The Miami Dolphins got back in the win column in Week 15 with a dominant 30-0 victory over the New York Jets. Now the team hopes to bring that positive momentum into this Sunday's Christmas Eve matchup against the Dallas Cowboys.
Here's what Head Coach Mike McDaniel, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and other members of the team had to say as they get set for Week 16.
Preparing for the Cowboys
Head Coach Mike McDaniel
(On what he's noticed from Dallas LB Micah Parsons) – "He is one of the best players in the National Football League in any position. And I don't think it's really debatable. This dude is different. The orchestration that he has with his teammates and the stuff that Coach (Dan) Quinn does with the multiplicity of his alignments, you can tell not only is he unique in skillset, but you don't play all the way across the line and in the stack and do all the things that he does without having a true love for the game. I would probably say he's more fun to watch when you're not going to play him. But that being said, I like the challenge of facing elite players like our players do. It's really cool to watch because when you combine talent with strain, that's rarified air, and in general with the level of talent and the level of strain he exhibits. So, he is a real dude for sure."
Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio
(On what stands out from watching tape of Cowboys QB Dak Prescott) – "He's playing at a very high level. He has been all year. He seems really comfortable in the new offense. Mike (McCarthy) has a really good offense schematically and he does a good job of play-calling it. Prescott is really comfortable in it. They mix the quick game, mix the shots, mix their formations. I think the offense really fits Prescott."
QB Tua Tagovailoa
(On the matchup against the Cowboys) – "They've got really talented players up front, really talented players on the back end. We know what we're going to have to do. We know what kind of game this is going to be. It's going to be a hard-fought, physical 60-minute game and we'll be ready come time Sunday."
DT Christian Wilkins
(On facing a talented Cowboys offensive line and roster) – "They've got a really good offensive line, along with a lot of good pieces on their offense. Receivers, skill positions, Dak (Prescott), he stirs the pot. He's the guy that leads them and handles business, gets them going and everything like that. They present a good challenge for us, but we'll be up for it as a defense and as a front. It will be exciting. A lot of fun. I'm looking forward to it."
Stepping Up and Showing Out
RB Raheem Mostert
(On if he's had a moment to reflect on breaking two single-season franchise touchdown records) – "I was sitting there thinking about Ricky Williams. I grew up a big Ricky Williams fan. Just this past Tuesday, I drove back to my hometown and me and my brother got to hang out at the park, and we started reminiscing about life. There was a time we both wore Ricky Williams' jersey at one point when we were younger. So to be able to break that record, it's so surreal for both him and I. We looked up to Ricky when we were younger."
Head Coach Mike McDaniel
(On the joy RB Raheem Mostert's record-setting season has brought the team) – "It's cool for him to have the season he's having. And one thing that I can tell you, just because there has been some individual success stories and some statistics that have garnered – there's just some guys that have been producing, is that the team is really proud of having a hand in it. He knows that it takes 11 people to orchestrate a football run play or a pass play on every down. But the team takes pride in it. The team was happy for him. He had a violent spike, but players were aware to (see) is the ball in the stands or not? Just knowing that was a big deal. It is about as cool as it gets."
OL Liam Eichenberg
(On the recent play from DT Christian Wilkins and DT Zach Sieler) – "I would say they're guys who – definitely their pass rush has improved, but I think at the end of the day, they play hard and they play throughout the whole entire play and they play every play. I think a lot of guys kind of to take some plays off occasionally. But I know with those two, whenever they're lined up over me, they're going the whole play and some. They have a crazy good work ethic and it's displayed on the field every Sunday."
LB Andrew Van Ginkel
(On LB Bradley Chubb's career performance against the Jets) – "Unbelievable. That's just a testament to who he is. He's been playing like that all year, but the quarterbacks have been getting the ball out a split second before he gets there. He's been playing lights out all year. It's so great to see it's finally paying off and all the fruits of his labor is working."
For more analysis ahead of Sunday's game versus Dallas, listen to the latest episode of Drive Time with Travis Wingfield.