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Dallas Cowboys Conference Calls

Posted Sep 7, 2011

Transcripts of the conference calls from Dallas QB Tony Romo and head coach Jason Garrett with Jets reporters Wednesday afternoon:

COWBOYS QB TONY ROMO

On how the offseason and training camp was...

It was good. Our team, we needed to get better. We were humbled last year with our win-loss record and we needed to improve and get better. We couldn’t let an offseason go by without this team improving, so I made sure the guys were going to get together and we were going to have practices and we were going to figure out a way to improve and be better this year. I give the guys credit. They were committed to working hard and being ready to go. They were out there every day. It was great to see.

On getting back out on the field for a regular season game after his injury last season…

It feels like it’s been forever since I played in a regular season game and I’m just excited to be playing and excited to go out there and continue to get better, improve and just play football. I love the game. I love competing. It’s just going to be a great feeling.

On facing the Jets defense…

They’re a great group, obviously. They have great corners. They have a great coaching staff. They do a lot of different stuff. Communication will be difficult up there. We’re going to have to communicate well. We’re going to see a lot of Cover-2 Man against them. They use a lot of two-high safeties and play man-under coverage. They’re going to throw some zone at us. So you have to account for these things and just be ready to go. I think it’ll be a great test for our ballclub, and hopefully we’ll be up for it.

On any similarities he sees between the Jets' defense and coach Rob Ryan’s defense in Dallas…

Yes, I think there are some similarities. I think there are a lot of differences, as well. It’s funny, because Rob had a defense already put in for the Jets, a bunch of stuff in that I think he wanted to do in different areas. Then when the Jets got Andrew Sendejo, he ended up switching a lot of that stuff up, so I thought that was pretty interesting when I was watching the defensive side of the ball here this week. I’ve never seen that before, so I think there is a little cat-and-mouse game there, for sure.

On his expectations of the offense this season…

I think we’re just trying to improve each day and get better. We just need our young guys to play well and step up and make some big plays. I think if they continue to grow, we have a good chance to be the ball club we hope to be.

On any young players he expects to have an impact this season…

I think a lot of our young guys, they had a good camp. They’re all working hard. You never know until you get out there, until you play in the games and see how it all pans out. All we can ask is that they work their butts off and they keep improving. That’s what they’re doing right now and they’re doing a good job.

COWBOYS HEAD COACH JASON GARRETT

On playing on September 11…

It’s obviously a very significant day in our country’s history. I was playing with the Giants on Sept. 11, 2001, so I understand the impact that event had on us globally, nationally and then certainly in the region, in the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut area. It was a very significant day at the time. I think the emotions of that event still are really strong throughout our country and certainly in that area. We don’t take the whole situation lightly at all. We understand the emotions of the event, of the anniversary, and we always try to represent ourselves as well as we can. We’ll certainly try to do that again Sunday night.

On if he feels an extra sense of responsibility to play well on September 11…

I think anybody who is in our league, and is playing on this day, probably feels that responsibility. This was not an event that was all about New York. This was an international and national event and, certainly impacted so many people in that region. Like I said, having been there at that time, I understand it all too well, the impact that it made on so many people. I think each of us in the league who are having the opportunity to play on this day understand the magnitude of it, and we’ll try to put our best foot forward.

On having QB Tony Romo back…

Well, Tony has been our leader here the past four or five years. He did not play the last ten games of last season and I think he’s chomping at the bit to get back. He’s had a very good training camp and we’re excited to have him back in the lineup, both playing quarterback for us and leading our team.

On his first training camp as a head coach…

I thought it went well. It was a different offseason for everybody obviously with the lockout and not having OTA’s and minicamps, just going straight to training camp. I thought our team handled it well. We have really good coaches and players who were able to respond to that adversity and really have a productive camp. So we worked very hard, we tried to take it day-by-day and get better individually and collectively, and hopefully coming out of it, we’ve become a better football team. We obviously know the challenges ahead, starting with the Jets on Sunday night. They’re a great football team, really a great football team in all areas. We’re going to be challenged every time we break the huddle and go up to the line of scrimmage. It’ll be a great challenge for our football team, we’re excited about it and hopefully we’re prepared for it.

On why Rex Ryan and the Jets defense are such a challenge…

Well, I think it starts with their players. They have great players across the board, the front, their linebackers and obviously in their secondary as well. And then they have a really, really great scheme. They do a really good job of playing base defense on early downs and then they show you multiple looks, a lot of different fronts in their first and second-down packages and then obviously on third down as well. In so many different areas they challenge you. They challenge you with individual matchups because they are so talented, but they also challenge you with the different schemes that they play and they seem to have a comfort level with it, and they play aggressively. And again, it’ll be challenge for us every time we break the huddle.

On bringing in Rob Ryan as a new defensive coordinator without having an offseason…

I think a lot of teams around the league have had a similar challenge, that there’s been a head coaching change or a coordinator on either side of the ball, and the challenges are the same. You’re trying to implement a defense or an offense or a kicking game system in a short period of time, without the normal offseason reps that you get at it. Typically you have 12 OTA practices and up to five or ten minicamp practices where you can get a new system implemented, and by the time you come to training camp the players have a foundation that they can work from. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case this year, so we had to teach better and learn better, and teach and learn more quickly. And hopefully we’ve been able to do that. I think we made some progress over the course of the preseason and training camp, and hopefully that will show up on Sunday night.

On if he sees similarities between Rob Ryan and Rex Ryan’s defenses…

Well, I think there are some similarities between them. There are a lot of similarities across defenses around the league, and I think each coach puts his own personality on what that scheme is and the things that they emphasize from a front standpoint, a pressure standpoint and then on the back end. So there are certainly some similarities, but there are some differences too. They’re certainly challenging in a lot of different ways, and we know Sunday night we’re going to have our work cut out for us going against that Jets defense, because they’re outstanding.

On what he is looking for the team to improve on from last year…

Well, we have to get better in every area. We have to get better on offense, on defense and in the kicking game. We have to run it better, throw it better, stop the run better, defend the pass better, make more plays, make fewer bad plays, take care of the ball, all those things. Those are the things we’ve been working on, and you go about it day-by-day in training camp and hopefully each and every day, you kind of inch forward individually and as a group to make yourself a better football team. But we need to improve in all areas and we’re working hard to do that.

On what he expects from his team this season…

We don’t really worry too much about outside expectations, we worry about more what our expectations and our standards are inside our building. And it’s about how we go about meeting and walking through, and practicing and trying to get better each and every day and doing things the right way. And we believe if you do that, over time you’re going to get the results that you want. We’re trying to live to be our best each day and then to put some good days on top of each other, and then hopefully we get better as individuals and we get better as a group and we like the results at the end of the day. We’re working hard each and every day, understand that. We’re trying to prepare ourselves as best we can for the challenges of the season.

Preseason Live: New York Jets

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