Can you give us an update of where you think you guys are because I know you have had a rough couple of weeks in terms of how the games have ended?
“We just take it week by week. Obviously we’ve lost a couple of close games that we felt very comfortable in and we just have to come out and play a great game this week. Have great energy and play our best game of the year. It is going to be a great challenge. Going down to Tampa is never an easy place to play. When you watch them on tape they do a lot of good things so I think it is going to be a tough game. It will be a game where we got to come out and play really good football.”
I am sure of heard the questions about not being able to finish close games this year and do you think there is an issue there that you guys can address?
“It is just about (when it happens week after week it is a statement) but go back two weeks we won two or three right in a row right at the end. At different times we have for come backs in the fourth quarter this year and you know we have won those. Then we had a couple others where we haven’t so it is just whatever has happened recently is what is going to be talked about [and] written about. The only way to have that stopped is to win so we just need to go out and win.”
Can you give us a sense of what the whole atmosphere is like playing and living in Dallas?
“All I can tell you is through my own experiences and I have never played anywhere else. I think there is always pressure to perform and I think there is always a sense of optimism and excitement going into every season. I can’t imagine it being that different from other teams with just wanting to be great at your job. As far as being different, I just don’t know [since] I have never been anywhere else. I couldn’t describe, [but] I do know that it’s enjoyable to be part of this franchise. It is great trying to play and be great in football. I am just excited that we get to do this every day.”
What are your impressions on the Bucs’ Adrian Clayborn?
“He looks good. He has got a burst. You got to account for me. We have to do some things. I think that he plays hard and [has] real good body control. He is kind of a guy that can be disruptive to an offense if you are not careful. I think we have to be prepared. He has done a great job. He looks good on tape.”
Are the sacks and protection issues a case of missed assignments or are you just holding on to the ball too long?
“There are a lot of reasons. To pin pint one obviously sacks are not great. Sometimes it has to do with just blocking a guy. Sometimes you have to get the ball out. Sometimes you have to win on a route. There is a lot of stuff that goes into each sack. Each one is a little different sometimes. We are working on that. I think the guys are continuing to grind away and get better every week. We got some young guys playing some key roles. I think they just keep getting better as the year progresses. I expect them to continue to grow and be real good.”
Where you a Cowboys fan growing up? What team did you root for and what did you know about the Cowboys long before you played for them?
“I actually grew up in Wisconsin so I kept learning very year that they would knock the Packers out of the playoffs in the ‘90s. That was basically what I remembered growing up and like a lot of things the Cowboys aren’t a very indifferent team. You either like them or you really don’t, but most people have an opinion about them so that’s kind of what makes it—a lot of it is because of the success they have had over the years [in] the National Football League. It is just exciting to be a part of a great franchise like this.”
Is there any downside or is it like the best thing in the world is being a Dallas Cowboy when riding high and can it be a bad thing when not riding so high?
“Well, I have never played anywhere else so I don’t know. It just feels like if you lose in the National Football League the week is a hard week just because you put so much time and effort and commitment into it to go out on Sunday and not come in with the win is just frustrating and disappointing. When you win it is a great feeling and a lot of that just stems from the time you put in. As far as being a Cowboy I don’t know. I think that would be the same no matter where you played. I don’t know if that would be any different.”
What would it mean for you and your teammates to be part of a team to maybe end that streak of lack of postseason success?
“Well, I just think we are just thinking about the game ahead. The last time I didn’t play the last part of last season and all that stuff. The year before that I think [in] ’09 we ended up winning a playoff game and then losing one. We got some guys who have played in some of these games and if we can get in we feel like we are a team that can continue to grow and get better. The only way to do that is to take care of what is happening right now. We need to go out and play a great game against the Bucs this week. That’s all we can control.”
Can you talk briefly about your receiving core and how they make your job a little easier?
“When you are lucky enough to have good skill players it can consistently help everybody else around them. We always [say] all the time [that] having good receivers helps the quarterback. Having a good O-line helps the receivers. Having [a] good quarterback helps the running back. It is just a circular thing and I think our team has some people with the ability to continue to help everybody out. The receivers are just part of that. They are a great group of individuals that come together collectively as a group and allow us to be pretty good on that side of the ball.”