Head Coach Jack Del Rio
Following the Oakland Raiders loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football, there was understandably a lot of frustration felt among the players, coaches, and fans. If you're on social media, you've probably seen all the pictures and videos questioning referee Gene Steratore's decision to use an index card on a crucial fourth down to decide whether it was a turnover on downs, or a first down for the Dallas Cowboys. For Head Coach Jack Del Rio, it was clear what the ruling should be, but there's nothing that can be done now. The team has a record of 6-8, and will now begin its preparation for Week 16 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Here are the quick hits from his press conference:
Del Rio shared why wide receiver Michael Crabtree was absent on the final play of the evening.
"Yeah, I mean, I'm almost certain we have had people pulled out. That was something that we've been told is going to be in play. That's a prime example of one of the things where you're hesitant to allow that mechanism to be there, but you know you have to do the right thing for all of the players and their safety. So, it's a little bit of a catch-22. I think at the end of the day, you're trying to err on the side of player safety and caution there. I know Crab was frustrated about it. So, it's out of my hands."
With left tackle Donald Penn injured, Del Rio was pleased with the way right tackle Vadal Alexander stepped in.
"Vadal battled. There were some times where he needed some help – we gave him some help. There were some times where we didn't and Derek [Carr] got rid of the ball quick. He battled. I think that the group as a whole battled. We ran the ball fairly effectively most of the night. We didn't get sacked, so I think you have to be pleased with losing your starting tackle and being able to go the remainder of the game and remain productive the way we were."
He spoke about quarterback Derek Carr's decision to dive for the end zone in the final minutes of Sunday's game.
"There's a fine line there. Obviously, you want to make plays to win. You need to play to win. You need to be aggressive to win there. Would love to have seen him secure it with two hands and try and stretch it across with two hands. It was in his left hand and the safety came over and there was contact and that jostled it loose. So yeah, we do talk about securing the ball and not being careless with it and being sure. I think when you know there is going to be contact, you want to lock it down. It was really close, but unfortunate."
Even at 6-8, Del Rio isn't taking his foot off the gas.
"We're going to play to win. We're just going to play to win. We're going to do everything we can to get over this 'close but no cigar' finish we had and we'll have an extra. We'll do our Tell the Truth tomorrow, then we'll have an extra day of recovery and then we'll get in with the normal game week leading up to our opportunity on Christmas night."
He shared his thoughts regarding the index card ruling.
"I didn't see any index card last night. I saw it only on social media. I did not see that process happen. I saw the chain. Like I said, I saw space and I was like, 'Alright, they just made a big error going for it right there and this is a turning point.' It's four [minutes] and change in the game and we've got the ball on the 40 going the other way. That was pretty ballsy and it really didn't work, except they got the fortuitous reaction from the crew."