. They didn't make too big of a deal of this game. They seemed so ready to go and kind of from a coaching perspective, we didn't feel like we had to do much all week, but just coach them, show the film, put in a game plan and our guys were ready."

Learn anything about your team from this game that you haven't seen from the last four games?

"I thought that was our best complete game, with all three phases. I thought our defense was amazing today, going against some real good players and a good offense there. I knew that was going to be a challenge and those guys were unbelievable. I thought it was their best game yet."

With Brock, did you ever have to check in with him knowing how big this game was and knowing your players were feeling it?

"No, that's why it was so nice last year, just going through all those experiences, going into playoff games last year and some games that we needed to get into the playoffs to get some home field games. Brock has played in some big games and he never seemed different ever in any of those and it's continued this year."

How were you able to neutralize LB Micah Parsons?

"He's tough to do. You got to stay balanced, you got to mix things up. I thought we had some big plays where you didn't have to hold onto it too long. We had one where we did hold onto it. We took one big play down the field and we ended up getting a sack on him, when they brought a safety pressure. But I think as good as we could to keep him off balance."

Did you get a feel for when Brock is kind of running hot when he had that series there when he had the deep pass where Aiyuk juked a linebacker in the play that was called back and then he kept going with it. Did you sense that he was looking pretty good?

"Yeah, I felt that way with him all day. There wasn't a time that I didn't feel he was like that. You just got to be careful when you feel that way from the beginning to end, that you don't just start calling too many passes. That's usually the challenge of a play caller because you do too many and eventually, you're going to give them a chance to make a big play. But we felt if we could mix it in enough that he was pretty on and we could handle their protections just by him getting rid of it. He was fun to coach today."

He said this week that he felt like when he went back and watched the tape from the playoff game last year, that he was rushed a little bit, he was hurrying himself up too much. Did you see that and how much better was he in that regard tonight just kind of calmed down?

"Yeah, we did it a lot throughout the offseason. But last year that was probably his worst game, not to be confused with bad, but just comparing it to all the others versus Dallas last year. They stopped us in a number of big plays. They kept us out of the end zone, I think until the first play of the fourth quarter. We were down there in the red zone, we had a couple chances and just missed. And just watching him today, I'll see the film later tonight, but didn't sense that at all. He was extremely poised when we got down there. He hit all the stuff right away and didn't turn it over, most importantly."

Defensively you guys have been good obviously in the last four games, but there seemed to be a sense from some of the guys that 'we can be better than this, we can get more takeaways, we can get more sacks.' Did you get a sense of that during this week too? Do you think that they were kind of fired up that the defense on the other side was getting a lot of run?

"Yeah definitely. I think our defense has been unbelievable here for a while and they've been unbelievable so far this year, but our guys definitely haven't been satisfied. They feel like we can get a lot better, feel like we're going to get better throughout the year too. But today was pretty darn good. I felt the offense felt similar. We had a real good week last week. But we felt our whole team hadn't played a complete game yet and we looked like that today."

Why include the flea-flicker in this game? Is it just the caliber of the game, the, the way that the Cowboys play defense?

"I think just percentage of things you're going to get. Stuff like that."

What's the significance of this? I think everybody thinks the Eagles, you and the Cowboys are the three best teams in the NFC. You win by 42 points, the most one-sided game in the history of this rivalry between these two teams, you dominated both sides of the ball, won the turnover battle. What's the significance do you think of what you did today?

"I mean it sounds awesome when you say all that stuff, but absolutely nothing. If we would've lost this game, we would've been 4-1 and now we're 5-0. I mean it's exciting and all this is fun, but I've been in the NFL way too long, been 5-0 and haven't made the playoffs before. All that stuff really doesn't matter. The way people talked about it during the week, we didn't see it that way. I told our team last night whether we win or lose this game, I expect it to make us better. If we go out there and play like we're capable of, we should feel that and be able to carry it on the next week and get better. And if we go out there and we get beat, as long as we do it the right way, I think it'll make us better going forward after that. You want to be in games like this just leading up to it. You want to be battle tested in every facet of stuff that can happen later in the season. I'm glad we did it the other way, being 5-0 feels good, but it means nothing until you get to the end."

Can you talk about the offensive line and how tremendous it's been this year?

