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What the 49ers, Cowboys Said after Week 4

The San Francisco 49ers dropped to 1-3 after a 24-17 home loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

Go inside the locker room and press conference areas to find out what the 49ers and Cowboys said after Week 4. Read up on the most telling quotes of the night, courtesy of the 49ers communications department.

49ers coach Chip Kelly

Do you have any preliminary word on LB NaVorro Bowman's injury?
"I haven't got anything. Sorry. I literally just finished with the team and just walked in here, so I'll go see [49ers vice president of football operations Jeff Ferguson] Ferg right after this. But, I did not get anything."


The way you guys started offensively, converting third downs then kind of fell back into what plagued you guys in Seattle. What do you--?**
"I don't look at this like Seattle. I thought we did a really good job early on the two opening drives and then just did sustain. We had two other drives in the first half. I think we only had four in the first half. So, we didn't stay on the field like we wanted too. Those are the things you have to clean up to be consistent. I thought early on we did a nice job. Then we came out the first drive of the second half and did a nice job moving the ball down the field, kind of stalled in the red zone and then ended up with a field goal. Against a team like this, we've got to do a better job on the offensive side."

On the (Blaine Gabbert) interception, it seemed like the quarterback, receiver weren't on the same page on that?
"No, I think we were trying to throw a post route over the top. We ran two deep routes and the first route the free safety jumped the first route. So, go to the second post over the top. I don't know, I was looking at the route, it looked like it was under thrown but I don't know if [QB] Blaine [Gabbert] got caught up in the pocket, because usually he throws that ball. He's got a very strong arm. He was just throwing a post down the middle of the field."

I know you never want to focus on one person individually, but do you have to start looking at Blaine Gabbert as the starting quarterback?
"No, I thought Blaine played well today to be honest with you. Besides that one throw and again I have to see the film. I don't know if he had a chance to step up in the pocket and make the throw, but besides that I thought Blaine played a good game."

49ers QB Blaine Gabbert

You got off to a really hot start in the first quarter. How did it just cool off after that?
"Yeah. We started fast like we wanted to all week. Got the run game going. Got some passes in there. Jumped up to 14-0 and just stalled there a little bit. We got to watch the film to really see the reasons why. But, when we have momentum like that, when we're clicking on all cylinders, we can't have errors on our side of the ball that prevent us from executing up and down the football field."

What happened on the deep ball to WR Torrey Smith? It looked like he was running--.
"Yeah. That's on me. I go to throw him to the middle of the field. I got to throw him to the hash and I just cut it a little too earlier and just missed him wide."


You kept the ball a lot on those zone-reads. Was that just reading the linebacker or did you feel going into this game, maybe that was--?**
"It was the way they were playing it. It was their defensive scheme for the day. They were trying to gap exchange and play the linebacker over the top with the end crash and you just got to pull it, keep it tight and get as many yards as you can."

This is your guys' third straight loss now. I mean, compared to last year at this point, where is this team?
"We've got a competitive group of guys and the guys in that locker room fought to the end and that's why that locker room is so great. Nobody's giving up. Nobody's pointing fingers. We're all in this together and like I've always said, the beautiful thing about the NFL is you got a game the next week and we just happen to have one on Thursday night. So, we're going to watch this film as quickly as possible and start our preparation on Arizona."Can you take me through the fourth down play? Obviously, the route was short of the first down marker.
"Yeah. We called a play. They were in man coverage and you know, we just got flushed and tried to make a play. Let our guys win and see if we could get the fourth down and we came up a yard short. That's the way it goes. We're three feet short and that's a tough pill to swallow. We were driving there pretty good there on that last drive of the game and they just rallied to the ball."

49ers S Antoine BetheaYou guys did a good job holding them in the first quarter, what happened in the second?
"They got some plays, some drives, and they started running the ball a little bit and that kind of opened some things up for them. That was really the main thing."

You guys have a few injuries, how do you turn things around from here on Thursday night?
"We have no choice. It's the next man up. Injuries are a tough part of this game. It happens to all the teams. We have a game on Thursday so next man up." This defense prides itself on stopping the run, how difficult as a defense to see Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott to get those yards?
"It sucks. Like you said we have to stop the run. That is what it is. We are always looking to make a team one dimensional. Elliott was having a good start of the year. We knew what he was capable of but we just have to do better."

49ers RB Pierre GarçonThe offensive game plan worked very well early on and then it didn't work as well. What was the difference?
"I was slipping a couple times on a couple of runs. I could have done better getting us in third and shorts so we could convert those and keep it moving. I've just got to do better moving my feet and keep running hard."


This offense really struggled on third downs against the Seahawks but came out seven-for-seven today on third downs. Obviously that was a point of emphasis, but what made you so successful on third downs?**
"[49ers QB] Blaine Gabbert. Blaine was on the money today. When he's clicking in the passing game and the receivers are catching the ball it just opens everything up for us. That's why the run game was clicking also. The offense as a whole just needs to stay on pace and keep getting those third downs and take our time down the field."

