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Quotes: Wednesday practice/Conference call

Posted Sep 22, 2010

Read what the Texans and Cowboys had to say to the media on Wednesday.


The Texans practice Wednesday at the Methodist Training Center. After, head coach Gary Kubiak and some of his players answered questions from the media. Also, Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips and quarterback Tony Romo answered questions from the Houston media during a conference call. The following is a transcript of all those respective interviews.

Texans Head Coach Gary Kubiak
Texans T Rashad Butler
Texans WR Andre Johnson
Texans CB Glover Quin
Texans LB DeMeco Ryans
Texans QB Matt Schaub
Texans S Dominique Barber (Tuesday conference call)
Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Wade Phillips (conference call)
Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (conference call)

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on the suspension of T Duane Brown) “I’m very disappointed. I’m disappointed in (T) Duane (Brown), but I’m also disappointed for Duane because it hurts the football team. He’s a hell of a player and means a lot to us. I hate to see players lose time to something other than injury. Careers are short in this league and opportunities are short. He’s a fine young man and I hate to see it. We got to rally and we will. We got a lot of confidence in (T Rashad) Butler and everybody else in this football team will have to pick it up. As disappointed as I am at this situation, I’m excited about the 53 guys that practiced today and that’s what I’m going to focus on.”

(on T Rashad Butler’s comment saying that offense will not miss a beat while he’s in the lineup) “Well, he better believe that way. That’s what we want him to believe. It’s an opportunity for him and his career. He got an opportunity last year late in the season and played very well for us. So we got a lot of confidence in him, but you don’t replace players with one guy. You replace a loss with the whole team picking it up and we will pick it up as a team.”

(on how surprised he is when a suspension like this happens to his team) “This organization is relentless in its educational process for all those issues so that’s what it makes it so tough. I don’t know how to answer it. I’m just disappointed, but I’m as disappointed for the kid as I am of the fact that it hurts the team.”

(on if he has to change things with Rashad Butler as the starting left tackle) “No, we’re going to run our offense. I think we got to be smart as coaches and have the understanding that he’s a young man that hasn’t played in the past two weeks. We’re going to do as we do best as a team. We’re expecting (T Rashad) Butler to do his job and have people around him to help him do his job.”

(on the signing of T Ephraim Salaam) “That’s the best thing for us because (T) Ephraim (Salaam) knows exactly what we’re doing. There are other things I think we could as an offense. Maybe move a few guys around, but Ephraim comes in and he’s able to walk in this Sunday and be our swing guy. So I’m comfortable with that.”

(on how dangerous a team like Dallas, needing a win so desperately) “To me, they’re two or three plays from being 2-0. That’s the NFL. That’s the same talented group that missed a lot of players in the preseason that didn’t play against us. They got them all back healthy. They got their tackle back and they will be at full strength. They will play well. They’ll play really good. We’ll have to play better than we played last week.”

(on if the preseason win against the Cowboys helps the team going in) “It goes out the window. That’s gone. It’s time to move on. It’s a big game for us and a chance to get our third win and we’ll have to do it against a good team.”

(on the challenges Dallas DE DeMarcus Ware brings) “You don’t have enough time. He’s an exceptional player and a mismatch for anybody in this league. So you better be conscious of him in everything you’re doing. We’ll have to be.”

(on how to prevent the 400-yard passing performances on his young secondary) “We’ve had two quarterbacks who had some big days against us, but we’ve done some good things too. So I don’t want to dismiss that. Do we need to get better? You bet. We’re fixin’ to face another great one this week. The way you help young corners, in my opinion, is to get more pressure on the quarterback. Our safeties can pick it up and play better. Two veteran guys, (S) Eugene (Wilson) and (SS) Bernard (Pollard) help those guys out. We’re all responsible in helping those guys grow up. I’m expecting them to continue to progress.”

(on the status of WR Andre Johnson) “(WR) Andre (Johnson) felt pretty good. He took all the walk thru and all the stuff that we do before practice. I expect him to do a little bit tomorrow.”

(on his relationship with Dallas Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips) “I’ve got so much respect for him and his dad. (Dallas head coach) Wade (Phillips) has been a tremendously successful football coach in this league as a coordinator and head coach. He’s been doing this a long time. I know he’ll have his team ready to go. He’s a very good friend and great coach.”