"They've been real good. They got a lot of experience last year. [OL] Jake [Brendel], his first time really starting, [OL Aaron] Banks coming in, [OL Spencer] Burford got eased in just splitting with [Former OL Daniel] Brunskill last year and all three of those guys got to play a ton. I thought they played real well last year and they worked real hard this offseason. Usually when both of those things happen, you only get better. [OL] Colton's [McKivitz come in and done a hell of a job too with those guys and the left tackle's [T Trent Williams] not that bad either."

With RB Jordan Mason's touchdown run, what's his potential? Is he a starting caliber back in another system?

"Every time he gets out there and gets an opportunity, he looks like it. And to me that's all that you can go off in this league. How does the film look? Who knows how good he can be because every time he gets an opportunity, he does exactly what he needs to do and move the chains. Every time it's blocked, he gets more than what it's blocked for. It was funny taking Christian out there at the end, not even that close to that, I think it was like 13 minutes. He's like, 'Ah, I feel like we're going to break one though, let me just break one.' And we told him no. And JP went in for one play and broke one. So, it was really cool to have him though."

As many big games as you guys have played over the years, is resharpening a team's competitive spirit, something you have to kind of focus on or hone in on every year?

"Yeah, you always got to work on that stuff. You don't know who your team is until they get to that year. We got a lot of guys who were here last year, a lot of guys who've been here for a number of years. But it's how's this team going to be? I really liked us throughout the offseason, liked us in training camp. What I like the most about us is that regardless of what happens out here, I can tell dealing with our group, we're not satisfied in anything. We've kind of thought we could play a lot better football and we've been challenging each other that way, you don't have to do it just as a coach. Our guys do it themselves anyways. It was really cool that I thought we got that result today."

49ers QB Brock Purdy

How much did that playoff game, facing this defense once already, when you got out there tonight how much did it feel like you weren't overwhelmed at all by the speed and whatever the Cowboys threw at you?

"I think it did help for sure. Just watching the film and just our scheme going into this game, the mindset going into this game, I just felt like it was just better overall for myself. The last game, just the pass rush, where we were at in the season and it was great defense, they were solid in what they did. I don't know if that maybe got me off edge a little bit or what, but this game, just the mindset going into it, knowing what I'm looking at, I've played this defense before. It helped for sure, but the play calls were great, guys made plays all around me, the defense was great. So, it wasn't just me."

On the flea flicker, obviously TE George Kittle was wide open. Does that make it any more difficult for you just knowing that I just can't miss this? Are those passes sometimes more difficult than the tight windows?

"Yeah, they can be. Just, you sometimes can overthink it. Do I put it on him? Do I lead him downfield or what? So, I think in that case I was about to get hit, so it was actually nice knowing that, all right, I just have to get the ball to George. I'm about to take a hit, so George did a great job. The whole play was great. Play was a great draw up. We were excited we got to finally call it, so it was good."

You've been in obviously a pretty good offensive groove here. At any other point in your football career where you felt this in sync with an offense that you guys can do almost anything you're doing?

"Yeah, I don't know if I've ever felt, feeling this good just with the offense and everything as a whole. I can't really think of a time. There's some good games we played back to back to back games in college, but right now, yeah, it feels like everyone's just on a mission. Like the mindset is right where it needs to be. Everyone's so detailed in what they do. The play calls are great. So, it's like all I have to do is go out there and do my job and that's it and just play ball. Obviously we feel good where we're at, but there's still areas we can still get better at."

Head coach Kyle Shanahan said he could tell from the beginning that you were on and that he almost had to resist calling too many passes, which kind of is different for him, I think. Did you feel like you were on at the very start of this game?

"I mean, yeah, he was doing a good job just calling plays where I could just take a quick drop, get the ball out, get into a rhythm. Obviously, for me, I'm always like, yeah, I'm willing to throw every down, but just in terms of having to balance offense, run the ball, it's what we have to do. And so, yeah, I felt good early on. I actually felt like I missed a couple throws just with B.A. [WR Brandon Aiyuk], some opportunity balls early on that I wish I had back, but outside of that got into a rhythm and we were able to roll."

The significance of this is big picture in terms of beating, I mean, everybody thinks it's Dallas, Philadelphia and San Francisco in the NFC and you just beat them by the biggest margin ever in the rivalry. What's the significance of that dominating both sides of the ball and winning big on the scoreboard?

