Let’s talk about it.
A lot was said about the Dallas Cowboys and by them during a surprising 2014 season that ended in the playoffs.
Even owner Jerry Jones, who was named NFL Executive of the Year by the Pro Football Writers Association this week, had some doubts before the season started.
Here’s a quick review of some notable quotes:
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“You know we have an uphill battle this year, and we do have an uphill battle. But most of you had an uphill battle when you came to camp. Most of you did. And some of you have absolutely rose to the occasion. Some of you are taking the challenge on.” Owner Jerry Jones, at the Kickoff Luncheon in July.
“This bunch and everybody in this organization knows that we’ve got our backs against the wall. Individuals on this team individually have their backs against the wall.” Owner Jerry Jones, at the Kickoff Luncheon in July.
“I feel personally like I’ve just started to come into the player that I wanted to be six, seven years ago. I think — and I’ve said it before — but I think over the course of the next four or five years, you’ll see the best version of me that I’ve had throughout my career. That’s for a lot of different reasons. But I really believe that, and I believe that will show as we go forward. So I’m excited about that. As my body continues to get healthier and healthier, it’s going to be better.” Quarterback Tony Romo, after the first training camp practice in Oxnard, Calif., in July.
“Over the past three years, the Cowboys organization and Jones family have helped me through trying times, and I felt this was my opportunity to return the gratitude. I am beyond grateful for the Cowboys’ staff, my teammates, and the fans, and wanted to ensure I was locked in as a “Cowboy for Life.” Pro Bowl offensive lineman Tyron Smith, after getting an eight-year contract extension in July, worth $97.6 million, making him the league’s highest paid offensive tackle with an average of $12.2 million a year. Add in the final two years of his rookie deal and Smith’s package is worth $109.7 million, including a $10 million signing bonus and $40 million in guaranteed money.
“I was a little bit surprised by the number of Houston fans. Today we played on the road. We had to go to a silent count, and that was the first time I had to do that throughout the game at home. We need to do a better job as a team, as a fan base, to make sure how big of a difference playing at home is. I think going forward I’m going to press the issue. We just need to tighten up on selling our tickets.” Quarterback Tony Romo, on the Houston Texans fans who flooded the $29 Party Pass Plaza areas on each end of AT&T Stadium. Dallas won in overtime 20-17.
“We talk about supporting a person in his life often times when you have something, an opportunity like playing pro football, often times getting a guy back in that environment is what’s best for him, whatever that field of endeavor is. If you’ve gone through some very difficult, tragic situations in your life, you want to get as much normalcy back in your life as possible. I know how important it is for Josh to get back playing football, and by all accounts, he’s working very hard to do that.” Coach Jason Garrett, on Josh Brent being conditionally reinstated to the team by the NFL in September.
“It was special. I have so much respect for this position and all the receivers who have played in this organization. But to join Tony Gonzalez, he’s the best to ever do it, and to get over 10,000 yards is a huge honor. I’m thankful for a lot of good players along the way to make that happen for me. Hopefully, there’s a lot more.” Tight end Jason Witten, after a game against Houston in which he became only the third tight end in NFL history with 10,000 yards receiving.
“I never thought that would happen. I guess God has a plan for everything.” Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted in the NFL when he was taken by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the 2014 draft, on being signed to the Cowboys’ practice squad on Sept. 3. He was released seven weeks later.
“You feel like you dodged one. He just caught me pretty good. It felt like some knee or elbow that hit me perfectly. It was a direct shot.” Quarterback Tony Romo, on a third-quarter sack by Washington linebacker Keenan Robinson that briefly knocked him out of the Oct. 27 Monday night game. It was later diagnosed as two transverse process fractures in his back. The Cowboys lost in overtime and Romo missed the next game against Arizona.
“Probably one of greatest running backs ever to play this game. I have a lot of respect for what he’s done. In no way am I trying to say I’m at his level, by any means. I’ve got lot of respect for him. He’s a great guy. He’s a great activist in the community. Just a great player and a great person. But I’m not in that category at all.” Running back DeMarco Murray, on breaking Jim Brown’s NFL record for most 100-yard games to start a season (seven) in the Cowboys’ 31-21 win over the New York Giants.
“I walked in and I seen a little kid throwing up the X. That made me feel real good. I’m like, ‘Yeah, we’re going nationwide, baby. That’s what I’m talking about.’” Wide receiver Dez Bryant, after some kids at London’s Wembley Stadium for an NFL Play 60 event surprised him by singing happy birthday and throwing up his signature X gesture.