(on the criticism that Dallas head coach Wade Phillips is receiving after a 0-2 start) “We all understand this business. It all depends on what type of week it is. Every week there are 16 teams that are struggling and there are 16 teams that think they have it going on. It’s just part of it. You just got to keep your eyes looking forward.”

(on what T Rashad  Butler does best) “He’s smart. He could play both sides. He could do a lot of things. He’s very long for a tackle arms-wise. When he’s had opportunities with our team he’s done a pretty good job. The only problem that he’s ever had was maintaining weight. We’ve been able to get that under control. Here’s a chance for him to prove he’s a starter in the league.”

(on if he is enjoying the position the team is in) “No doubt, this why you do what you do. To play in big games, we’ve done some good things. Obviously, we’re sitting here pretty good today; but we understand the task at hand and how difficult it’s going to be. It’s going to be like that for 14 weeks. We just have to have another good week and another chance to go out and win a football game.”                  

T Rashad Butler
(on how it feel to hear his name being talked about) “It feels good. It feels real good. I’ve been preparing for this for five years now and it’s finally here. I’m just going to make the best of it.”

(on if he’s nervous) “A little bit, but I’m not nervous about whom I’m going up against. I’m just nervous because everybody’s counting on me and I don’t want to let anybody down especially myself. That’s pretty much where the nervousness is coming from. It’s just the fact that I don’t want to let myself or my teammates down.”

(on how he’s trying to temper the nervousness down while staying loose on the field) “By just preparing the same way as I’ve always been. I always felt like I’m a starter backup or not. I just try to keep everything the same this week because when it comes down to it, we’re only playing football. That’s what I’m trying to do.”

(on what makes Dallas DE DeMarcus Ware so special) “He’s a great player. He’s a Pro Bowl caliber player. What makes him so special is he has speed and power. He does a really good job in using both. I think a lot of guys go wrong against him because they’re not sharp on their technique. All I’m trying to do is worry about me first and foremost getting my technique right. Then I look at the film like I always do and study him and everybody else I’ll be facing.”

(on if he talked to T Duane Brown) “I talked to (T) Duane (Brown) through a text yesterday. I told him to keep his head up and when he comes back everything will become normal. We’re trying to take it game-by-game. I told him not to worry about nothing. I got his back and the team got his back as well.”

(on how it feels to have head coach Gary Kubiak to have confidence in his abilities) “It feels good. That’s what I’m there for. I’m good for a situation like this. When a guy goes down whether it’s from an injury or something else, I’m here to take is role. I always do a good job of that.”

(on what he thinks he does best) “I think I got great feet for a big guy. I definitely have extremely long arms. That definitely causes a lot of problems for defensive ends because they don’t face a lot of guys with long arms like me. I probably think the thing I do best is use my feet.”   

WR Andre Johnson
(on how his ankle feels)  “I’m doing fine.  I’m doing better than I thought I would be, so that’s a good thing.  I jogged around a little bit today and felt pretty good, and I’ve been getting better day by day, so hopefully I’ll feel better tomorrow.”

(on the excitement around the team being 2-0)  “Like I said before, the attitude around here is totally different.  I mean, the atmosphere around the stadium, just in the building is totally different.  It’s something that not just me, the organization has been waiting for.  But at the same time, we were in this position before.  We were 2-0 (in 2007) and ended up losing five games in a row, so us being 2-0 really doesn’t matter.  Of course we want to be undefeated, but at the same time, we have to go out and try to win this game Sunday, so we’ll just focus on this job that we have to get done on Sunday.”

(on how much the Houston-Dallas rivalry means to the fans)  “I know it’s big.  You know, I wasn’t here for the first game and when I first got here, it was something that they talked about all the time.  For us to be in the situation that we’re in now, 2-0, and for them to be coming in and us to be playing this game at home, I’m pretty sure the atmosphere will be crazy.  It’ll probably be like something we’ve never seen before here. And like I said, we’re going to go out and do everything we can to try to get this victory.  I think every game we’ve won so far, every game gets bigger and bigger, so this is a big test for us.  A lot of people talk about them being 0-2; I don’t really think that matters because they’re a very talented football team and anything can happen – they can get hot and they can go out and win four or five games in a row.  So we just have to stay focused on what we have to do.”

(on his ankle)  “It feels pretty good.  I jogged around earlier today.  It feels better than I thought it would be feeling, so I’ll probably go out and run again tomorrow and see how it feels, but it’s been getting better day by day.”

