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Quotes From Dallas: Parcells, Woodson


Dallas Cowboys Conference Call

With Washington, D.C. Reporters


On the Cowboys’ recent play and the upcoming stretch run:

“We’ve been a little bit on a see-saw lately. Particularly the last couple of weeks here we haven’t played very good football. But, we do have a lot in front of us, and I think we still have a good opportunity if we can take advantage of it. I’m happy that we’re into the 15th week of the season and still have something to play for. But I know we’re going to have to play a lot better than we played recently if we’re going to do anything.”

On whether Dallas’ defense is wearing down, particularly because of its overall size:

“I quite frankly don’t think so, but I think it’s a valid question because we are not big. If you look at our linebackers and say, ‘Hey, well our whole defense is small.’ We’re not big by any stretch of the imagination. But, our safeties are probably the two biggest safeties in the league, so we’re not small all over the place.”

On whether he would have been happy before the season began had he known the Cowboys would be 8-5:

“I would never concede that we were going to lose five games. I would never want to do that. But, by the same token, I’m glad that we have something to play for. That’s very, very important, particularly in your first year. And, I know we’ll still have something to play for next week, which will be good, too. This is a very, very key game for us. We struggled to beat Washington the first time, and I expect a very tough game.”

On the mistakes he made as a first-year head coach in the NFL back in 1982:

“I was just acting stupid, like what I thought head coaches are supposed to act like—delegating too much authority, not paying attention to the details that you need to pay attention to, and just getting caught up with the whole idea. I’ve told many people that this head coaching thing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be anyway.”

On whether it would be difficult for Steve Spurrier to become a disciplinarian if he is not naturally one:

“I don’t know. I’ve never seen Steve coach on the field. I’ve known him for quite a few years, not well. Certainly, what he’s done over the course of his career has served him very well. I don’t know how he handles situations, and I would not pass judgment on anything. But I just know whatever he’s done, he’s had monumental success far beyond what many, many people have done in this business. Whatever he’s been doing, good for him.”

On Tim Hasselbeck [QB, #8]:

“I think they’re doing a good job with him. I think he’s getting the ball out of there pretty quickly. It looks like they’ve shortened some of the stuff for him, and are using the running game as a better balance now. I think that’s by virtue of him being in there. They’re trying to use a more complementary style that’s working pretty well. He’s done a good job. They’ve had pretty good point production since he’s been in there.”

On whether the Cowboys blitzed the Redskins in Week 9 more than they normally blitz their opponents:

“We haven’t done it against everyone. I think earlier in the season they were having problems [protecting the quarterback], but I think they’ve adjusted that pretty well. They certainly seem to be, at least in recent weeks, doing a lot better job against pressure.”


On this Sunday’s game against the Redskins:

“I think this game could be a tough game. We’re going back to Washington, and these two teams know each other very well. They each have very good coaches. They’d love to get back at us. They’d love to be the spoiler in this whole deal. But we’re going to go down there and take care of our business. We have to go out there and play as hard as we possibly can against a very good team—a team that struggled most of the season but has played well the last few weeks. We have to figure out how we’re going to pull this win off. I think they’re playing a lot better now than they have all season.”

On the importance of this Sunday’s game against the Redskins:

“We have to play well this week. We have a three-game season. This is, to this point, the biggest game of our season right now. We have to go out to Washington and play as hard and as well as we possibly can to get a win. That’s what we’re looking for. I couldn’t care less what the stats are. As long as there’s a ‘W’ at the end of the day, it’s going to be a good day. Like I said, it’s going to be a tough game.”

On respecting the Redskins:

“I respect the you-know-what out of those guys. They’ve struggled most of the season, but they went out to New York last week and beat a New York team away on a cold day. They haven’t given up on their season, so I have a lot of respect for them.”

On the difference between the Redskins now and in Week 9 when they met in Dallas:

“They shored up a lot of things as far as their pass protection. The last time they came down, we had a lot of blitzes, and they didn’t handle the blitzes as well as they probably wanted. Now, I think they’re protecting the quarterback a lot better. They’re playing pretty well on the defensive side of the ball, and that has really helped them out. For the most part, we brought a lot of pressure and [Patrick] Ramsey (QB, #11) just couldn’t find the guy he wanted.”

On whether the Cowboys must prepare differently for Tim Hasselbeck (QB, #8) than for Patrick Ramsey (QB, #11):

“Not really. I think Hasselbeck moves around a little bit better. I think he steps up in the pocket a little bit better than Ramsey. Ramsey, to me, I saw [him] really getting better and better, for some reason. He struggled a little bit with the pressure, but when they shored up some things on the front line, he started to get a lot better. I think he’s the future over there. But Hasselbeck is gritty. I really like this guy. I really respect this kid.”

On why the Cowboys have not been successful of late:

“As a team, we’ve turned the ball over too many times. Defensively, we haven’t done a great job of stopping the run the last couple of weeks. I think Ricky Williams (Miami Dolphins, RB #34) had a good day against us. Then we played pretty well in the first half against the Eagles. Against the run in the second half, we didn’t tackle as well. I think that’s what really hurt us defensively is that we just didn’t tackle well and we gave up a big play at the end of the game.”

On how the current feeling in the Cowboys’ locker room is different from the feeling during Dallas’s hot start:

“I think the feeling is that when you’re struggling and not winning, there is more of a sense of urgency. We’re trying to figure out what’s wrong, fix it and move on to the next game. I think that goes for any team. When you’re not playing well and you go through a stint of struggling, you try to find ways to pick yourself up and figure out what your weaknesses are so you can work on those weaknesses. I’m not going to say there is a lot of concern about this team and what direction we want to go in, but I think there is some concern about how we’re playing and how we’re going to fix these things.”

On going through a difficult stretch of losses considering the Cowboys have lost three of their last four games:

“I’ve been here for 12 years, and I’ve been to the Super Bowl three times, and there were times in each of those seasons that we went to the Super Bowl where you went through some stints when you’re just not playing well. I think we’re going through that a little bit right now. We just have to figure out how to get a win under our belt and get back on that roll. I think a win brings about a lot of confidence, and we haven’t played well lately, so hopefully we’ll get this win under our belt and we can bring back that confidence and get back on a streak. It happens to all the teams out there. It’s just our time right now. It’s happening at the end of our season.”

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