"I mean, honestly, we're just taking it one day at a time, one game at a time. We're not trying to get caught up with what people are saying or how other teams are looking. It's a week by week kind of thing for us. It's any given Sunday, we come out, another team is ready to roll, they're going to give you their best shot. So, it's not just a given that these are going to be the teams at the end. So, we know that, we have a lot of experience and veterans to be able to say that ain't true. So we have to just keep our heads down and continue to work and it's football, anything can happen. So, we're just leaving it at that."

Is it nice to have guys like George that aren't going to be ticked off or moping when they have one catch for nine yards? Does it help you as a quarterback not having to deal with drama?

"Like we said before, this team doesn't have any ego, everyone wants to win. I feel like everyone knows that they're good and so it's going to be just a matter of time with their game. This game, George had the touchdowns, he had opportunities, but still, [49ers WR] Deebo [Samuel], B.A., [49ers RB] Christian [McCaffrey], everyone's able to contribute, [49ers WR Jauan Jennings] J.J. Their time comes, but at the end of the day, we put winning first. That's what we want to do. There's no selfish times where guys are coming up to me saying, 'hey man, I'm, I'm open' or 'you've got to throw it to me.' I'm very lucky and fortunate for that. We'll just keep it rolling."

You said before that you block out the noise about what other people are saying outside of the building. DL Nick Bosa was just in here saying he thinks you're playing like one of the best quarterbacks in the league. How does it feel to hear that from someone especially a teammate like Nick?

"It means a lot, obviously. For me, I'm not trying to get caught up in what other people are saying. There's still stuff on film where I can get better and Kyle's real with me about that. [49ers QB Coach Brian] Griese's real about it. All the quarterbacks in the room, we hold ourselves to a standard. That's what we're trying to strive for so that's where I'm at with that. Want to continue to keep building these guys up around me and keep winning."

You said at the beginning that you felt more comfortable than in the playoff game. Was there a measure that this meant more to you and that there was internal motivations from last year's playoff game?

"Obviously watching the film from last year, it's like, man, I want to be better. That's really every game. Going back to last year, it's like, all right, I'm going to play a lot of the same guys on defense and a lot of the same scheme. For myself, it's another challenge for me with this scheme. I want to be better than I was last time, but was that my only motivation and my only goal this week? No, man, I was just doing what I was asked. Knew that the game would come to me over time. You've just got to get into a rhythm, hit the open guys and do my part as a quarterback. Don't try to force stuff and be a superhero and that's that. So, I learned from the game last year, moved on and just played this week."

How often do you see things from defenses that you hadn't seen before?

"The defense going into the game, they'll have their base scheme and whatnot. Then, there's always a couple switch ups within every single team that they try to do. Dallas did a couple two-high shells tonight, more than I think they've done on film. For us you go into a game thinking they're going to do this, but they've obviously got some stuff schemed up as well that we have to be ready for. That's something that we talk about on the sideline and adjust. Kyle does a good job with adjusting some plays and stuff for that. So, that's how we go about it."

What goes through your mind when the coach pulls you and says, 'hey, you did a great job?' What's in your mind after that?

"It feels good to know that we're up big and whatnot and we're going to put in another quarterback to finish out the game and stuff. So yeah, it feels good. At the same time, that was this week. You've got to get ready for next week. The minute you get caught up in thinking that you're doing all great and stuff, you can get humbled real quick. That's where I'm at and got to get ready for the Browns."

Can you talk about your offensive line and how great of a job they're doing this year?

"Yeah, the O-Line did a great job. I hugged them all after the game. They're the real dudes. They should get all the glory, man. Without them, this isn't possible."

49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk

How do you feel about the connection between you and 49ers QB Brock Purdy?

"I think that we are headed in a good direction. We were a little off today on a few things. It was a huge win and like a said we are headed in a great direction, so I'm excited to go."

What can you say about 49ers TE George Kittle's performance?

"I tell George all the time, he is primetime George. The couple of games that I played with him, either Thursday, Sunday, or Monday night whatever the case may be, he comes to win all the time."

What can you say about 49ers QB Brock Purdy's progression?

"I think people are starting to see the type of quarterback that he is. How good he really is and how he has taken this offense and completely opened it up. We are super excited about having him as our quarterback and just keep on getting better as a team as the season goes on."

49ers DL Arik Armstead

Four takeaways for you guys on defense. How dominant are you guys and how is that defensive unit clicking?

