Dallas Cowboys

Dak reacts to career-high passing yards, three INTs and digging big hole against Packers

Dak Prescott had an historic game on Sunday at AT&T Stadium.

But his career-high 463 yards and two touchdowns on 27 of 44 passing meant little in the wake of the Dallas Cowboys’ 34-24 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

Prescott wasn’t interested in the numbers, except for the final score and his career high-tying three interceptions, even if they weren’t all his fault.

Prescott addressed falling behind 31-3, Amari Cooper’s record-setting day and learning from mistakes makes against the Packers during a lengthy post-game press conference with the media.

Here is an edited portion of his comments via the Cowboys’ transcription service:

On the early deficit:

“When you do that, you put yourself in a hole and you put yourself in a position that, no matter how hard you fight, no matter how many good things you do in the back end, it’s hard to come out of that against a good team like they are. We started out that first drive moving and had the turnover. After that, a couple of more and you put yourself back like that — that’s a good team we’re playing and it’s hard to come all the way back from that and get on top.”

On the lack of a pass interference call on the fourth-quarter interception:

“I think I saw what everyone saw. They got very handsy, mugging. We were pretty sure it was going to get a call, or something was going to come out of that, but it didn’t and we moved on.”

On what stands out about this game, which was his career-high in passing yards:

“I had three interceptions. I don’t care how many yards I had or anything else like that. I had three interceptions and a loss. I don’t care what career high I have. None of that matters. Amari [Cooper] saying that [individual statistics don’t matter in a loss] is an example of a lot of guys in our locker room, a lot of guys on our team who look in the mirror before they point fingers. As long as we have that type of guy on our team, we’re going to be fine, we’re going to keep getting better. We’re going to be able to take things like this on the chin, learn from them and get better because of it, simply because of that reason.”

On where the team stands five weeks into the season:

“We’re a team that has to get better and start faster on offense. We have to play more complementary football than we have these last two weeks. But there’s a lot football to be played, a lot of plays to be made. We’re not shy of making them, we’re not backing down. As I said, we’ll take this one on the chin. We’re going to take the good, take the bad, learn from them and hopefully we’ll look back at this and say it was a turning point or that this was good for us.”

On what he told Amari Cooper after his first quarter drop:

“I could have put the ball two inches in front of him or whatever it is. He’s a great player. Sure, he had that drop but you go back and look at the rest of the game, the plays he’s making, the catches he’s making – catches that are a double move that make two guys miss on the sideline. You tell him to let it go so that he can come back and do exactly what he just did. We have those types of players that we’re not going to sit there and hound on one mistake because we know that they are very prideful in that and that they are going to look in the mirror and blame themselves first before they say, ‘Hey, Dak threw that a little bit behind me.’ So, simply that right there. Tap them on the back and say, ‘Let’s go, you’ll put it behind you,’ as he did.”

On Michael Gallup’s interception

“I think you look around the league, a lot of quarterbacks, when they see something like that, they throw it that way to make sure, ‘Hey, throw that flag there.’ But as I said, it didn’t happen, and you have to move on.”

On what the team needs to do to play a complete, four quarter game:

“We don’t necessarily have to have our backs against the wall to play like we did [in the fourth quarter]. We have to figure out whatever it is, find out the way or whatever it is, to start the game like that. When we find that, it’s going to be dangerous. But until then, that’s the goal and that’s what we have to work to get to.”

On his uncharacteristic careless with the football tonight, resulting in three interceptions:

“We’ve talked about two of them, two of the interceptions. I’d say the second one was definitely my fault. I fit a throw in there that I had no business throwing. I could have just thrown it to the back. But, I pride myself on taking care of the ball so when you get back in the locker room and you have a game like this and you’ve thrown three interceptions, it’s not a good feeling. But I promise you, I’ll get better because of it.”

