DALLAS QUARTERBACK TONY ROMO
CONFERENCE CALL - September 16, 2009
Q: How is your ankle?
A: It’s going to be fine.
Q: With T.O. not there, is it easier to spread the ball around more?
A: No, I wouldn’t say it is easier. We have worked hard at just formatting things a little different this year and doing different things. We have some people that are a little older that can do a few more things. We can move things around from a formation standpoint, I think.
Q: It certainly seemed to work pretty well in the first game.
A: Yeah. We did some good things. We made some mistakes and we still have to continue to get better in a lot of areas. But it was good to see some of the guys do some good things.
Q: You guys are playing the divisional champions. Is this like a good early litmus test? Obviously they are ‘the beast of the East.’ You kind of have to beat them and go through them; don’t you if you are going to make hay this year?
A: I don’t know that they are ... They are a great football team, but I think everyone in the East is good this year. I think that every game is going to provide you with a challenge and I think this is another challenge this week. Obviously they have a lot of good players and talented guys over there who have accomplished a lot. It will be a good test for our football team.
Q: Have the Giants become your number one rival the last couple of years?
A: I don’t know. It is good test because they are a good football team. But so is Philly. And Washington has obviously come up here recently. We kind of treat them all the same. I know that sometimes some of the guys like to talk and do the whole deal, but we just keep concentrating and going forward and keep working and move along.
Q: How distracting will all of the hoopla be with this being a prime time game and you guys having all of your festivities about your new stadium?
A: We have already been through it in the preseason. So for us it won’t be anything new as far as something that is going to all of a sudden be new. It is just going to be a big football game, as it would be anywhere on Sunday night.
Q: For a number of years the Cowboys have had very big expectations outside of Dallas – picked to finish first, those kind of things. Do you get a sense that maybe the expectations outside of Dallas are a little different? And maybe that will be good for the team – to not always be the front runner in other people’s minds?
A: Well, it will be good if we win. If we lose, then obviously it is what it is. But I think that for us, it doesn’t matter either way. It really doesn’t matter what people say – whether they say that you are a great football team or you are a bad football team. It matters what you do on the field. And it matters that you can go out there and perform and win football games. And everyone has an opinion; everyone has some great reason as to why some teams are great or not great. It is funny, no one ever gets the Super Bowl champion right before the season. So it changes. There will be some great team here for the first six weeks that will have the Super Bowl wrapped up and there will be another for the next six weeks and then there will be another team. That is just part of football. It makes it fun and exciting for the fans.
Q: From being Chris Canty’s teammate for the last couple of years, what impressed you about his as a defensive lineman and what is most challenging about going up against him?
A: Chris is a great football player and it was tough to see him go because he had a lot of production with us. I liked Chris. He was a good guy. He worked hard. Obviously it is a guy we have got to account for now. I think he provides them with another guy on the D-line that is going to present another matchup that we have to prepare for. I think that was a great job by New York to get him this offseason.
Q: How is Miles Austin coming along? I know that he had that big play last week.
A: Yeah, he has been coming along good. That was one thing we thought coming into the season was that he is the type of guy who can catch a 5-yard pass and create something after the catch. And he has been doing that since we have put him on the field last year. I think he is continuing to grow into his role a little bit.
Q: Is it a good thing – would you say that there is less drama now with your team? If so, is that a good thing?
A: I don’t sit and read and look at and listen to everything that is talked about and said. So I don’t really sometimes know what is going on out there. I think that – ……this football team – a lot of ways to just put our heads down and grind it out and get better each day. We are trying to do two things each week. Number one is win and get better every day. And after Sunday, whether or not we do anything, we are going to have gotten better because we are going to understand from different things and we are going to continue to get better as a unit and as a team. And I think that approach has served us very well since we have started this thing way back when.
Q: You don’t get a sense that there was ever drama either inside or outside your team the last few years?
A: I think drama just happens when your team isn’t winning. The reality of it is, you could have a ton of drama, but if you are 15-1, 16-0 – it is really minimized. That is part of the game. If you are going to start losing, stuff is going to become more important to the outside perspective. And we understood that. We just put our head down and we are going to keep grinding out and getting better.
Q: When you look at the Giants’ defense, what do you see?
A: I think they are good. I think they are a talented group of guys. I don’t think it is any different from what I have been seeing for a good three years now, which is a good ball club that is coached very well. They get after the quarterback, they blitz, and they play good in coverage. They are coached well. They fly around to the ball. They are talented everywhere. They are everything you want out of a defense. It is going to be a great challenge. I think anybody that goes against them understands that it is just going to be a really, really hard-fought game to move the ball against them. So if we can hopefully get out there and move it a little bit we will be pretty lucky this game.
Q: You had those two preseason games in the building. Is there anything that takes some getting used to in such a big venue?
A: No, I don’t think so. I think it was exciting and it is a great place to play football and we are lucky to be a part of it. But when you get out there – just like the movie, “Hoosiers” – the goal is still 10 feet and it is still 15 feet to the free throw line. The field is still 100 yards long. I think if you go out there and understand that, you can still do the same stuff.
Q: Speaking of measurements, when you are on the sideline, can you see that TV screen?
A: If you want to really arch you neck, you can. You have to look up pretty good. But it is a pretty cool spectacle.
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Name: Avis Roper
Organization: New York Giants
Phone: +1. 201-935-8111
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