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Wade Phillips Press Conference: 12/23/08

Summary of Wade Phillips' press conference today.

We had a good practice today, a good outlook and pointing in the right direction. It's exciting for us, it will be a playoff atmosphere when you play a game that might put you in there. It's an immediate and tangible goal.

(Will Marion Barber be a gametime decision again?) Right now we don't know, it was gametime decision in for the last two games, probably the same this week. We have no thoughts of shutting him down, he was able to play the last two games.

(How about Jason Witten's injury?) We don't have an injury report yet, it's only Tuesday, we'll find out tomorrow. He looked good to me but we don't have to say anything right now.

Wade discusses Tony Romo's decision making and whether he crosses the line too often when he gets into scramble mode below so make the jump.


(How has Donovan McNabb played since the benching incident?) He played great for three games on their winning streak. He's capable, I have great respect for him, he's a fighter, he plays his best every game. He causes problems by his strong arm and knowing their offensive system and he can move around, he still moves around well, he hasn't worn down this season, we had trouble with him in the first game.

(Tony Romo and ball security?) There's a line as far as Tony is concerned, being able to Improvise and be able to make plays that some guys can't make, but if you go over the line and make real bad decisions, then you're going over the line. It's a fine line for a scrambling QB, just like McNabb, if you don't let him scramble around he's not going to make plays. Tony's the same way if you don't let him move around and find people at the last second, run up in the pocket and throw it he won't make some of those great plays he makes. It's a learning process with a QB on those decisions. (What about the INT's in the last game, over the line?) Yeah, the first one in the last game he could have run for the first down, run for the three yards. It wasn't there and he tried to make something out of nothing. Its decision making with all players but the QB has to make the most, it's a tough position to play but that's why we're glad we got Tony.

(Will the team be ready because they've played so many pressure games already?) This one is different, this is it and our guys are focused in and ready to go. (In a game like this, do you try more things or go more conservative?) You have to play your game, you can't play conservative, you can't play not to lose, that's contrary to what you want, you do what you do well, within limits. It's not a trick ‘em game, certain things got you here and you continue to do those things.

(Do you worry if Philly is out of contention they make take more chances, try tricks plays, etc?) We don't have control over the situation for Philly, but teams that take chances, undue chances, can also give you chances. It could determine the difference if they take too many chances, it can work against you. It can be a problem if they make the plays and turn the game.

(Are your coaches looking at the next possible opponent?) We start on the next team, whoever it will be one, looks like one of three teams, the coaches start on them this week.

(If they are out of contention could that change how they play?) I expect a team to play their best, most teams want to beat the Cowboys, it's big game for them, also a division game, there's no love-loss between the teams, we want to beat them and they want to beat us.

(More comfortable playing a team you know?) It's a comfort zone, Pittsburgh and Baltimore were different than most teams we play, if they were in the division you get to know them, not knowing them can give you protection problems. But Philly can come up with some stuff, Jim Johnson's scheme puts pressure on people.

(DeSean Jackson?) He's really cone through for them, one of their top receivers if not the top, he's made a big difference as a rookie. You still got to have one eye on Westbrook with the LB's, coming out of the backfield for passes and he's a threat running the ball. He ran well last year against us, we know about him.

(Tony has had some really good games and really bad games statistically against the Eagles, why?) Every game is different, we had a high scoring game the first game, I don't know if it will be high-scoring or low-scoring this time. Sometimes it's the game plan, sometimes it's the coaches putting them in the right situations, sometimes its the QB not making some of the decisions he needs to make. But the most important thing is winning.

(Did you talk to your guys about how hard it is to sack McNabb?) DeMarcus Ware is aware of that, McNabb got away from him a few times last game, he came to the sideline and said ‘he's hard to bring down.' He's got strong legs and can really jump out of tackles. (So what do you do about that?) Grab a hold, hang on and wait for the cavalry to come. (Importance of secondary staying with the WR's because he can get away?) We didn't do a good job of plastering the WR's when he scrambles last time especially in zone defense, you've got to find the receiver and get on him. We've done better since. It's something you have to do with him. He'll go from one side to the other side and throw it to your guys if you leave him or watch the QB. We play more man now so that helps, but you have to play both (man and zone) against him.

(Even if Ware doesn't get the record, how impressive is 20 sacks?)  It doesn't happen very often (20 sacks), it's a tremendous accomplishment because of the rule changes. A QB can get just out of the pocket and throw it away and on screen passes a QB used to couldn't throw it to the ground and they got tackled on those a lot when the guy was covered. Those changes have cut down on opportunities for sacks. To have as many as he has, and the team has, is impressive


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