(on whether his ankle could limit him or keep him out of the game on Sunday)  “No, I’ll be out on the field on Sunday.  The only way I wouldn’t play would be if I felt like I wouldn’t be able to play and I would hurt the team.  If I felt that way, I wouldn’t play, but the way I feel right now, I’ll be out there on Sunday.)

(on how big Sunday’s game is for the team)  “It’s a big game.  Every game is big for us.  For us to get to where we want to go, every game has to be big for us, but this game against the Cowboys is the main focus right now and we have to do everything we can to go out and get the victory.  It’s not going to be easy.”

(on losing LT Duane Brown to suspension)  “It’s tough.  Duane’s a big part of our team.  That’s a tough loss for us, but at the same time, we can’t hang our heads, but we feel bad for Duane.  We all just have to step our games up and pick up the slack.  I’m pretty sure (T) Rashad (Butler) will step in and play real well.  He’s been working his butt off.  We just have to move on.”

CB Glover Quin
(on playing the 0-2 Dallas Cowboys) “They could be an 11-5 team with a 1-2 phase here or there. You could look at our record. Two or three plays different; we could be 0-2. You don’t really get caught up in that. They’re in NFL football team and they had high expectations coming into this season. They’re a great football team. We just have to go in and do what we do and continue to reach our expectations and our goals for the season. We’re not getting caught up in the fact that they’re 0-2. They’ve just made some bad plays here or there and the other teams have made good plays here or there. That doesn’t take away from them being a good football team.”

(on what they have said to each other after back-to-back 400-yard games) “We just said that we’ve got to fix the problem. We know that we can’t continue to win giving up over 400-yards passing. We’re doing great in rushing (defense), but they’re making up for it passing though. We just have to fix our problems and continue to work on it in practice and continue to be more disciplined in all our zone jobs and in man-to-man, we’ve got to stick with them and go wherever he goes. We can’t be looking in the backfield or coming up trying to do somebody else’s job. We’ve just got to do our jobs and trust that everyone will get their job done. It’s not a problem that one person can fix or two people can fix. It’s a job that we have to fix as a whole defense. That’s one thing we’re committed to and we’re going to get it done.”

LB DeMeco Ryans
(on whether the rivalry between Houston and Dallas matters once the game starts)  “It doesn’t matter to me.  I don’t really care about it.  It’s the next game for us and we’re trying to go out and get another win.  I know it’s a big game for all of our fans around, and a lot of people want to see us beat the Cowboys, but I don’t care anything about the Cowboys.”

(on the loss of LT Duane Brown to suspension)  “It was definitely surprising news to hear about Duane.  It’s a blow for us; it’s a tough loss for our team.  We definitely have had some guys step in his place, but once again, guys have to be responsible for what you put in your body.  If you haven’t gotten it checked out by the nutritionist or team trainers, then you probably shouldn’t use it.”

(on LT Duane Brown’s decision to not appeal his suspension)  “I think it was a decision that was thought out on his part.  I’m not sure how far in advance he knew about what happened, but he’s a man, he has to make decisions for himself and what he thought was best was to go ahead and take the suspension now.  Like I said, it gives (T Rashad) Butler an opportunity to step in, and we still move on.  We don’t stop rolling ; our expectations don’t drop for Butler.  He’ll step in and perform just as well as Duane was performing.”

(on what impresses him about the Dallas Cowboys)  “Nothing really impresses me about it; I think this week we’re focusing on ourselves and what we have to do better.  I’m not really focusing on what the Cowboys have done.  We’re just correcting mistakes that we had in our game against Washington, things that we can get better on and find a way to get turnovers.  That’s our main focus on ourselves.”

(on how LT Duane Brown’s suspension affects the outside perception of the team)  “I can’t say that’s the perception of our team – two guys – those are individual cases.  Everyone in here is a man and you have to make decisions for yourself and you have to be man enough to handle whatever consequences come with those decisions that you make.  So people that have the perception that that’s the Texans, that we are on performance enhancing drugs, that’s not the case.”

(on whether it helps that the Texans played the Cowboys in preseason)  “It’s only so much that you do in the preseason.  Even though we played them in the third game and it’s supposed to be considered the ‘real game,’ it’s still only so much that guys show in the preseason.  There’s still their main runs and pass concepts that they’re going to do and they can’t get away from that; that’s their bread and butter, so you still see those same concepts come up in the first two (regular season) games they played.”

