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Coach Coughlin on Cowboys


Opening Remarks

Good morning, it is an exciting time of the year for everybody, honestly. With this game with the Cowboys, it is a very exciting, very, very historical week for our players and franchise. The setting is incredible and as you know, we played a few weeks ago. In that game you had it all, you had special teams big plays, the safety. You had nine big plays on either side. You had some pull your hair out mistakes that caused some big plays. You had running on both sides and big plays throwing. Both teams were over 400 yards of offense so it was just an exciting football game with an incredible finish. Here we are on the eve of this game that will decide who the NFC East champions are and it is an exciting time.    Q: Do you expect this game to be similar or dramatically different than the one a few weeks ago?

A: It won't be the same game, no two games are the same if you look back in the years at our games against each other. You have outstanding talent on both sides of the ball so you can expect that things will happen. It will come down to who is the most physical and who makes the fewest errors. We are always talking about turnovers and they have done a good job, they have done a very good job. They haven't turned the ball over in quite some time. I think Romo in the last 12 games has 22 touchdowns and only four interceptions. You have a guy who is taking good care of the ball but as they are, we are always out to create turnovers and give ourselves better field position. They have a very good special teams. I expect Bryant to be back there all the way. We will have to be much, much better than we were a week ago in placing the ball with our punts and also coverage. Every aspect of the game is going to be very dramatic and strategically placing the ball. I expect our special teams to do a much better job of helping us create field position. Lawrence Tynes had a very good game down there a couple weeks ago and it certainly would help if he has another good game even though we are outside and the weather is a little bit different. That would help a lot in terms of their kickoff return.  

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Q: How concerned are you about your wide receivers and what is their status?

A: I am optimistic that they both will be ready to go because we have a little bit of time left. I would like to see them both practice. That has not been something that has been available all year long. We need that and we certainly need the timing work because that was something definitely needed. We are going to try to work on that this week.

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Q: Will they practice today?

A: No.

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Q: Did Nicks get hurt in the game?

A: He strained a hamstring in the game and kept on playing, to his credit. He really didn't have that other gear, which you probably observed.  Q: What do you anticipate from Romo regarding his hand?

A: I think he's full-go. I think anybody that has any chance, a lot of times when you talk about this time of the year when you really talk about playoff games, and that's what these are, the guys find a way to get out of the training room and this will be no different with Romo. He will do everything in his power. We've seen him play through the rib injuries so they'll get better – the swelling and the hand control – and I fully expect that he'll be ready to go.

Q: The defense had a lot of opportunities for turnovers in the last game. Was that a focus?

A: There's always a focus on that. There's always a huge focus on that. Hopefully it will continue. It's a momentum builder and it's a heck of a thing for your offensive team to have something like that happen after a turnover. We didn't do much with one that was in point-blank range, but nevertheless, it was huge.

Q: Can you talk about what Chase Blackburn has brought to the team?

A: Energy and enthusiasm, just exactly like he always was as a player. Do anything you ask him to do. Do it full speed. I think last week's demonstration by Chase, he was even more comfortable in the role that he was playing as the middle linebacker. He became more vociferous. He became more encouraging. He was very effective from the sidelines when he wasn't in the game in the nickel situations as well.

Q: The passing game hasn't been what it was the last couple of weeks. Is the weather a factor?

A: We've had two pretty good weather days for this time of the year. Obviously there were some missing parts last weekend. That's been a factor as well, I think we just need to get back on track and back to where we were a couple of weeks ago. Hopefully it's going to happen right now.

Q: Anything to do with Eli's throwing?

A: No.

Q: Does the team get a lift from Brandon Jacobs leadership-wise?

A: I think they always do from his energy. He's not one to deny any verbiage that he thinks will help, but he's gone out and backed it up, too. You have to give him credit for that. I think more by example than anything else.

Q: He's a guy who can lift others?

A: Sure he can, oh yeah – by the quality of his play, the physicality of his play.

Q: David Baas…

A: Good to have him back. I think he's obviously a little bit rusty and needs some more time on the field, but his energy, his aggressiveness, his want – all of those things are there. I think one more week down the road is going to really help.

Q: Did he have a slow start?

A: Maybe. I would think with anybody. The speed of the game.

Q: Ballard…

A: He's improving. I'm holding out hope here. He won't work today.

Q: Was the run game different the first and second halves last week?

A: I think we got out on a roll with the first of Bradshaw's touchdowns. I thought we got the ball down the field and that he was very physical in his running. The same thing happened at the other end of the field when they had nine/ten guys at the line of scrimmage. We got on them. We did a nice job up front with our blocking – our offensive line, tight ends, fullback – and he found a crack and just took it in. We have a little more work obviously. We had the lead and needed to maintain the lead. We have a little more work to do. It wasn't very good early, but thank goodness it came along.

Q: The interception last week, it looked like Nicks got two hands on it. Is that on him or did Revis make a good play?

A: Why are all of these questions about last week? Seriously, I'm going forward. I'm trying to go forward here. I think it's a combination. You had a very good defender and a very good receiver. It was a hit on the arm. It was a hit on the ball. Shouldn't have happened.

Q: Osi…

A: He's going to practice today.

Q: Has he tested the ankle and knee?

A: He's tested everything, lots of times. That's what he's been doing. He's been working his tail off. He just hasn't been able to get right.

Q: Do you think Tuck can continue his high level of play?

A: No reason to doubt that. He's as excited as he can be. He played an awful lot of plays. He played hard. He did a lot of very, very good things. It looked like his old personality was out there on the field. Again, lead by example – he did it. And I don't see any reason why that would stop. I think he's feeling good about himself now and I think he's feeling good enough physically that he can be what we expect him to be.

Q: Did you receive any correspondence from any coaches about your hit, like Sean Payton?

A: I did get a text, just saying, 'You look like you're a better athlete than me. You didn't go down.'

Q: Anything new with Herzlich?

A: No, nothing new.

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