FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Some reaction from Patriots coach Bill Belichick following his team's 20-16 win over the Cowboys:
Opening statement. "That’s a good football team we played today and I’m really proud of our players. We went through a lot of adversity today -- you know, four turnovers. Down there at the end of the game, we had a great drive and we came through with some big plays in the clutch, so you’ve got to give the players all the credit in the world. They hung in there. It was a hard-fought game. We just, fortunately, made a couple more plays than they did. It’s a good win. It was a tough week of preparation and that’s a good football team."
On defense's performance. "We had our moments. We had our moments. I thought we missed a lot of tackles today. That was the biggest problem. Obviously, they’ve got a lot of good runners -- guys that can handle the ball and are tough to tackle. The backs, the receivers, the tight end -- they’re all hard [to tackle]. We’ve got to do a better job of tackling, but we were able to play well in the red area and hold them to some field goals. Ultimately, the touchdowns beat the field goals, so we were fortunate there."
On third-down stop of RB Tashard Choice. "[Linebacker Brandon Spikes] was actually coming on a blitz on the weak side and when they pulled, it looked like he kind of just got in the back pocket of the puller and they weren’t able to cut him off so he ran it down from the back side. They do a good job down there. They have a lot of deceptive plays. They ran the submarine pass for a touchdown. They ran the roll pass out in the flat to the tailback. They do stuff like that that’s misdirection or plays that are a little bit different down there that you don’t get a chance to work on. Fortunately we were able to make the play on that. Brandon made a good tackle and that was a big stop for us."
On TE Aaron Hernandez fumbling. "He was able to redeem himself today. Luckily, he got that chance. That opportunity doesn’t always come again. We’ve just got to do a better job of taking care of the ball, period. Two fumbles, two interceptions -- you’re not going to win many games with four turnovers. We were fortunate today, but we won’t last doing that."
On what he learned from his team. "We need to tackle better. We made some stops in the red area. I mean, we’ve been doing that; over the course of the year, we’ve been fairly good in the red area. Our third-down defense was OK. We played competitively. We’re getting a little better each week. I think [if] we can continue to have good practices, improve our fundamental techniques, and practice well, that we can continue to improve in all three areas of the game, but of course on defense."