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Parcells press conference 10/30/06

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On Tony Ollison's condition: They are going to do two more tests today, preliminary tests are good. Based on new results today, they will decide whether he comes home or stays there in the hospital. That's all I know. (Rich Dalrymple update: don't know if it is heart-related).

Nobody's feeling good when you see a guy not doing well in a captive environment without being able to get help. We were on the ground in 10 minutes after it happened.

Tyson Thompson needs surgery, I don't think he will stay on the roster. We're going to look a little bit around the league for help; Skyler may be able to do it. It was unfortunate but that's the game, the guy just fell on his ankle.

On Tony Romo: I thought there was some good things there, I think he bought himself some time with his feet, he made some good throws, a couple of clutch throws. His game management could use work. But for his first time in that situation, I was generally satisfied. I told him on the bus after the game after he was all sore and beat up, that you better be able to get back in the huddle on Wednesday and show you can move the team. It's different from carrying a clipboard over there on the sidelines, not playing.

On Tony Romo expectations: I don't know what to expect, I just hope the course of action is for the good of a team. I told you all along, I was hopeful the path we took to get him ready to play was the right one. I hope that it's the right path, I don't think he thinks, now, that the path of playing sooner would've worked. He wasn't ready. That's the problem with rushing your QB's into games when they're not ready to succeed or the situation won't let them succeed. Sometimes the obstacles are too big. That happens to players who are rushed. I've mentioned it 100 times, what Coach Landry taught me, if you see something you like, like we did with Romo, then you need to see a little more the next year. I thought his preseason performance last year was good, and in this year's preseason we made a commitment to playing him. But trust me, this guys is less than perfect.

On Romo game management issues: He doesn't understand yet they aren't going to wait for him to evaluate every situation. The clock doesn't allow it; he wants to think over every situation a couple of times. You have to be careful as a coach because he will process all the information you give him, you have to watch out what you give him. He'll spend too much time processing instead of just playing.

I don't know why the game was so emotional, at some point in time you have to get it all out in front of them, and they responded well. I told them I wasn't having fun, but I'll take all the crap you get in this business for 2 years just to feel like last night. I like to see the team feel like that. The satisfying thing is for me to see them happy. They were all happy.

I told the network guys, I got 8 or 10 players who wrote me last week, worried about me. One of them showed up at the game (Jim Burt). I said I appreciate you coming, he said it was time. The ones who have been through it with me, who know what it's about, they knew it was time.

On why he was not having fun: You think I was happy about the beating last week? I was ashamed about the product we put on the field. I had a lot of time invested in it. I'm not crying the blues, I'm a big boy.

On why he didn't yell and scream in last week's game: You got to do sometimes what you think is right, if you're driving the ship, and you're in a panic, the ship doesn't go straight. Now, it didn't go straight last week anyway.

At halftime this week I knew my team was fighting hard. We had a few bad thing happen to us, we hit the upright on a FG, we had some things that could've gone differently. But I did think we were going to give them a run for the money. I told them at halftime you can beat this team, just suck it up and go. It's a good thing. But we got another road trip coming up.

You get to a point in the season where opportunity doesn't stay on the doorstep very long. I've got a better feel for the NFC now. Other than Chicago, who is in a control position, there's nobody in control of any division. The West, East, South it's anybody's game.

On why this game was special: It goes back to having the game tell you what you are. Period. I told the TV guys that the other night. My experience tells me to disregard everything but the game. Friends, critics, guys in the press box, I disregard that. The game tells you what you are. The peripheral means nothing. Once you get to that point as a player or coach, you don't get distracted.

It's just one game, but it says we have some fight, and the team wants to do well. When we play with discipline we can compete with everybody, when we don't we become an average to below average team. A lot of teams have that problem each week. Sean (Payton) called me this morning, they turned it over 5 times, he said they didn't have a chance.

On Romo: Tony is like any young kid, but he's been around here he knows the process, he's been waiting in the wings. And he knows opportunity won't stay forever for him personally. He's smart and mature enough to realize that. I need to help him to avoid the pitfalls of the pressure week to week.

On giving Romo too much information: Let's try not to talk a cat down off the fish truck. I want to give him limited information. I told him that the interception will sit him down quicker than anything. I was tough on him about that. No impulse plays.

I was more involved in the strategy of the game, not the actual play-calling in the game. On each series, or based on field position, i would day we're going to do "this". I didn't even know [Panthers CB] Lucas was out for a while. I remember the coaches mentioned it, but it didn't change the play-calling.

On Davis starting at safety: We practiced the reverse of what we did, we practiced Marcus more and Keith less in the week, we didn't know if Keith would be good to go, I thought he would play, but didn't know his role. Marcus got 2/3rds of the reps in practice. Later in the week we decided Keith could start, and Marcus would play in the nickel. I needed to limit Keith because I need him on special teams. Don't know what we'll do next week.

I talked to the team about rallying around Romo earlier in the week; the players were trying to do what they could to give him a chance. Some of them did a good job helping out.

I told them last night they showed a lot of guts, down 14 on the road, after last week's game. I said they were in a fight and they lost the first 2 rounds, but they kept punching. And they got stronger, especially late in the game. Carolina had a couple of mistakes too, one in particular that could've turned the game.

I think Romo's mobility helped some. You know, he did get out of some trouble. One of his assets, when he's moving, is he's still accurate. When he first came up with us, his girlfriend wasn't winning many teddy bears at the arcade. He was all over the place.

On Colombo: I thought he did a good job, he fights it out, he's a tough guy, he's doing a good job.

This morning I had a player who I hadn't talked to in years, he sent me a congratulations email, said he was worried about me. That means a lot in this business. When Jimmy [Burt] showed up, he said it was time. That group of guys knows what that means. You need to be there for someone.

Surprised at Romo's pocket presence: I've been seeing him do it for 4 years now, you know. It's innate in the player. In one of his first games, down in Arizona in the preseason, he avoided some rush, then decided to flip it underhand for an INT. So it's not always good.

On Keyshawn dropping the big pass: Keyshawn has made a lot of plays. That's the way the cards went last night. He's a good player. I told him played a lot of good football for me and spilled some blood for me.  I have high respect for him.

The guys I respect in this business know this can be a tedious endeavor. I talked to LaRussa for 15 minutes last night, when you talk to him or Bobby Knight, those are the guy you perk up and listen to what they say. They are the ones I rely on. If you're not having fun its not worth doing. It is a game after all that can be exciting and fun.

On a young QB bringing excitement to the team: [Charlie] Waters comes on the bus last night and he was as excited as I was. He's hooked again, that's nice, and he's a football guy. He wasn't in there handing out compliments; he was just in there being excited. I wrote a letter to Wellington Mara shortly before he died, I told him he now had a fiery coach and young QB so that should perk him up. But hey, let's not move this guy [Romo] to Ohio yet.

I'm happy for the players and we got a good win on the road. We'll see where we go; it will take a little wherewithal to continue.

On Romo's play inspiring confidence: Some demonstrated ability does foster belief. Anybody can land a lucky punch. Once in a while at the plate they hit your bat, you swing but they hit your bat, you don't hit the ball. I don't know, if it was a lucky punch, I don't think it was, we'll see.

On the good defensive play: The array of skill people Carolina had put our defense on alert. When Steve Smith is on the field you need to pay attention. Same with Santana Moss or Randle El, I think that was what it was they played that way, they couldn't breathe easy.