How different was this offensive game plan? We saw a lot of five receiver sets with nobody in the backfield. How different was this game plan than the first three?
"I don't really feel it was any different. I just think guys were more fired up. I think guys had that bitter taste in their mouths from losing the two previous games. Guys were eager to get back out there to prove themselves. I don't think it was about the game plan. I think guys were just eager."

The way you guys started, did you feel like you were maybe going to put up 30 with the way it was moving?
"I don't know if we were going to put up 30, but I definitely feel like we could have rushed for more yards. Each week it's something to learn from and grow from so I've got a quick turnaround playing against a divisional opponent so I've got to be ready, and we will be."

49ers WR Jeremy KerleyIt has to be a game that felt for a while that you had control of. Can you put your finger on what went wrong in this game?
"We just have to execute in times where we need to execute. If the defense gives us the ball we have to take it down and score. I've just got to work harder, that's it."

There was one play, on a third down conversion that looked kind of tight with tight coverage on you, maybe that wasn't the best throw. Are you guys still working on the communication with those kinds of things?
"No, that was the best throw. That was the call for that. I just have to come up with it. That's all that is. It's just execution. I have to execute better. That's just how it's got to go."

How about just the way you guys came out. You hit your first seven third downs. Was there something clicking that you could put your finger on early?
"I don't know. We got the looks that we were looking for. We made the plays that we needed to make. Later on, down the stretch, we just have to make sure that we keep the momentum going."

49ers S Eric Reid There were several big plays was there almost a shock in the system to see him go out like that?
"They made some plays. It is the same story line on third down. We got penalties that kept them on the field, which led to points for them. So if we can get off the field on third down, then we give ourselves a better chance to win the game."

Did you feel like there was a shift change after the roughing the passer penalty?
"They scored a touchdown after that. So what can you do."

Are you disappointed with the next series then, that you guys weren't able to stop them and they scored 14 points pretty quick there going into the half?
"Going into the half we have to get off the field. There is no other way to say it. We were in a comfortable position, getting the ball back at halftime. We just have to get off the field and give our offense a better situation to play in." 

How concerned are you with LB NaVorro Bowman's injury?
"It is tough to see anyone go down. We will see what happens and the next guy has to step in and that is what we have to do. That next guy has some big shoes to fill."

49ers CB Rashard Robinson It seemed like you had a pretty solid game with a lot of pass breakups.
"Yes, I felt like I had a pretty solid game. I probably could've helped the defense more, but everybody was communicating which helped me get settled in faster. I felt good about my performance."


What do you think happened after the call against San Francisco 49ers S Jaquiski Tartt? It seemed like that changed things in the game.**
"It was a sudden change. That's the thing about the game of football. We had a good defensive drive going, penalty happens, so that kind of kills the juice a little bit. Stuff happens, but we've just got to keep standing there as a team and look forward."

In terms of the play in the end zone, it looked like a pretty good pass and Dallas Cowboys WR Brice Butler almost had it but you knocked it away.
"Yeah, just using my tools and everything that coach taught us. You knew he had to be doing something to the outside based on how he was lined up. Just playing fundamentals, going out there and attacking the ball, and being aggressive." 

What has this week of prep been like for you?
"I think it's one of my best weeks of practice. I had a lot of vets getting me comfortable with the defense and running with the ones. Running in with the ones, getting acclimated to everything, it was pretty good. I felt good about it."

49ers T Joe StaleyWhat's the team-wide impact of a loss of a player as good as San Francisco 49ers LB NaVorro Bowman?
"It stinks. It's really, really bad. NaVorro is a captain for us, one of our team leaders. We're going to have to have a guy step up. That's a huge role to fill. You can't really replace a guy like NaVorro, but we have to have guys step up and be ready to go." 


The team showed what it's capable of offensively in the first quarter, but couldn't really finish. What do you chalk that up to?**"I don't know really. It's hard for me to sit right here after the game not seeing the whole film and what's going on. I think they came in with a game plan to stop the run and were forcing Blaine to keep it a lot of times on those zone reads. I've got to do a better job of getting up on [Dallas Cowboys LB] Sean Lee a couple times early on. I don't really know what it was. We just have to execute better."

How about the quick week and turning around for the Thursday game?
"We're playing at night, playing at home and don't have to travel. I've been a part of Thursday games where you have to travel and play the game in Baltimore. We don't have to travel which is nice. Coming off this disappointing loss, it'll be nice to get right back to practice tomorrow. We've got a divisional opponent coming in. They're a big, tough test for us. They're a big, physical front on defense. It's going to be a good test for our offensive line."

Did they make any adjustments after you scored those first two touchdowns?
"I think they were doing pretty much the same. I'm not sure as far as coverage and stuff like that. Up front they kind of stuck true to who they are. They're a big movement team so they were moving a lot and bringing a lot of nickel pressure. They were doing a lot of stuff with Sean Lee. We adjusted then they adjusted, typical football."