(on whether there is any extra energy on the sideline when he’s playing Dallas)  “Nope.  I’m not getting all pumped up just because it’s the Cowboys and this and that.  It’s about the Texans; it’s not about the Cowboys.  A lot of people try to make a big deal about the Cowboys coming in here and this and that.  Well, what about us?  What about our team?  What about the Texans?  I’m not worried about the Cowboys.”

QB Matt Schaub
(on the confidence of T Rashad Butler) “It means a lot. We have confidence in him, he has confidence in himself. It’s not just going to be one guy filling that spot (left tackle), we’re all going to have to pick up our play a little bit and do a little bit more.”

(on how concerned he is about the perception of his team after a second player was suspended)  “I’m not worried about it. You know, I knew what we had in this locker room and what we’ve been doing and working toward. So I’m not worried.”

(on what stands out to him about the Cowboys defense) “They’re an athletic group. Their front seven group is very physical, very athletic, especially those guys off the edge. They have a good linebacking corps. In their back end they have experienced corners, a lot of speed and good cover skills. So it’s going to be a tough test.”

(on coming into the game 2-0) “We’re just focusing on what we can do to win this game, what we need to do to be successful. Obviously, we’ve been preparing to put ourselves in this type of situation. With each week you get more confidence. You go and play on the road at Washington against a good group and get down 17 points and you fight back and win the game; you gain a lot of confidence from that. It’s about re-centering your focus on your next opponent. We’ve got a good team coming in here despite an 0-2 start. They’re still a great football team with a lot of talent and we have to be ready to play a good team.”

(on his concern with having a different left tackle going up against Dallas’ DeMarcus Ware) “I’m not worried about it. We’ll be ready to go. (T) Rashad’s (Butler) going to be set to play and play well and all those guys out there have been fighting, so I’m not concerned about it.”

(on if there is more pressure or is it more fun to be the focus of a game like this) “It makes it more fun. We’re going to be at home here at Reliant and you all saw how the stadium was, even in the preseason. It was Week 3 of the preseason and we played a lot, being the third game. It felt like a mid-season game with how excited the fans were just for the matchup. It’s going to be the same way and it’s going to be exciting.”

(on if there is more attention on the team because they are playing the Cowboys) “I guess so. It’s an opportunity for us to go and be 3-0. That’s exciting for us. But it’s one out of 16 games and it’s an opportunity to go out and play against a good team and play well and get a win. So that’s what we’re looking forward to.”

(on if the Texans have more incentive to come out with a fast start because Dallas is 0-2) “I think they’re going to come out with a lot of excitement because they’re hungry. But so are we. We’re excited to go out there and play and play well against a good opponent in our stadium. So we have to be focused on coming out and playing good from the get-go. Last week we dug ourselves a hole. We’re looking forward to going out and playing 60 minutes of good football and not trying to fight our way back.”

(on if he’s seen the replay of Andre Johnson’s game-tying catch against Washington) “Yeah, I did. I saw it. I saw the film the next day.”

(on if the play surprised him at all) “Looking at the catch, I don’t want to downplay it at all, but to be honest with you, that was pretty routine for him. I’ve seen him make that catch with three guys around him. But, no, he doesn’t surprise me with what he does anymore.”

(on the notion that quarterbacks are measured by playoff success) “We’re ultimately measured by wins, wins and losses. That’s what counts in this league. The more you win, that’s how we’re judged.”

(on if he has an extra appreciation for Dallas QB Tony Romo being that they both had similar paths in becoming starters) “Well, he’s played well when he’s gotten an opportunity, he’s been playing well. He’s got a lot of talent around him, so he’s really had to work to gain his respect and get in his role. From the beginning, he’s worked hard.”

(on if he’s comfortable being under the radar) “I don’t worry about all that.”

(on if he considers this game a rivalry game) “I don’t know if we do necessarily as much as the community, the town, the fans do, being in-state. But it’s a good football team and a team that we face in the preseason; we face almost every year, whether it be preseason or every four years in the regular season. So we just have to be ready to play a good team.”

(on not having LT Duane Brown in the lineup) “You know, it’s unfortunate, the circumstance at this point. At the same time, we just have to keep plugging away, keep moving forward. He’ll rejoin us in a few weeks. We just all have to pick up the slack as a group.”

(on what he’s done to feel the pressure better from the pass rush as he’s gotten older) “That’s the thing, you understand where they’re blitzing from and you try and give your guys an opportunity to pick up the blitzes or slide in the pocket to avoid it and give your guys an opportunity down field to make plays.”