"Yeah, guys were sticking in coverage. We made it tough on [Dallas Cowboys QB] Dak Prescott and we forced him into a lot of turnovers which changed the game and made that lopsided score."

To see San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle score three times, what is it about George during the primetime lights?

"Oh man, he always balls in primetime, it's like he was made for it, and he's going to put on a show like he always does. So, that was great to see. He had a phenomenal game, a game that he deserves. Some games, he doesn't get as involved but tonight he was definitely involved. To see him come alive in the past game was a lot of fun."

Were you surprised with all the discussion throughout the week of the Dallas Cowboys wanting to avenge their loss in the divisional championship game? Were you surprised by the lopsided score?

"Was I surprised by the lopsided score? They're a great team so I wasn't really expecting the score. It's the NFL and anything can happen. I'm sure they'll bounce back. They're a good team and we got the best of them today."

49ers DL Nick Bosa

Did you learn anything about your team today that you didn't know beforehand?

"Not too much. I'm definitely incredibly confident in our offense. Also, for our defensive line to get pulled with five minutes left in the third quarter against a team like that shows that we are on a different level this year."

What are your thoughts on adding another defensive end like Randy Gregory?

"I think it's going to be huge adding depth to that position. We're not thin, but depth always helps and I think he [San Francisco 49ers DE Randy Gregory] fits our scheme perfectly. He is extremely physical. I met him the other day and he seems like a really good dude. He is an $80 million defensive end who we got for a bargain. So, it could get even better for us.

You said QB Brock Purdy is one of the best in the game. Can you still believe that he actually ended up being the last pick in the draft?

"It blows my mind but I am extremely happy that he is here."

You have won eleven straight home games. Is there a sense of home field advantage that's evident?

"I think whenever you have a fan base that shows up as good as we do, home and away, it makes the offense on the other team a little bit behind on some of their cadences. It gives us an edge and that goes a long way."

49ers FB Kyle Juszczyk

What does it means to you when your teammates get excited for you?

"I can't hide it. I love getting my hands on the ball and to put it in the end zone definitely is the cherry on top. I just love playing out there and to see my teammates excited. For me it means the world to me, it truly does. I'm out there trying to do everything I can to get them in the end zone for them to be happy when I do it, it means everything."

Did you really soak in what they were doing to you on the sidelines after you came in?

"Yeah one hundred percent. You have to enjoy those moments. What is happening with this team right now is special and it's really hard to recognize that when it's happening because you don't want to get distracted. You want to continue to push forward and get better each week but it's okay sometimes to take a quick second of appreciation of what's happening here."

The defense played phenomenally, how much does that help you guys on offense?

"It's everything, those guys energize us. When they can get turnovers it's everything for us because that is the number one determining statistic of who is going to win a game is who wins a turnover battle. We know at the end of the day if we protect the ball, those guys [defense] are going to go at least get one and that's going to give us a chance to win."

49ers TE George Kittle

What's the chemistry developed with QB Brock Purdy for you to get a three touchdown game like tonight?

"Being able to practice with him his consistency is what's really helpful. Also, being able to see [Former San Francisco 49ers TE] Vernon Davis pre-game, he told me score three to tie his record so I said "Fine Vern, I'll do it, I'll tell Brock." But no, seeing how Brock's so consistent every single day. He's the same guy on Wednesday that he is on Sunday. He's super detailed, super confident. It's everything you want in a quarterback and he's just playing at such a high level right now. I think really the best thing he does, you guys see it, is his ability to move in the pocket and keep his eyes up and see things develop. So if he doesn't hit you where he's supposed to he sees a second window. He's very good at that."

You've been a part of a team that's won a lot of games but in terms of a total team performance tonight, where would this rank?

"I think it's one of our best team performances. Sunday Night Football is my favorite night to play because everyone's watching. There's a ton of football played and everyone is sitting at home with their family and friends, either celebrating or mourning, but they're still watching the game. For us to go out like that, and you talk about our defense, [San Francisco 49ers LB] Fred Warner played a hell of a game tonight. An interception, a forced fumble, a bunch of tackles, our whole defensive line was fantastic. Then you look at our special teams, [San Francisco 49ers P Mitch] Wishnowsky always punts it great. He's been fantastic, all those punts inside the ten, inside the five, it's really difficult as an offense to do that, especially when you're coming out of the end zone and our crowd's really loud. [San Francisco 49ers S] George Odom was fantastic, he had all those tackles on special teams. He really sets the tone, gets the crowd going and then every time you put the ball in one of our skill position's hands, they have an opportunity to score a touchdown. So we have a really good team. We're healthy and we're clicking right now."

