ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 22: Defensive end DeMarcus Ware #94 of the Dallas Cowboys in action during the game against the St. Louis Rams at AT&T Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) By Jamie Squire
ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 22: Sam Bradford #8 of the St. Louis Rams throws against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) By Ronald Martinez
ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 22: Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the St. Louis Rams at AT&T Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) By Ronald Martinez
(AP) — Throughout the St. Louis Rams locker room, players faithfully parroted the 24-hour rule that coaches are always invoking.
The first words out of cornerback Cortland Finnegan's mouth were that he's focused on playing the 49ers on Thursday night, they don't care that the Cowboys manhandled the Rams, and that the Rams don't care that San Francisco laid an egg at home against the Colts.
Same went for offensive tackle Jake Long, who said it's always important to have a short memory.
Asked for a reaction to the Cowboys' assertion that the defense was burned by DeMarco Murray because they put too much emphasis on stopping Dez Bryant, middle linebacker James Laurinaitis offered this: "We've moved on from all that, we're moving forward."
And then he noted the calendar change at the practice facility. Because it's a short week, coach Jeff Fisher on Monday said it was really Thursday in terms of preparation.
"After the game in the locker room it was Wednesday," Laurinaitis said. "So we're past that."
Because the Rams were playing four days later, outside linebacker Will Witherspoon took it a step farther and said the "six-hour rule" was in effect.
"We had to cut that down," Witherspoon said. "It's time to focus on the now."
Fisher mentioned the "tremendous challenge" ahead and the imperative of "putting this one behind us as quickly as we can." He said coaches wouldn't dwell on mistakes from the Cowboys game, and attempted to change the subject by praising the progress of second-year cornerback Janoris Jenkins and rookie outside linebacker Alec Ogletree.
Discussing the Cowboys game, he said, "makes no sense"
"And so, you explain what we haven't done over the last three weeks and where we need to get better," Fisher said. "You have to put those things behind you and move on."
San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick tried too hard to play those cards. Eight of his nine answers were one sentence long and he uttered just 86 words in just over two-and-a-half minutes.
The Rams beat them and tied them last season "because we didn't execute," Kaepernick said. The 49ers have dropped two straight this season because "we didn't play well the last two games."
After making his third career start, Rams offensive tackle Joe Barksdale admitted how bitter losing to the Cowboys still felt and probably would feel until there's a chance to get back on the field. He's sure that's how almost everybody else feels too, even if they won't admit it.
He sees it as a matter of semantics. Rather than amnesia, they'll use the Dallas debacle as a teaching tool and try to get back to protecting Sam Bradford.
Before surrendering six sacks last week, the Rams had not allowed one in four games dating to last year.
"Honestly, man, I'm not one of the people that gets into this rule stuff," Barksdale said. "It happened, just don't let it affect your conscience. When people say forget about it, that's what they really mean. Go back to trusting your technique moving forward."
On that count, the always concise Kaepernick was in agreement. Forget about the team attitude.
"We have to win," he said. "That's all we're worried about."
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