(on if last week was the hardest he’d been hit in his career) “No.”

(on putting up similar numbers but not receiving the same attention as Tom Brady or Peyton Manning) “You know, I don’t think about that. That’s for other people to talk about. I’m worried about trying to get our team better and win more games and get into the postseason. You know, we fell short of that goal last season. And really, the bottom line, that’s all that matters.”

(on how can he not be looking over his shoulder for DeMarcus Ware Sunday) “Because if I’m looking over there, I’m not concentrating on my down-the-field reads and letting my guys get open. I have confidence that (T) Rashad (Butler) and company are going to take care of that edge and be over there and protect me. I have to have that confidence in him and he has that confidence in himself and we just have to proceed.”

(on if human nature takes over) “It can’t or I’m not doing my job.”

Texans S Dominique Barber
(on how exciting it is for him to play against his brother, RB Marion Barber of the Cowboys) “Yes, it’s extremely exciting. Just the fact that it’s my brother I’m playing against, it’s a dream come true.”

(on if he will talk with his brother during the week leading up to the game) “Absolutely, our relationship is extremely close. We talk everyday whether it be through text message or talking on the phone. Our relationship isn’t about wins and losses. It’s about the love and we get that from our family and we’re really close and our relationship is really something special. I love him to death.”

(on how competitive he was with his brother growing up) “We were extremely competitive. Not so much against each other. Growing up we would always be me and my brother against my dad. We never had a relationship where we always fought. It wasn’t like that. He was always the one to look after me and making sure I was okay. It’s just exciting to be out there and compete against him, but like I said, he never beat up on me like that. Our relationship is definitely different from a lot of brothers.”

(on what ways he and his brother are different) “Honestly, we’re so much different; but we’re so much alike. He’s definitely more quiet than I am. Once you get to know him and once he gets comfortable around people he would talk a lot. It’s kind of funny that everybody thinks he’s so quiet, but he’s such a loud guy and a jokester. It’s funny because I just took over the role as the spokesperson of the family. I kind of get that from my mom and definitely got the quietness from my dad.”

(on what it is like playing for the up-and-coming Houston Texans and his brother playing for the Dallas Cowboys) “It’s something to look forward to. Our organization is growing so quickly. Obviously you have the Dallas Cowboys who are ‘America’s Team’. It’s fun. For me to come into this organization and just watch each week grow and get better. It’s fun to watch. Then I could always go to my brother and ask him about things they do over there and how he prepares and they prepare. It helps me bringing it to our guys and try to help out what I can help out. (Head) Coach (Gary) Kubiak, he does such a great job with us. He makes everything so easy. It’s great to be part of the Texans.”

(on comparing Dallas WR Miles Austin to Houston WR Andre Johnson) “(Dallas WR) Miles Austin is a great athlete and player. He’s got great hands and is a deep threat. Obviously we definitely have our hands full this week, but I look at every week. We have our hands full with talented receivers every week. It’s the NFL. It’s not about the person you’re playing against. It’s just about how you approach the game and your preparation for the game. It’s about practice. Yeah, we play (WR) Andre Johnson everyday at practice. It doesn’t really get much better than Dre (WR Andre Johnson). I know our secondary will be ready. We’ll be prepared for all the challenges ahead and we’re excited.”

(on if the Texans took offense to the comments by Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips saying that Dallas played a “vanilla” offense and didn’t game plan against Houston in the preseason) “We don’t take offense to that. We just come to work to play. That’s what we do. (Head) Coach (Gary) Kubiak, week-in and week-out, he tells us that we got to be 1-0 going into the next game. Right now we’re 2-0. We’re not looking back at those two wins. Now we’re looking for the Cowboys. Yeah, we played very well against them (in the preseason). To us, it’s not about what other people say. It still comes down to what we do on the field. As long as we continue to fly around and make plays it’ll be a great game on Sunday.”

(on having such a short turnaround facing the Cowboys, does he feel that he will be familiar with their personnel) “I’m not really sure how that’s going to work out. Obviously they have a great receiver coming back in (Dallas WR) Dez Bryant. So, we’ve got some extra challenges ahead of us, but like I said, it all comes down to how we prepare and it starts tomorrow with a great day of practice, then continues on Thursday and Friday up until the game on Sunday. I know the players are going to be very excited for this game and I’m excited to get it going tomorrow.”