Last year against the Dallas Cowboys, you had a big game and you're obviously a big part of the passing game plan. Did you sense that you'd be heavily featured again today?

"Yes and no. Last week versus the Arizona Cardinals I thought I was going to have 150 yards and three touchdowns and that's just not the way that game went. [San Francisco 49ers Head Coach] Kyle Shanahan calls whatever's hot. That's how he feels and that's why he's such a talented play caller. I knew I had some activity in the Red Zone this week, which was really fun and you could see that first play was one of our favorite Red Zone plays, we called it and went up seven to zero."

49ers DB Deommodore Lenoir

Do you guys expect to play like this every week?

"Oh yeah. This is standard. We are always looking to get better. We had four turnovers today and next week we are probably looking for five. So, we are always looking for room to get better."

Do you think this puts you at the very top of the NFL as a team right now?

"For sure, when you look at that game and look at other teams it's not even close. I even try to give people the benefit of the doubt but it's not close."

How gratifying is it for a defensive back to know your coverage bought them enough time to get to the quarterback?

"The rush compliments the coverage and the coverage compliments the rush but today we were all clicking. So, when you see a defense like that with all these special players it looks scary."

49ers RB Christian McCaffrey

Tell us about this week of practice. Did you have a sense that an explosion like this was coming from the offense?

"You never know. You just prepare the best you can each week. Such a fun win to be a part of when you have so many guys who played so well and the defense played lights out. That's a good defense. And to win like that is a testament to the character of this team and how well we can play."

Beating the Cowboys by that margin and dominating the game on both sides like you did, what's the significance of that to you guys?

"Oh man, it means something. Because being 5-0 was important to us. Winning every week is important because we know we can. So for us it's one week at a time. It's preparing as best we can each week and just being 1-0 at the end of the week. That's a great team. Next week's a great team. You're going to play great teams every week in this league, and it's about going out there and playing the best on Sunday when the lights are on."

What's impressed you most about TE George Kittle since you've been around him?

"Every week he impresses me. You look at what he can do with the ball in his hands and he can have three touchdowns, but you look at what he does in the run game and how well he blocks. His attitude, his character, he's somebody who is a very memorable locker room player. Somebody that, if you play with him, you're really lucky."

49ers WR Deebo Samuel

Do you think that is what makes your offense unique? That even when the Dallas Cowboys say they are going to focus on RB Christian McCaffrey, it can be any one of you that is the threat?

"Yes, one hundred percent."

That defense tonight. How does it feel getting a big opponent out of the way before you face Cleveland, which is another obviously highly rated defense?

"It is pretty good just to get out there and get a win. We can just move on and get ready for Cleveland."w

49ers LB Fred Warner

During the week, you talked about how solid your defense has been but you also said it could be great. Was tonight an example of where you guys hoped to be?

"It's funny because coach [Defensive Coordinator, Steve] Wilks said is last night, 'you guys don't know how good you truly can be.' We see the talent in the room and what our potential is but it's about doing it week in and week out. To do it this game and on this stage against a really good football team, it really means a lot."

Do you think of yourself in that light as being capable of winning NFL Defensive Player of the Year?

"Yeah, if they put me in the conversation, great. To me I know what I have to contribute to this team. I know the caliber player I am and I don't need anyone else's recognition or people to tell me how great I am. I want to be the best person I can be and the best player I can be for my teammates and for this team. We know what we have ahead of us and the goals we've set out for ourselves. All the other stuff will take care of itself when you're doing things the right way day in and day out. I'm just really grateful for this moment, seriously."

At that point, did you think you were going to dominate the game and was it becoming frustrating for them offensively?

"As soon as the offense went down on that first drive and scored, I knew we got them. The way they're operating right now is unbelievable. I've been a part of a lot of good teams since I've been here but the way the offense is playing is unlike anything I've seen. That right there lets me know as long as the defense is doing our job, we're always going to have a chance."

Cowboys Head Coach Mike McCarthy

How do you explain what happened out there today and what was the message to your team afterwards?

