Dawkins Talks Dallas


If there’s anyone on the Broncos roster that is most familiar with the Dallas Cowboys, it’s former Eagle, Brian Dawkins. These quotes from Dawkins come from DenverBroncos.com.

On the Dallas offense
“They are a very talented group, to say the least, definitely have a real good running attack, three backs that are all capable of doing damage, a big offensive line that can move you and a quarterback that can get the ball to the receivers that he has outside, which can do something with the ball once they catch it. We have our hands cut out once again this week.”

On the Dallas running game
“If you look at their yards per carry right now, that speaks volumes of what they can do, the damage they can do moving guys off the ball if you are not stout and standing there being physical with them. It is going to be a challenge for all of us, not just the guys up front, to make sure that that running attack doesn’t get going.”

On if the defense will prepare differently for Dallas’ different running backs
“Our preparation shouldn’t change regardless of the back. We have to make sure that we are sound in our gaps, make sure that everybody is running to the ball. Obviously, (Dallas RB Marion) Barber is a Pro Bowl running back, and we know what he brings to the table-very physical. (I) definitely enjoyed playing against him with Philadelphia. He is the one guy that you look at on their team (and say), ‘You know what? You would love for that guy to be on your team’ (with) the way he comes every down, the way he brings it, the way he even blocks in pass protection. You know what he brings to the table, but every last one of them can get outside if you allow them to and have the speed to get going.”

On defending Dallas TE Jason Witten
“It is going to take four quarters. You can’t ease up off of him. I have enjoyed my time going against him as well. He is a guy that you have to get up for and make sure that you study him as much as possible. Even at that, he is such a big guy that once he catches the ball, it takes a lot of effort to bring him down. He runs his routes crisp. People may not think he is the fastest guy, but it doesn’t matter. He finds himself open time and time again. It is not a one-guy job, either. It is going to take a group of guys to make sure that we can contain him.”

On if he will defend Witten
“If my number is called, I definitely accept that challenge. Once again, I am going to continue to tell you guys that you will have to watch the game to see if I am going to be assigned to him a lot, but you definitely welcome that challenge, just like we welcome the challenge of going against Cincinnati with the corps of receivers they have. I know Witten is a big part of this offense, but they have a capable group of receivers you can’t sleep on. You can’t just say, ‘We are going to take Witten away’ and not keep an eye on the other guys that they have, who have all put up some pretty good numbers thus far this season.”

On his familiarity with the NFC East
“There is a trap in saying you know people. You don’t want to get to a point where you say, ‘I know this team.’ That may affect your preparation. That may affect your thought process. Going into this season, once I saw it was the (NFC) East, I had a couple of games before that to think about them. That is really the way I approached it. Yes, I played against them, and obviously, I will be up for this game because I have been groomed in Philadelphia to dislike Dallas, so obviously, my emotions are going to be high. You have to respect this team. You have to. It is the same way with everybody in the (NFC) East.”

On Dallas QB Tony Romo’s play this season
“Tony is putting up numbers, and as long as you put up numbers and you put up wins like he has done, you can’t sleep on him. That will be for the critics and people outside of the game to say what he is as far as record books and all that stuff. As far as a player preparing for him, you know there are certain things you have to do and certain things you can’t do against this quarterback because he is a Pro Bowl quarterback. He is a guy that puts up numbers and puts the ball to the people that need to get the ball and can keep plays alive and make plays that way. Much respect from me is given to this quarterback.”

On if Romo looks different to him than in past seasons
“No. That pass the other night against Carolina should tell you that he is not a conservative quarterback. He threw the ball across the field. He just has one of those personalities that he wants to get the ball up the field. If it is so called ‘playground ball,’ he is going to do it. That is just his personality.”

On if he thinks the Cowboys are missing Buffalo WR Terrell Owens
“It matters not. We are going to play the Dallas Cowboys and they have potential to put the ball up and get it in the end zone with big-play potential (to) either the tight end (or) the receivers they have. It matters not.”

On if he is satisfied with where the defense stands
“How many games have we played? Can we win a championship off of three games? We have work to do. We are still yet improving. There are still mistakes that we are making on the football field. The effort is always there, the coaching is always there. We have to make sure that we go out consistently every week and have the same type of aggression, discipline, accountability and effort every week. It doesn’t change. You can’t hang your hat on three games. You just can’t. We have to make sure that for the long-haul, we are a consistent group, and that is what we are pushing for.”

On if he is pleased with the defense’s play
“Pleased? We are excited about the proposition of going forward from where we are right now. Pleased? I don’t know if you want to say pleased. You may want to hang your hat on pleased. I don’t want to hang my hat on nothing right now.”

On CB André Goodman and S Renaldo Hill
“Any time you have (CB) Champ Bailey on your team-I have been blessed to play a lot of years in this league and have some success with the help of my teammates and my coaching-those guys are going to go under the radar a little bit, but I know, we know, what they bring to the table. We know how Renaldo gets us lined up so many times. The guy is so smart. There are so many things that he sees during the week that he, I’ll say, ‘hips’ us to, that allows us to be able to anticipate things. ‘Goody’ on the other side, I didn’t know a lot about him, obviously, coming here, but from everything that I’ve seen-his feet and being in position-once again, another smart individual. Like I said last week, the communication back there is ridiculous, how much we talk, how much we are anticipating routes, anticipating things with these guys.”

On Hill’s and Goodman’s chemistry after playing together in Miami
“You almost have to separate them sometimes. They are like brothers. It is funny. They are always getting after one another in practice as far as different things that they may see or different techniques. They are used to one another from being in Miami, so they kind of get after one another.”

On the national perception of the team’s 3-0 start
“It doesn’t make a difference. It really does not. I have obviously played a long time in this league. I played on teams in Philadelphia that (people said), “Ah is this team for real?’ The only thing that matters is what is coming out of the locker room. You guys will get tired of hearing me say that, but that is real. It matters not what any expert says, any panel says, any reporter. It matters not. As long as we believe in one another and we believe in the scheme that we are playing and we are disciplined and accountable to one other, it matters not what is outside of this locker room. It matters not. Let everybody say whatever they want to say about the defense, about the team, about (Defensive Coordinator) Mike (Nolan) or about (Head Coach) Josh (McDaniels). It matters not.”

On the chemistry in the locker room
“I love it. You are seeing a selfless brand of ball. I can’t speak for the offense 100 percent because I am not in their meeting rooms, but all I know is on defense, it matters not who makes a play. We all make that play. If ‘E’ (OLB/DE Elvis Dumervil) makes a sack, we made that sack. If (CB) Champ (Bailey) gets an interception, we all made that interception. We are excited for that individual. It is not a selfish group. I would say the same thing for the offense. (QB Kyle Orton) is spreading the ball to a gazillion wide receivers. All of them are capable of getting big yards, same thing with the running backs. This is a team that is moving in the right direction. We have yet some ways to go. We are not hanging our hat on anything. We have yet some things to correct offensively and defensively, but the direction is a positive one, which is always a good thing.”

On the Cowboys’ tradition
“I can’t step back. It is about those individuals. Those individuals make up the Cowboys. That will be for people outside (and) the media to talk about the Cowboys. We are going to talk about (Cowboys QB Tony) Romo, Witten, the running backs, Barber and the receivers and offense line. That is what we need to discuss and talk about. We can’t worry about the allure and all that stuff that other people want to talk about.”