There was never a shortage of sound bites from the Dallas Cowboys this season.
From the “no comment” postgame locker room interview with Greg Hardy, to owner Jerry Jones’ “no debate” opinion on Tony Romo, to Dez Bryant’s “dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty” description of the media, the Cowboys had a lot to say.
Dallas finished the season 4-12.
Hardy had a straight-talk summation of the season.
“The season sucked. That’s the whole statement on that one — the season sucked. There was not enough wins. You’ve got to win to be relevant, so we didn’t win enough. I’m not a fan of being not relevant, especially when my man [Jerry Jones] took a nice chance on me.
“I would love to repay that debt with a million sacks and a ton of wins. We couldn’t, so I would say it was very mal — for my Spanish fans — mucho mal.”
Mucho mal translates to “very bad.”
Here’s how the season played out in quotes:
“Your final grade is your record. It’s impossible to grade the off-season when you’re trying to make your team better. I think we accomplished our goal. It’s like a draft class. At the end of the day, it’s how they perform over the next two or three years.” — Executive vice president Stephen Jones, addressing the team’s off-season moves on opening day of training camp in July.
“We’re not having to sit here and talk to guys about how it was in 1990. These guys saw what hard work and this type of situation will do. That certainly has a chance to happen this year.” — Jerry Jones, on his optimistic view of the season on opening day of training camp in July.
“He wasn’t going to back down; I wasn’t going to back down. At the end of the day, you’ve seen us. We shook hands, we hugged, we respect one another.” — Bryant, on his fight with cornerback Tyler Patmon in training camp on Aug. 6.
“If we had a group of guys like Darren Woodson, we’d have a hell of a football team.” — Coach Jason Garrett, after the team announced on Aug. 4 that Woodson would become the 21st member of the Ring of Honor.
“A couple have learned my name now. I feel like that’s a good thing. But I will always be a rookie until I can surpass that. It’s something I’ve gotten used to.” — Rookie running back Gus Johnson of Stephen F. Austin State, on getting extensive reps in practice heading into the team’s first preseason game. Johnson spent time on the practice squad and is now with Atlanta.
“It is home. I will say that. But I will never forget where I came from. It made me who I am today. Being from New Orleans for a certain part of my life, and now Texas, has made me a better person and has made me realize a lot of things that I wouldn’t have, because without Hurricane Katrina, I probably never would have left New Orleans.” — Running back Lance Dunbar, recalling on Oct. 2 his evacuation from his hometown of New Orleans because of Hurricane Katrina. He tore his anterior cruciate ligament against the Saints and was lost for the season.
“You can’t really replace Dez Bryant. There aren’t Dez Bryants waiting out there on the street. He’s a special guy. He’s a unique guy, and we’re going to miss him.” — Garrett on Sept. 14, on replacing Dez Bryant, who broke a bone in his right foot against the New York Giants.
“I felt it. It had a little bit of a pop to it.” — Romo on Sept. 20, on breaking his left clavicle in the third quarter against Philadelphia.
“We’re both sick. Broke his heart. Broke my heart.” — Jerry Jones on Sept. 20, on Romo breaking his left collarbone against Philadelphia.
“No comment. Next question. No comment. Next question. No comment. Next question. Any other questions? No comment. Next question. Any other questions? No comment. Any other questions? No comment. Any other questions? No comment. Any other questions? Thank you guys for coming. I appreciate you guys very much.” — Hardy on Oct. 20, during his postgame media session about his in-game sideline tantrum with teammates and special teams coach Rich Bisaccia in the Cowboys’ 27-20 loss to the New York Giants.
“It would be in the best interest of the entire team. There’s no individual that is above … the common interest of the team. That team as a group has a tremendous pride and hope for the future, so anything we make a decision on [with] a player either enhances that or we make it the other way.” — Jerry Jones on Nov. 3, on releasing running back Joseph Randle
“They are dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty. They are all dirty, Coach, especially him [Sports Illustrated reporter Robert Klemko].” — Bryant on Nov. 12, yelling to Jason Garrett during his tirade against the media in the team’s locker room.
“This is not a damn debate, guys. This is not a debate we’re having here. You do know that I don’t know if he’s got four or five years. You asked me my opinion. I can give you all the reasons why or I can give any other kind of injuries that are there. You’re asking me what I think, and I think we’ve got an outstanding quarterback ahead of us for the next four or five years.” — Jerry Jones during a Dec. 1 interview on his weekly 105.3 The Fan radio show, on injured Tony Romo having four or five more good seasons ahead.
“I don’t look at any writing, really. Like, I can’t read. Wonderful education at a private school went completely to waste. We just put up blinders, man. Put them up here and you’ve got to keep going straight. That’s the only way to the rest of the season to keep the mindset in this kind of situation, this circumstance.” — Hardy on Dec. 13, on the Cowboys falling to 4-9 after a 28-7 loss at Green Bay and whether the writing is on the wall for their bleak playoff chances.
“He knows that if it is a sideline that those cameras are zeroed in on him. You see very few redheads that aren’t about to blow up inside when somebody is not doing right. And he will bite. You know the old adage: ‘I’ve seen him bite as a puppy, and if he’ll do that, they’ll bite as a dog.’ He’ll bite.” — Jerry Jones on Dec. 22, explaining Jason Garrett’s calm demeanor on the sideline and in news conferences during a losing season.
“It’s a game of inches, and if a few of those balls go his way, then it’s the difference in us walking away with a win.” — Stephen Jones, on quarterback Kellen Moore’s first NFL start in a 16-6 loss at Buffalo.
“We’re short fundamentally. We’re short in execution. We’re short in many ways we shouldn’t be, not just at quarterback.” — Jerry Jones on Jan. 3, after the season-ending loss against Washington to finish 4-12.