On the aspects of tonight’s game that he is proud of:

“The way that we fought, the effort that we gave, the way that we played when we had no other choice but to go forward. As I said, we have to figure out how to do that from the beginning. This team is full of fight, full of character and it all showed that we’re not going to give up. We don’t care what the scoreboard is. We’re going to focus in. We care about each other. We’re a bunch of unselfish men that want to see each other succeed. I guarantee I’m not the only one that has this feeling – everyone in that locker room does. We’re going to go home, do whatever it is and when we come in tomorrow, we’ll turn the page and become a better team.”

On Coach Garrett’s unsportsmanlike conduct penalty:

“We’ve got our coach’s back. I don’t want to say too much on that. That’s a guy being passionate about his team, a guy being passionate about a play. I think all I saw was him saying, ‘Hey, here’s the challenge flag and I know that’s a catch.’ A flag comes after that – I just have to be careful what I say.”

On Cooper’s catch that was challenged:

“What a great catch. One of his other brilliant plays later in the game. I didn’t know if he got his second foot in or not but the way he came back, he was signaling that he got it. The way the crowd reacted when they saw the instant replay – that was nothing short of what he always does.”

On losing to two teams with winning records after beating three teams with losing records:

“I can say that, sure we might have sniffed ourselves a little bit too much and that’s why I said we’ll take these last two games – especially this one – and say, ‘Hey, we probably needed that and we’ll get better because of it.’ That’s why I said maybe we’ll look back at this four, five games later, however many games it is and say, ‘That was good for us because we became the team that we are now.’ The men we have in the locker room, there’s no doubt in my mind that that’s what we’ll do.”

On how self-inflicted mistakes have affected the last two games:

“A bunch. We’re not only playing the other team right now. We were playing ourselves the last two games. When you’re doing that, it’s very hard. It’s hard to get things going, it’s hard to get in the groove and it’s hard to come back from a deficit like the one we put ourselves in. As I said, we’ll figure out how not to do that and get out of our own way and be successful early. That will turn into some wins as we get going.”

On Michael Gallup’s development:

“He’s got my trust, there’s no doubt about that. The look in his eye when I haven’t thrown him the ball yet and we’re talking about things, or after I do throw him the ball and he makes a great catch, like on that slant, his look is like, ‘Hey, come to me.’ That’s a guy that wants the ball. That’s a guy that wants to make plays. That’s a guy that wants to help this team win in any form or fashion that he can. That’s like a bunch of guys that we have on this team. As I always say, I’m proud to be the quarterback of this team. I have no doubt in my mind of what we’re going to do moving forward.”

On if Gallup asks him for more targets:

“I’ve got a good feel on reading people. He doesn’t have to say much, I can see it. As I said, once you throw it to him and he gets that first catch, that look he gives you kind of says it, ‘Hey I’m ready. Let’s go.’ That’s all of our guys.”

On the thin depth at offensive line:

“We didn’t tell Zeke [Ezekiel Elliott] or the tight end to stay in more to help these guys out. It was nothing like that. I trust in those guys and obviously we have to go back and look at the film, but they fought their tails off just like everyone else did and did what they had to do.”

On if the team got high on themselves after the first three wins of the season:

“I don’t think this team necessarily listens to the media. If we did, we’d be in trouble and we would have been in trouble a long time ago. So, it’s definitely not that. I’d just say the early success we had, the way we were doing things on offense, the way the defense was shutting teams down – that was just that. We know we’re a good team and I’m not taking anything away or saying we’re not. We know we’re a really good team and we’re confident in the players we have. We’re confident in what we can do. But sometimes you have to know that it’s the work that gets the wins. It’s not the talent, it’s not the camaraderie. It’s the work. It’s how you come to work each and every day, disciplined, detailed. That turns into wins. We’ll do that.”

On if he relates to the saying, ‘winning is never as good as it looks, losing is never as bad as it looks’

“I sure hope so. I haven’t watched the film so I can’t second you on that but I sure hope so.”

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Stefan Stevenson has been covering sports for the Star-Telegram since 1997. He spent five years covering TCU athletics, which included two BCS bowls, two trips to the college World Series and the move to the Big 12. He has covered the Texas Rangers since 2014 and started reporting on the Dallas Cowboys in 2016.