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Quotes: Jay Gruden (11-25-2016)

*Head Coach Jay Gruden   *

On injury update specifically with TE Jordan Reed:

* *"Yes, he's going to get a MRI today and then we'll know more about it tomorrow… I guess or today, this afternoon."

On level of concern with Jordan Reed's injury:

"Well, we're…You know, we're sure it's a….the severity of it, we don't know and it's an AC joint separation but we're going to get the severity of it after the MRI and all the tests and all that good stuff. There is something there that we have to deal with."

On the team's playoff position:

"Yeah, we…You know we're not in a spot we want to be obviously in relation to our division but when you're looking at the big picture you know the object is to get in the playoffs, get into the dance and right now we're in position but, we still have a lot of work to do. We're not really focused on the playoffs right now, we're just trying to take care of one game at a time and we said that all along and Arizona is a very good team with a great running back, hall of fame wide receiver, a quarterback that's played a lot of plays in his day and a hall-of-fame type corner so that'll be a great match up for us and a great challenge on the road."

On specific areas to work on in the red zone offensively:

"Yeah, there always is. When you break film down and you watch the plays we didn't convert on, there's things we could have done better and maybe called a better play and there's some execution things we need to work on and continue to get better at. There's some opportunities that we could maybe had, the scramble drill that we had a chance at, but overall, there are so many good things we're doing on offense to put a damper on what they're doing offensively with the red zone. It's hard to do, but it's something that is a glaring weakness of this football team right now offensively… if the only weakness that we have. Pass protection has been outstanding. The completion percentage is outstanding. The lack of interceptions and turnovers has been outstanding. We just have struggled in the red zone for whatever reason and defenses have a lot to do with that, execution and play calling, it's all it is."

On taking gambles during the game and having an aggressive mindset:

"Well, if you're talking about the onside kick, you know it's something that we looked at on tape. We thought we had an opportunity there in the way they aligned. We thought we could get it and we thought it was a good time to get it. We just scored to cut it to five, we had some issues stopping them, they were playing at a very high level offensively, with their running game, their play action and their third down conversions and I thought it was a good opportunity to try and steal a possession quite frankly and we had the look we wanted we just didn't execute it. It was kicked a little too hard and you know, the field goal, the 55 yarder or 56 yarder, I know [Dustin] Hopkins' leg, he can make that kick so where do you draw the line? 52, 53, 54, 55, I mean you're talking about a difference of nine feet and I know he has plenty of leg to get, he had plenty of distance, he just pushed it to the right but I think my mind set is gonna not change. I think we're gonna be aggressive in all phases of the game. If we see a look that we like we gotta call it, we're not end the game and say 'dang, I wish I would've tried an onside kick or I wish I would've tried the field goal. If I feel like our players can execute, make the plays, I'm gonna give them opportunities too."

On the Cowboys slowing down the run game:

"I think they did a good job. They had great movement upfront; we didn't handle their movement very good. They were stunting and pirating and all of that stuff, we didn't handle it very well. Robert [Kelley] ran it extremely hard, I mean he ran hard and his stats do him injustice for as hard as he ran so I'm happy the way he ran the ball. We were having success through the air, in the second half we were down by a couple scores and we felt like through the air was the way to try and make up some chunks of yards and get back in the game which we did. Unfortunately, we couldn't get the stops when we needed them and it didn't work out but we're not gonna abandon the running game, just yesterday was just more of a pass attack game because of the situation that we were in."

On missing opportunities in the red zone:

"Yeah, we're close on all of them. You know, really. We had a couple poorly executed plays in the running game, we mistargeted a run, the linebacker ran right through the gap and almost decapitated Robert and then we had the wildcat play where we snapped it, we mistargeted that one and missed their player right off the edge. It's the same run whether we handed it to him or just snapped it to him so we thought we would just get the quarterback out of there and try to loosen up the box a little bit and then some of the passes, they covered the one he scrambled out and threw it to Jordan Reed in the back of the end zone where he got injured, they covered that extremely well. They dropped eight and played two deep, not a lot of holes in there but I know we had a fade opportunity that we didn't throw, we threw the quick stick route to Jamison [Crowder], so we had some opportunities there we just didn't take advantage of them but we'll just keep working on them."

On if there was anything that could have been done differently at the end of the first half:

"I don't know what I could have done differently there. We had one time out left that was all. We completed a second-and-10 I think it was, to get down to the two. I was not going to leave the half without points. It was 17-3 at the time; I was worst case, going to get out of there, 17-6, knowing that we get the ball back to start the third quarter. So, I had only one timeout left, so I let the clock run down to about 10 or 11 seconds in case we had a defensive holding call on third down we would have another shot or two. And then on third-and-2 we chose to throw the stick route to Jamison [Crowder] when we had a chance for the outside fade – DeSean [Jackson] got held and we ended up kicking the field goal. So I don't know, we wouldn't have gotten more plays, I just didn't have enough timeouts."

On the importance of having WR DeSean Jackson healthy at a high level:

"It's very important. He's a very important part of this offense. I've said all along, sometimes his stats will be three or four catches a game, but his four catches will be for over 100 yards. He does a great job with the big play and sometimes he forces people to put a safety over the top of him, which is great for Jordan [Reed], and great for Jamison [Crowder], and great for the halfback when they catch their ball. He's somebody that the defense has to be aware of because he can strike at any time throughout the game. He makes our offense that much better. When we can hit a big play or two throughout the game, it changes momentum and does wonders for the rest of the game for us."

On if it was frustrating for the defense not getting stops:

"Yeah, you know, it was frustrating. We had some opportunities on third down – and credit their staff over there and credit Dak Prescott -- he made some plays on third down that were outstanding, buying time. We just couldn't wrap him up; we couldn't get him on the grass. There was a couple times where [Ryan] Kerrigan had a shot at him, Ricky [Jean Francois] had a shot at him and we just couldn't get him down. He just bought time, and Dez [Bryant] made a play. Obviously they had other guys that made plays for them, but Dak was really the guy who kept plays alive. He scrambled for a first down and we had the personal foul in a key situation. [He] scrambled out and hit Dez on third down. It's frustrating, but sometimes you have to credit the guy who is making the play and that was Dak."

On the timeout that was called prior to the Dustin Hopkins missed field goal attempt:

"You know, what happened there it was unfortunate because Brandon [Scherff] hurt his ankle [and] he's on our field goal team and on the play before the field goal he hurt his ankle. So we only had 10 guys on the field. We didn't know that he was hurt and he's typically on our field goal team. So we ran Morgan [Moses] out there last second – I think it was going to be a delay of game and I took the timeout there. I probably should have just let the delay of game go off and save the timeout, but instead I took the timeout, I wanted to keep it right there. That's the reason why. Then, I thought he made the kick. I watched it on my end zone copy here, I thought it was good, but they called it no good."

On if any other players outside of Jordan Reed are getting any other medical exams:

"I think they're going to be OK, they're just going to be sore. There's nothing major with those guys, they're just going to be a matter of how they recover from their sprains."

On QB Kirk Cousins' performance in the past two games:

"I can't say enough about how good he has played. To go 41-for-51, I think it was, for 430 yards and three touchdowns, no picks, and no sacks, and then last week on Sunday Night to put up the performance that he did. And then not really getting any practice reps against the Cowboys defense throughout the week and go out and do that, that's really unheard of in a short week against a good team on the road. He's playing at a very, very high level and we're obviously excited to have him as our quarterback right now. He just has to keep it up; he just has to keep it up. We're going to continue to push pedal to the metal, continue to work on the red-zone issues we have as a team, and get better."

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