"Well, explanation, it was a very humbling loss. Clearly stating the obvious. I just had a quick reflection on the five games that we played in. It's been a wide range of performance: as wide as a range that I could ever recall in a five-week period. The biggest thing is for us to be accountable. It was clearly humbling, but it is one game. I think I expressed the story earlier in the week. I thought [the San Francisco 49ers] were playing very well coming into this. I knew our defense was in for a big challenge. I've been very impressed with they were doing on offense, and I start with me. I didn't do a good job tonight, so I wish we would've gotten balance earlier in the game. That did not happen, when you don't convert third downs. You come out at halftime, put the drive together and then obviously a lot of things went wrong after that. It clearly just shows where we are as a team. We're 2-3. Our consistency, even when we played really well and did some things when you look at the three games that were won by a big margin, and then the Arizona game where the pre-snap penalties and that showed up again tonight. We got work to do. We have a lot of work to do and we got a game in eight days. We'll spend Wednesday, we'll spend a lot of time on this one, and then we'll move on to the [Los Angeles] Chargers."

We talked during the week about what a win could mean, how it could boost your confidence, just a shot in the arm based on some of the things you did in the offseason. A loss like this, how demoralizing can it be?

"I think it's a punch in the gut. It's a kick in the ass. Whatever phrase you want to put on it. You look at how the season's gone. We've been knocked down. Clearly, they beat us in all three phases. I think we will clearly acknowledge it, and I'm not a 'burn the tape' guy. We're not going to do that. We're going to go through it, make sure we're clear on exactly what the expectations are, and make sure we're giving our players what they need to be successful. [San Francisco] played extremely well and we did not. I thought we had taken a step as a team. I didn't see this coming. I thought their prep was good this week. I thought we had one of our better Fridays and Saturdays of the year. I think, like we've talked about before, sometimes you have a great week of preparation and it doesn't go so well, and some weeks it's not the best week of preparation you play well. We did not hit the mark at all today."

Your thoughts on Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott's performance?

"Me, everyone, I don't foresee a whole lot of winning grades coming out of this performance. I think the most important thing for all of us is to just be accountable. Be accountable for what you did tonight and how you played. We have to clean our own house up. We've got a couple things going on here. Pre-snap penalties again in the first half. You can't win like that. You have to take care of the football. We've been doing a good job taking care of the ball. Didn't do that tonight. Those are the basics that I'm talking about."

Did you get any update on Dallas Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch's injury?

"They are still looking at him."

Is it similar to what he had last year?

"I'm not going to comment on it."

Prescott's first interception, the deep ball to Dallas Cowboys WR Brandin Cooks. Was Dak getting greedy there?

"It was a shot play. Obviously, we had a protection. [Prescott] had to adjust his feet, and I think it definitely affected the throw. But it was something we were trying to get to earlier in the first half."

Your defense had given up 10 points per game, best in the NFL. What do you think that San Francisco did offensively tonight that gave you guys fits?

"I thought they played at a high level. It starts with the run and things that come off of that. I think they do an excellent job with the motions and the double shifts and motions. I thought QB Brock [Purdy] played extremely well. I thought he made some big-time throws tonight."

Going back offensively, you were talking before, like the Arizona game, where it's just tough to get a rhythm. It was kind of start and stop. Did you feel this team ever had a rhythm tonight? Ever got to what you wanted to do?

"I don't look at this game anything like the Arizona game. The Arizona game, we went up and down the field. We just didn't put it in the end zone. Not converting on the third downs. We had manageable third downs in the first half. We didn't convert. That was probably our biggest negative in the first half. And I didn't like the balance of run and pass. That's not the way we need to play."

Defensively, two of the touchdowns early were due to penalties. The offsides on Dallas Cowboys S Jayron Kearse and you had the helmet hit from Dallas Cowboys S Donovan Wilson. You have [San Francisco] off the field, and on third down you gave them a first down and they end up scoring.

"Yeah, that's exactly what I'm referring to with the pre-snap penalties. It hurt us in the first half clearly. My understanding on Donovan's penalty was that the comment was made that he stood over him. That's what the penalty was. To me, it looked like he hit him with his shoulder. That was the communication on the sideline from the referee."

So he got a taunting, not a personal foul?

"That's what I was told on the sidelines."

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott

How demoralizing is a loss like that?

