Exciting times, exciting times; second division game. When you study the Tampa Bay/Dallas game the other day, obviously Dallas displayed their big play ability. They had four plays that were 208 yards of their 462 yards. Tampa played a solid game. There really weren't any turnovers or any sacks in the game; I believe one. But a well-played game; a tight game in the fourth quarter. Dallas exploded at the end with their big play capability, which they have. So it is an exciting week for us; our second week in a row in the division. We are on the road. And so here we go.
Q: Of the moves you made yesterday, specifically with Gartrell Johnson, the running back, how much can you expect to get him ready over the next few days to be able to contribute at all?
A: He will have roles. He will have to learn. We will segment some things and make a little package that he will have to know what to do. But he will have to be ready to go.
Q: I assume he was a guy you liked at draft time?
A: We liked him at draft time, we liked him in preseason – they kept him for a reason. They obviously had the same situation that a lot of us have – have to make some kind of a personnel move. Sometimes it is not pleasant. It is never pleasant. You put your 53 together. But they made a move. We had some options available and we obviously were fortunate enough that the player came to us.
Q: With his size and his hands, will he be a 3rd down possibility?
A: Maybe. As we go forward, we do have --. He has got some solid size, as you discussed, and he can be a 'up in the line of scrimmage', if you will, what Danny Ware was able to give for us. I'm kind of looking forward to seeing him on the practice field here today. And then we will go from there.
Q: Is Romo spreading the ball out more?
A: He sure is. You look at big play production - all of the way along. Certainly Crayton had a big game. Witten had a strong game. You had Roy Williams with a 66-yarder up the seam which was well run and well executed. Austin had a big play. A pass that you are talking about being -- most people have it in their repertoire but it is not an easy thing to execute. He made an outstanding play. He made a couple of people miss, ran in the end zone. They had an 80, a 66, and 42-yarder plus a 20-yarder. So they did a nice job in that regard. The ball was spread around. A lot of people touched the ball. They are doing a lot of things with their formations that they always do. Bennett is in his second year so he is even more comfortable with what they are doing.
Q When an offense can hit on big plays does that take away from your ability to be as aggressive as you want to be?
A: Not necessarily. I think you just have to be sound when you are doing it. Obviously you will have a goal of not giving up the big play. But you still have to be aggressive.
Q: Last time you saw these guys in December, it was a game very uncharacteristic of your offensive line. I know some guys were banged up, but what happened there as far as protection?
A: Well, they are a good football team. And we didn't protect as well as we were capable of. But when you are playing in the division, playing on the road – we had had some success playing in Dallas. They rose up and had a good game. They were very good; very physical, very focused and played well.
Q: In other words it wasn't so much a scheme thing?
A: No, it wasn't a scheme thing. We had some breakdowns but it wasn't – not something that you would say the reason – they played well; they really did.
Q: When you go to a new stadium where you have never been before, is it a disadvantage?
A: I hope not. I know there is going to be a lot of excitement about the opening – in-season opening of the new stadium. There will be a big crowd; be very noisy. We have been in big crowds and noisy places before. Certainly there will be some opportunities, if you will, to see the new stadium for the players. And once I think we do that, I think we will settle down and be ready to go.
Q: Will you bring your team to the stadium before the game?
A: I thought about that but I don't think so. It is a long ride and we have some work to do. We have thought about it.
Q: What about the opportunity here to get off to a 2-0 start in the division?
A: An excellent opportunity. I'm sure Dallas is looking at their opportunity as well.
Q: Kevin Dockery any closer to being ready?
A: They are going to kind of push him along today and see exactly where he is at. Hopefully he is. The training room feels pretty good about his progress.
Q: What about Michael Boley's hip?
A: He is going to work. He will get probably 50% of the work today. We will assess that as we go along.
Q: Clint Sintim?
A: He is going to work. He will get 50% or better.
Q: You are playing an awful lot of road games, - three in a row, five out of seven. Is that too many or would you rather get them out of the way during the first half?
A: As I have said many times, I don't make the schedule up; we just try to play it. Obviously you would like to have a nice balance, but we have had some success on the road before. And so I'm hoping those characteristics will fortify us as we go forward in this part of the schedule.
Q: We saw yesterday from you guys that you were one of seven teams out of 106, I think it was, that actually swept that three-game stretch there. You meaning when you were in Jacksonville. Did you take anything from that?
A: Yeah, but we are the same solid -- the same way that we prepare and have always continued to prepare. We will make everybody aware, obviously again, of playing on the road and the fact that it will be very noisy, very loud. The only people there that are interested in our team is our team. We will talk about all of those things again. But basically it is just the ability to focus; mental toughness; make something happen.
Q: Do you envision Ramses Barden dressing and making a contribution?
A: We'll see; we'll see.
Q: Assuming Boley's hip cooperates, is there something else he needs to do to be able to play?
A: He has got to practice well. We have got to know that he can transfer from the classroom. That is basically all he has had is the classroom. We will make that decision going forward based on how he works, how he practices, what we feel. We would all like to see him ready to go but he does have some things that he is going to have to prove. He hasn't had any contact. He will have multiple roles, not just defense.
Q: Is green zone efficiency a point of emphasis this week?
A: It sure is. It has been. As I have said all along, it has always been. We have got to do a better job of putting the ball in the end zone when we get down there. I don't want to go overboard with it, but yes.
Q: Eli said, it was more third and short, than the whole --
* *A: Well it is more than just third and short. We did have some third and shorts that were very disappointing but it is more than that. Obviously it is a big part of it but there is more to it than that. What is wrong with first down? How about making a play on first down.
Q: You have such a powerful offensive line, and obviously a big powerful running back, it would seem that those 3rd and shorts should be easier than they have been, but is it about more than just bullying and powering?
A: Obviously it is. You have to be able to contend with the fact that there is a multitude of people at the line of scrimmage as well. Sort them out, move them and get a crack for the guy with ball. There is more to it than just that.
Q: It's not just one consistent problem that you have seen?
A: No, oh no; not at all.
Q: Anything new on Ross at all?
A: No. We are going to obviously continue to see where he is at. There is some strength gained there, which is a positive thing.