Wade Phillips opened his Monday press conference mentioning that while everybody made big plays in the game, what stood out is how many guys contributed to the win, and then proceeded a role call of players ... Canty, Tank, Bowen, Scandrick, Jenkins, Roy E, Bennett, Newman, Ratliff, Ware "he always plays well" was his quote) James, Kosier, Davis, Barber ... a real team effort.
Tony started out rusty but played an efficient game. He affects the attitudes of the other players - this team believes in him. His quarterback rating in the 4th quarter was 147.9.
Phillips talked about wanting the team to feel like it was a must-win because you're going get your best out of them. They prepare the best, they focus the best. Every game should be urgent. To convey that, he said that he just tries to be honest with them. You can't overlook the kind of attitude you're supposed to have.
On begin a pretty or big-play team and not physical
Phillips immediately refuted that perception by stating that the Cowboys are a physical team, so if that's the kind of game they need to play then they have shown that they can do that. This gives them confidence that they can do that.
The 4th down call
On 3rd down, what's going to happen there. they knew they were going to run the ball and then take the clock down and call time out to expend the most time from the clock. He and Jason Garrett decided to go for it instead of kicking into the wind (a problem they had during pre-game) and they felt they wanted to not give their offense a chance to have field position enough to throw the ball into the end zone at the end of the game. They felt that Washington had to score a TD to win/tie the game in either case so that's why they went for it. When the defense lined up inside, they knew they made the right call.
Newman being healthy and playing Santana Moss
They talked about this last week. They felt better about their pass defense and they started playing more man-to-man and challenged Newman to play man on Moss. Jenkins and Scandrick played well. Phillips mentioned that he hasn't had that many man-to-man players to do that. He was injured last year so they couldn't implement that last year. They had to keep Moss from beating the team like he has in the past.
Spencer and Ellis sharing snaps
Spencer played more 1st and 2nd downs and Eliis played more 3rd. That's the way the coaching staff wants it. The inside backers and Ware played the best of the group.
Improved Offensive Line play
The offensive line game up no sacks and helped serve up a good running game against a good defensive team. No matter what you say, the quarterback makes the difference, and it gives those guys confidence. Phillips says that these guys are excepionally close and losing Kosier affected the whole chemistry.
Coaching with Urgency
You say you're not, but it's the same thing as with the players. There's different levels in each game, but you always try to get to the top level every game.
Feeling about losing the last 4 out of 6
"We've won the last 2 out of 3 ... and we lost some preseason games, too, so you've got to count those ..." (thanks to Clarence Hill from the FWST for that little gem of a premise).
What ensued was a dialogue between Hill and Phillips where the interviewer was attempting to get Wade to say that he was more focused because he is on the hot seat, and Phillips not taking the bait. At one point, Phillips replied, "Well, if that's what you want me to say ...". They work hard every week to be focused.
Phillips thinks it's a confidence going into the game feeling like you're going to win, and he feels like that every game. The players felt moreso that way with Romo returning, even though they always feel they're going to win.
Punt coverage and punt returns and placements were all good. Kickoff coverage was bad before the half and It bothers him. They had a right kickoff called, and it went down the middle, so with everyone blocking to the right, the Redskins returned it to the left, which gave them good field position. So it's not just coverage, but placement of the kick that also has to be executed. We also didn't block on kickoff coverage very well.
Different level of play with Romo returning
Quarterbacks are difference makes in the league. New England isn't as good as they were last year. Romo may play with the splint next game and possibly Thursday since it's a short week. But he shouldn't need it after that.
The cold night caused some players to cramp up. There were a few minor things but nothing major.
He's a relentless player. You say every player can be like that but he is that. And he;s got ability. He has a nose for the football. He doesn't know if he's had a nose guard with 6 sacks in the season at this point. He runs well. He's a Demarcus Ware type guy that just makes plays. He gives the team the inside pass rush that's hard to get.
Williams-Owens-Witten on one side
(Editor's note: Ah, the WOW package...)
Phillips mentioned that we should see this more and more once they get a better feel on what they can do with that package. It will give teams problems.
Last Drive behind Colombo and Davis
We have a lot of confidence in our line. We made a 4th down conversion agaisnt Tampa. Those two guys are big physical guys who can run block. We like them.