“I felt myself at a place where I had to just leave the facility at that moment. I felt like if I stayed, who knows what would have happened? I felt like the best thing for me was to leave.” Cornerback Morris Claiborne, on why he left Valley Ranch and missed a position meeting and film study after being demoted in favor of Orlando Scandrick after the St. Louis game. A few days later, Claiborne tore his patella tendon against New Orleans and missed the rest of the season.
“It’s the biggest mistake I’ve ever made in my life. I’ve never gotten in any kind of trouble in my whole life. This is just something I’ll have to learn from and move forward.” Running back Joseph Randle, after being arrested for shoplifting Polo underwear and a tester bottle of Gucci Guilty Black cologne, worth approximately $123, at a Dillard’s department store in Frisco.
“It’s all about respect. I am a very loyal person, but just don’t test my loyalty.” Dez Bryant, on midseason contract talks.
“This team works as hard as any team that I’ve ever been associated with in football or in anything else. They’ve gotten what they deserve. Now fans have finally gotten what they deserve, and that is a shot at the big prize.” Owner Jerry Jones, on the Cowboys winning the NFC East and qualifying for the playoffs.
“Statistics are just something that are part of the game, but we are all about winning and losing. At the same time, it is always an honor any time you are just mentioned with [Troy] Aikman or [Roger] Staubach or [Danny] White. It is just a fraternity of quarterbacks that is special to be a part of and I am just glad to be a part of that group.” Quarterback Tony Romo, on becoming the team’s all-time passing yardage leader after a 218-yard effort against Indianapolis raised his total to 32,971, eclipsing Aikman’s total of 32,942.
“We understand the implication of playing guys and the risk of injury. We get all that. Our job was to control what we can control. There’s no meaningless standard or meaningless plays ... I believe we got better today.” Coach Jason Garrett, on playing his starters in a 44-17 rout of Washington in the regular-season finale with a playoff berth already secured.
“Records are meant to be broken and I’m sure this one will broken sometime soon, whoever else comes along. That’s what they’re for and you’ve got to cherish the moment and move on and really know what’s important and that’s obviously winning games.” DeMarco Murray after breaking Emmitt Smith’s single-season rushing record in the final game of the season at Washington. Bryant finished the season with an NFL-leading 1,845 yards.
“I’ve never been in a dressing room or around a group of guys that have shown more heart. I’ve never been so proud not only for the guys in here, but for the fans. It was like a dream come true to see those stands full with all those Cowboys fans. They were just as loud as you could be. They played a big part there at the end of the ballgame. You could really see the intimidation with the crowd. That was a home-field win.” Owner Jerry Jones, after the Cowboys beat Detroit 24-20 in a wild-card playoff game at AT&T Stadium.
“They didn’t call it, so I’m just going by what was the call on the field. They get paid to do their jobs, so that’s that.” Linebacker Anthony Hitchens, on why the refs picked up a flag on a controversial fourth-quarter pass interference call on Hitchens’ coverage of Brandon Pettigrew. The Cowboys beat Detroit 24-20 in a wild-card playoff game at AT&T Stadium.
“There’s four teams playing in the NFC and there’s four teams playing in the AFC, so to be among those final eight is something that we feel good about. But not a sense of relief. Challenges are ahead and we’re excited about being a part of them.” Coach Jason Garrett, after the Cowboys beat Detroit 24-20 in a wild-card playoff game at AT&T Stadium.
“I didn’t even understand why it was even a challenge. I took three steps. You seen that right? I caught it. I came down with it and tried to reach for the goal line. Clearly, it’s a catch. There’s no question, man.” Wide receiver Dez Bryant, on his crucial 31-yard, fourth-down catch late in the fourth quarter that was reversed to an incompletion in the Cowboys’ 26-21 NFC Divisional loss at Green Bay.
“Let me make it really clear: This game wasn’t about the officiating. We had 60 minutes with an opportunity to come up here and win a football game, and at the end of the day we didn’t get that job done.” Coach Jason Garrett, on a crucial 31-yard, fourth-down catch by Dez Bryant that was reversed to an incompletion in his team’s 26-21 NFC Divisional playoff loss at Green Bay.
“Green Bay is as dead as Napoleon. It’s gone. All that counts is whatever happened up and through right now, because the bet is on the future, and Jason is a great bet for our organization.” Owner Jerry Jones, at this week’s news conference to announce new contracts for coaches Jason Garrett, Rod Marinelli and Scott Linehan.
“We’re the glitz and glamour of the NFL.” Owner Jerry Jones, while announcing the team’s partnership in August with luxury Swiss watch maker Hublot. The watches range from $18,300 to $25,000 in price.