(on how both he and his brother prepare together in the offseason) “He  just works so hard every day. He’s probably the best role model any person could have. For him just to be my brother, it makes my life so much easier because I can ask him things that he does in the offseason. He does sprints. He runs hills. He obviously lifts a lot of weights, that’s why I call him ‘barbarian’. He does all the little things like stretches and massage. He takes care of his body so well and that helps me to know if he’s getting a massage, then I need to get a massage. He’s doing these stretches, then I need to do these stretches. It just helps me to be a better player. That’s what he does, he lets me know what he’s got going on and what he’s doing. If he’s running the hills, then how many hills he’s running. That’s what he’s doing. He’s lost so much weight and he’s in great shape. He’s just a specimen and he’s fun to watch.”                   

Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Wade Phillips
(on how he is dealing with opening up the season 0-2) “That’s the tough thing about the NFL, you’re going to lose some games and every loss is tough."

(on if being two plays from being 2-0 makes this experience easier or worse) “Well, no it doesn’t change your record; but it makes you feel a little better about your team, that you don’t have a chance or you haven’t played well enough. We haven’t played well enough overall, but we played well enough to be close.”

(on if his father, former NFL head coach Bum Phillips, gives him any advice at a time like this) “Yeah, he’s been through it and of course, I’ve been through it. We started 0-3 at Buffalo my first year and of course they really wanted to run me out of town then. We had a bye then we played San Francisco and they were 3-0. We won 10 that year and got in the playoffs. It’s about how many you win. We wanted to win the games we want, but we didn’t and we have to go on from there. We’re one game out of first place in our division. So that’s the first goal to try to win your division.”

(on if it is frustrating to see the team struggling to run the ball) “A little bit. Actually we ran the ball pretty well against Washington. We didn’t run as well against the Bears, but we threw for 300 yards against the Bears. We just didn’t score enough points.”

(on what do he think about the Texans offense) “They look really good. One week they run for 300 yards and the next week they throw for 500. It’s pretty impressive.”

(on what specifically impresses him about the Texans offense) “Well they can do both. They can run it really well. If you back off, basically that’s what we did in preseason, they can just tear you up in the running game. If you come after they can throw it. I’m impressed with them.”

(on his thoughts of the Texans without T Duane Brown) “Well, Chicago lost their left  tackle during the game and they did alright. Sometimes you have to help certain guys. Against (Dallas OLB) Demarcus (Ware), he usually gets a lot of attention anyway. He usually gets more than one guy. So I don’t think it’ll be a whole lot different." 

(on how important it is for him to come back and play at Houston) “It’s really special. It’s family. Its home and I played football there. I coached there. A lot of my life has been in Houston. I have great respect for the organization and Mr. McNair. It’s coming home for me.”

(on if criticism of the team’s performance bothers him) “I think you’re always a human being. They wanted to fire me in the middle of the year last year and we did alright. When I first started coaching in the NFL, I was coaching for the Houston Oilers. We won more games than anyone in football, but before New Year’s Eve they fired us, and I thought I was a good coach. I thought I done a good job. So after that, I said, ‘Hey, I’m not going to base it on what kind of a coach I am. I’m going to go out there and coach the best that I can and do the best job that I can do for the people I’m working for. I’m going to continue to do that till they say that I need to go somewhere else.’”

(on what he sees the Texas secondary do well in) “I think they’re young and they’re learning. They got some talented players back there. They have a good rush. They have some rush guys that can certainly can come off the corner and the middle.”

(on the perception of the Cowboys while he was growing up in Houston) “I grew up in Port Neches. I grew up all around the state, but I went to high school in Port Neches. At that time, we just had the Cowboys and the Oilers were in the AFL. We loved the Cowboys because they were our team in the NFL. When I came back and ended up coaching for the Oilers in the NFL they were a rival of ours and it was a big game when we played them. It was a big game when we played them on Thanksgiving. That was one of the biggest games we ever played I thought.”

(on WR Andre Johnson’s game-tying touchdown reception against Washington) “Well, that’s him. That’s why they pay him like they do because he could make those kinds of plays. Although the quarterback made a great play too and the guard who knocked the guy off before the quarterback threw it. It took a combination of players and that’s what team is.”

(on if Dallas NT Jay Ratliff will be available Sunday vs. the Texans) “He’s not going to be at practice today or tomorrow. He’s gone for the funeral, but it was really tragic.”