"Yeah, I guess that's a good word in a sense. [We] didn't see it coming. As you said, we put everything into this and got punched in the mouth. I called it a couple of weeks ago humbling against Arizona but this may be the most humbling game I've ever been a part of. Felt good about the preparation, felt good about everything, honestly, coming into this game, matchups too, and they beat us in every aspect."

Did you feel like you had opportunities to make plays and just didn't?

"I've obviously got to look at it, but [we] had the one drive and other than that, yeah, I mean, we didn't get anything going is just the initial thought of what I can think of. Whether it be the run game, action, whatever, we didn't get any momentum ever other than that one drive and it was the only success of the night."

How do you close this gap between you guys and the 49ers?

"Over the rest of the season. Obviously they're further ahead than us right now. We've got to close that gap and be ready, as you said, to get to where we want to get. We know we're going to have to go through this team and most likely come back through this place."

How much do you feel that today's loss was on you guys as opposed to how much of it was the 49ers?

"We got to give them credit. A team like that with a powerful, powerful offense and a disciplined defense. When you start out with two three-and-out drives, a turnover on the first three possessions and give them opportunities after opportunities, it's always going to be tough. I guess to speak on what [Cowboys LB] Micah [Parsons] is saying is, yeah, there's a lot of self-inflicted things. We can't do that in a game like this against a team like this. That's part of being far off and that's part of closing the gap and getting better."

What is the identity of this offense right now?

"I think when we've established a rhythm that's kind of been, I don't want to say obvious, but something to lean on with our tempo. Changing up the personnel, putting pressure on the other team, but it starts with getting one first down. As I said, when you go three-and-out on the first two drives and then have a turnover, it's tough. It's tough to overcome. You feel like you're stepping on your own feet. But when you get a first down as we did, what, I guess in the fourth possession? Things got better. You look at the rest of the game, it was either three-and-outs or the turnover spree that I started."

A win can get a team's confidence boosted, but can it go the other way?

"Obviously we're not playing this team next week. If we want to get to where we want to go then we we're going have to play them again. But it's new opponent next week. It's the NFL, it's tough. You've got to move on fast or it'll do exactly that and landslide, I guess, if you're saying to go the opposite way. We sure didn't come in here and get the confidence that we're trying to grab leaving this game. You've got to turn the page and you got to turn the page quick. Put your best foot forward coming back Wednesday at practice, or we'll be humbled again and on the back end of something like this come Monday."

On the first interception, were you trying to get it all back at one time? Trying to be greedy?

"Sure, sure."

Why do you feel the execution or whatever it may have been just wasn't there tonight?

"We didn't establish the rhythm. As I said, we couldn't get the run game going. [We] didn't get the run game going. It was tough to get completions and when that's the case and you're not getting first downs or putting yourself in third and manageable or in the position that we'd like to be in, it's always going to be tough. As I said, it's a tough business. When you're stepping on your own feet, not getting the rhythm, you're only making it harder and against a team like that, it's near impossible."

How do you as a leader and face for this franchise make sure you rally the troops and get everyone back on the track?

"I know the guys and the men that we have. So I don't want to say that's going to be easy necessarily, but we obviously know what we've got to do. We know how we've got to approach it. We know what's going to come from this outside of our building. It's about really locking arms. Something that we've always hung our hat on is our culture and our brotherhood within the locker room. Now more than ever, we're going to be tested on that. We're going to be tested on what that really means, how well we can really stick together, how much we believe in each other. I have no doubt that we're going to do exactly that and show our camaraderie in everything that we've worked on this offseason, everything that we've built to be the group that we are. But this one's tough."

What do you think you'll learn after when you watch this again?

"I'll let you know once I watch it."

What does Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch he mean to this team?

"Obviously thoughts and prayers and hoping for the best for, for whatever it is. With Leighton, understanding he's had previous [injury] history, he's a leader. He's a guy that does everything right. A guy that a young guy can come in and follow immediately. Loves the game. You can see it with the passion that he plays with, the passion that he practices with. Like I said, just thoughts and prayers for him and hope everything can be smooth."

What ended up happening now with your throwing finger?

"I was just stepped on at one point, but that didn't alter anything honestly. It was before the touchdown, so it's part of football."

Cowboys TE Jake Ferguson

Maybe the gap isn't as large as the score tonight, or maybe it is, I'm not sure how you view that, but how do you close the gap with this team? You guys are going to have to go through them again at some point.