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett

Can you talk about the way your team came back down 14-0 early in the game?
"Yeah, that's what this team's all about. That's what this team's all about. That's how we built this team. Great character guys who work hard every day, prepare themselves the right way and just fight. They fight through adversity, and I thought that was evident today. Obviously, a lot of different guys in the lineup for us. You know, guys playing, backups playing, nobody blinked. Nobody blinked when we were down 14 on the road. It was a hell-of-a team win for us."

How special that you have two rookies coming through like that for you in both Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott and--?
"Yeah, and not all the rookies but the backups. There were a number of backups in the lineup on both sides of the ball. Guys just stepping up prepared, accountable, come to work every day, do their job. It was a hell-of-a day."

Talk about the late hit penalty on Dak, it seemed it gave him new life and set up your first touchdown. Did you see that as a late hit or how did you see that play?
"I don't know. They threw a flag, and it was a good opportunity for us to take advantage of and our guys did."

Talk about the plays Dallas Cowboys CB Morris Claiborne made in the second half, the interception, the sack, the--?
"Great illustration of what he's all about, what this team's all about, what we build each and every day. Mo's overcome a lot throughout his career. He's playing the best football of his career. I think you saw that in the early part of the season. You saw that throughout the game. Makes the big interception. Makes the big tackle. At the end of the ball game he's a tough guy. He's a tough guy. He's mentally tough. He's physically tough. He did a damn good job today."

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott

Talk about the come from behind win and not giving up on the team today.
"This is a great team and I think this win just shows our character. We had more guys go down last week and guys had to step in and they got the job done. So it's kind of the theme you could say that if someone goes down just step up and do a good job and we've done a good job going down 14-0 this game. We didn't blink. The defense made some plays to get the thing rolling and we got it done."


View images from the Week 4 game between San Francisco and Dallas.

How does this team come together and not just be able to have that comeback but with guys who are playing in their first year in the league and being able to do that in a hostile environment?**
"This team has great chemistry and guys who hang off the field just away from the facilities really come together. We all have the same goal. We want to do whatever it takes to win and it showed today."

How do you stay even-keeled when you're down 14-0?
"I just like to play and play independently. I do my best to just focus on each and every play and allow the rest to just play out for itself. Other than the first half we were just stepping on our own toes, making mental errors, and jumping offside or false starts, things like that. Once we got going, things worked out."

There was a pass early in the game San Francisco 49ers S Eric Reid got his hands on. Is that one you'd like to take back?
"Yeah, definitely. He didn't intercept it so I was fortunate for that, but that was just bad on my part with [Dallas Cowboys TE Jason] Witten running his route a little different than I thought and we weren't on the same page. That's on me."

Cowboys CB Morris Claiborne Can you describe that interception you got?
"I tried to stay on top of it as much as I can. I had a good look at the ball as it was thrown and I was running down the field. I was fortunate enough to come up with the play."

He looked like he had a step on you for a second. Did he actually have one? What was going through your mind?
"He was a little over the top, but I was playing to his low hip. I wasn't worried about him passing me. I was fortunate enough to track that ball down and come up with it."

Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott How do you feel after today's game?
"I felt like the offense was rolling. I'm really falling into place in the offense. I'm getting used to the run schemes. Honestly, I just want to focus on getting into the film room and getting better."


Check out pregame images from the Week 4 matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys.

It seemed like you broke off the big runs after 49ers LB NaVorro Bowman went out. What did you see once he left the field in terms of creating opportunities?**
"He's a great player. He definitely is. We were doing a good job up front. As the game goes on, the defense gets tired and that's when the big ones are going to pop."

Are things falling into place that may have been hard for you in Week 1 and Week 2?
"I'm just working on being consistent with my pace, my landmarks and my reads. I came from a spread offense that's a little bit different. I wasn't really used to running from under center. It took me a while to get used to it and get comfortable."

You got most of your yards in the second half. Do you think your offensive line was wearing them down?
"Definitely. That's how it is. Those runs that are dirty or tough are in the first half. As the game goes on, the other team gets tired and fatigued and that's when the big ones pop off."

Cowboys LB Sean Lee

How good was it in the middle of the fourth quarter when Dallas Cowboys CB Morris Claiborne had that interception?
"Mo has had an unbelievable season. He's worked extremely hard. Really since all his injuries, the amount of work that he has put in has been unbelievable. You can see it on the field. He's been fantastic for us. He deserves it because of all the work that he has put in."

Do you think that's why everybody mobbed him after that interception?
"No doubt. Everybody loves Mo, and everybody sees the work that he's put in. Especially when a guy gets injured and he battles back from these injuries. He's played extremely well. He played great last year in a lot of situations, dealt with some injuries and had an unbelievable offseason. To see him thrive is something special."

They started off 7-for-7 on third down conversions and then dropped off dramatically after that.
"They had a couple of big plays, but we couldn't get off the field the first two drives. That's something we've been pretty good at this year and something we weren't able to get done early. We found a way to do it, and you can see how that can change a game."

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