(on will Dallas NT Jay Ratliff play against the Texans) “Yes.”

(on the status of TE Jason Witten) “Yes, he practiced today.”

(on what is the perception of the Texans from Dallas) “From my perspective, I look at them as a team that is certainly in the rise. We knew from last year till the end of the year and now, they started great. They beat the team that they needed to beat, Indianapolis. Then they went up and beat Washington, who we didn’t beat. We look at them as a good football team. We’re trying to get our team together. We’re worried about ourselves first and then them. That’s the way we’re going to approach it.”

(on how many family members will he have attending this game) “I had 50 for the preseason game. So I will expect more than that.”

(on comments that he played a “vanilla” defense during the preseason loss to the Texans) “Well no, I wouldn’t say that. We just play a lot of our base defense in preseason because I think that’s what you hang your hat on. We will be playing a lot of those defenses against the Texans this game. They can see what we play.”

(on how well does he know Texans head coach Gary Kubiak) “I know (head coach) Gary (Kubiak) and Rhonda real well. Gary was at Denver when I was coaching there. I think we have a good relationship. Rhonda and Laurie are pretty close and we’re both from Texas and coaching Texas teams which is pretty neat.”

(on how good Dallas WR Dez Bryant could be) “Well we said it early, and a lot of people believed that we were too hyped up on the guy; but it was pretty evident that the guy is a talented player and I going to be able to do things. At least that’s what we thought when we first had him here before he got hurt. He’s come back and played real well for the first two games. I think he’s going to be  a star. That’s what we said in the first place and I think that’s going to come true.”  

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo
(on the possibility of being the third consecutive quarterback to pass for 400 yards against the Texans defense) “I think that part of that is because how the games are going. I know going against Indianapolis, when they get behind you they’re going to put the ball in the air. We do the same thing here in the last week or two. That’s just part of the way the game flows. They’re playing good. They’re running the ball. They’re active defensively. We got to be prepared for everything.”

(on does he see any strength in the Texans secondary) “They play a good scheme. Defensively they do a lot of stuff. We got to be really prepared for a bare front this week. We are actually going to put some time in where we move people down on the line and try and create mismatches. So we’ll work in that a bunch. As far as what they do, they’re a team that is not unlike a Tampa Two system; but they don’t play it all that much. They’re a man-to-man team and zone dog. They do a little bit of everything. You really have to be ready.”

(on what do Dallas T Doug Free has to do to avoid being overpowered by Texans DE Mario Williams) “I think he has to use good technique. He has to be ready for the bull rush. (Dallas T) Doug (Free) knows that going in. I feel strong about Doug having a good game this week.”

(on the current mindset of the team after a 0-2 start) “I think there’s a great sense of urgency. This is not where you want to be after two games. We understand that you are only afforded so many opportunities. This is very important for us. We worked very hard to put ourselves in a situation and in a position to win football games and we haven’t done it yet. It’s disappointing and frustrating, but the only way to get out of this hole to go out and play well and win and to have a great week of practice that really started two days ago.”

(on what have he’s seen from the Texans defensive line that concerns him the most) “They’re active. They move around. They slant their defensive line and rush with an extra couple of guys and bring pressure. We have to be ready for that. They came after us in the last game and we expect them to do the same this game.”

(on how impressed he is with QB Matt Schaub’s development since joining the Texans) “He’s done a great job. You can see the more comfortable in the system you become, the more efficient you become in doing the little things. I think that (QB) Matt (Schaub) is a guy that put himself in that position to play at a high level week-in and week-out. To his credit, he’s playing that way. He’s playing great football. You got to give him credit, he’s playing as good as anybody.”

(on why Texans QB Matt Schaub doesn’t get more notoriety) “At the quarterback position, you’re judged on wins and losses. Really, at the end of the day that’s what it comes down to. It’s no different with me. Sometimes there’s a few things, but you have to win. That’s what people look tow in the quarterback position, you’re judged at that. Now it’s just about him stacking a couple of playoff games together. He’s got everything else. He’s a great quarterback and he’s doing really well.”

(on comparing Washington TE Chris Cooley with that of Cowboys TE Jason Witten) “They’re different type players. Some of the things Washington does in play action and naked (boot pass) we don’t do. I think that for us it’s just that do what we do well. (Cowboys TE) Jason (Witten) and (Washington TE) Chris (Cooley) are just different type of players.”

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