"Exactly, I think it starts with this week, it starts tomorrow. You have to jump back on the horse because it's going to keep bucking. I think all we can do is come back next week, execute every single day with whatever we're doing, whether it's on the field, in the meeting room, even off the field. We just have to be clicking on all cylinders and get back to playing our game."

Are guys embarrassed by this score here?

"It's never easy, I'll tell you that. It's never easy losing, never easy losing by this much. But, like I said, you have to hop back on the horse and get after it next week."

Dallas Cowboys LB Micah Parsons was just saying that there's no such thing as losing, that you learn something, especially from games like this. What do you guys think you learned?

"Yeah, definitely. I think we learned that it's always going to be a fight. We knew that coming into this week, that it was going to be a dog fight. I think we just have to learn from this, like he [Dallas Cowboys LB Micah Parsons] said, and come back this next week, every single day, whatever we're doing on the field, off the field, meeting rooms, things like that. We just have to be locked in and get back there playing our game. "

Cowboys CB Stephon Gilmore

What was it about their scheme and it seemed like they were always a step ahead. How did they have you guys so off-balance?

"They [the 49ers] got a good scheme and we didn't play to the best of our abilities."

You are one of the guys that was brought in this offseason to be better for this team. You're one of those upgrades that this roster. Where is this team right now after a loss like the psychologically? Where are you guys right now?

"It was one game. They [the 49ers] beat us pretty bad. Like I said before, we got to watch film, get better. You know, it's back to square one again."

Cowboys WR Ceedee Lamb

How concerned are you about where this offense is right now?

"They beat us. They did all what they needed to do. They performed well to buy it out today."

To have the game go this way, what does that do to the psyche of this football team?

"We need to go out there and finish out. We've got 12 other games to compete in. We got blown out tonight."

How'd it get away from you guys tonight?

"I wish I could tell you. I wish I could tell you."

Is there anything that you've learned about this offense?

"We have to compete. You can't go out there one week and look like a super team and then the following week poop the bed."

Cowboys CB Jourdan Lewis

Now that this game is over, how do you see it?

"We just didn't play to our standards that's it. We made mistakes and they capitalized on it. You can't do that with a good team. That's about it. That's all that I can say about it. I know that we still have a good football team, we just didn't play up to our standard. We will snap back next week."

What is the message in the locker room this week as far as bouncing back?

"Play to our standard. That is it. We have to put this behind us. This game has been played and we didn't play up to our standard or the way that we know that we can. We can't give up big plays."

Are you guys embarrassed after this big loss?

"You're always embarrassed when you don't get to play up to your standard. We didn't go out there and execute the way that we were supposed to. A good team is going to do that to you."

Does it make it that much more frustrating because it was to a rival?

"Yes. Honestly, we came in and felt really prepared and they just executed better than us tonight."

Cowboys RB Tony Pollard

How surprising is this loss?

"We lost, the better team won today."

When you look at the fumble early on, did LB Fred Warner come from your blindside and you didn't see him?

"No, he just made a play."

How do you bounce back from something like this?

"Get back to work. Go back to the lab. You have to prepare. You have to get ready and brush it off. We'll see this team again so we have to lock in for the next one."

Cowboys G/T Tyler Smith

There's a belief, and I think it's an accurate one, that if you guys want to accomplish what you want to accomplish this year, it's going to go through these guys' plays tonight. It seems like there's a gap there that exists after tonight. How do you close that?

"I mean, it's all about us. That's my belief. When it comes to winning a division, they [the 49ers] may stand in the way or it could be somebody else. But everything that we do, all the success that we'll have in the future is going to be dictated by what we do. Every week, every day, every practice, every meeting. So, it's all about us.That's really what this is going to boil down to. It's how we respond. So that's how I think. That's what I think is going to get us over the hump: Us."

Tyler, I know in the first quarter it seemed it was a little tough trying to get going. Was it something that they were doing or was it a little bit self-inflicted?

"I think there was definitely some self-inflicted wounds there. I feel like we just have to be tighter on the fundamentals. I felt like we missed a lot of opportunities in the first quarter, and we just have to capitalize. As you saw in the first half, every drive matters. We know that, and they know that. Now you know, from here, we just have to go back to the drawing board, understand what we need to improve on, what we need to tighten up. We just have to attack it. We have to take advantage of every possession we have. We have to do what we do best and we know what to do best."
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