When a defense relies on more than just their front four for quarterback pressure, some NFL…
On the Record: Tony Romo
How much does Michael Strahan's presence change your preparation for the game? I don't think it changes my preparation of sorts. I think you have to definitely account for him in your scheme maybe a little bit, but I just think you have to go out there and feel like he is going to play and do the same things he has done in the past and if he is not, then I guess that in some way helps us. Is it a big difference in the offense with a new coordinator? No, yeah, it is just good. It is different than last year. We have a whole bunch of new verbiage and we have some new things, but I feel like we have it down. We practiced a lot with it. We have had a ton of OTAs and mini-camps this off-season so we almost really went through two training camps I feel like trying to prepare and get ourselves into position to know it. I think everyone has gotten a good feel for it now. We feel really comfortable. Are you glad you are starting the season against a division rival or would you have rather started against another team? I guess I don't really think about it either way. When the schedule comes out you are excited. You have a big game in the first game, I know that. You are excited because it is the start of the season. I think it is just another day to try to go out and make a statement that you are a good football team. At the end of the day this game is going to be a big game just because it is against the Giants, a division rival, and it's going to kind of set the tone for your season hopefully. I think all those things in one makes for a really big Sunday. How are you adjusting to being a big star now? Yeah, I am a real big star, ha ha. It is just football. At the end of the day if you are the quarterback for the Giants or you are the quarterback for the Cowboys, people are going to know your name and know who you are. At the end of the day it comes down to performance and about winning football games. If you win more games than you lose, people are going to like you; you lose more games than you win, then they are not going to like you. I think that this fame or celebrity-ism or whatever that you want to call it; it will rise as long as you are playing well. For me I know that it is just a time in my life right now that it is going to be like that and it will go away at some point too and you have to be prepared to live life without it. I just don't think about it too much, it doesn't really affect my happiness as far as people recognizing you and things. Do you think the Cowboys should be the favorites to win the division? I don't know. Really it is the first week of the season and you really don't know a lot. That is the neat thing about football is that at the end of the day every season brings about new teams and new championship contenders I think. I just think that it is another situation where we are going to find out a lot about a lot of teams real quick. Are you watching more Philadelphia defensive film because of the Giants new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo? No. We are probably watching more Giants film. I think that sometimes when you have the head coach like a Tom Coughlin they are going to stick with a lot of the same things that I would expect. I am sure they are going to implement some of the stuff that Philly did, but at the end of the day you are going to take what they did in the preseason, you are going to take the good things they did from last year with the Giants, and then they'll probably throw some wrinkles in with the Philly stuff. I still think we watched more Giants tape than we do Philly. What is it like without Bill Parcells in Dallas? I really enjoyed being around Bill. I enjoyed my time with him and I learned a lot. I wish everyone could see the side of him that is not on television; the witty, humorous kind of guy once in a while. In that aspect, I miss being around Bill Parcells the guy and learning from him as a coach. That is another part of being in this league is that you are going to go through teammates and coaches if you play long enough. I think the neat thing about it is that I have another one here with Wade Phillips that is another special guy that I am learning from. He has a special personality in his own way. I just think I have been really fortunate to have those two guys. How is Wade Phillips different than Bill Parcells? I would say the biggest difference would probably be the language. I think Bill's language was a little more… he might get on you with a little more emphasis on the four-letter words once in a while. Wade brings a different approach. I think Bill wanted to manage a lot of the different areas of the football team. He was going to get on the coaches, the players, and the different people all around. I think Wade delegates his coaches to do a lot more of the talking consistently. He will say the things that he needs to say but he expects the coaches and the players to be held accountable to themselves and their teammates. I still think at the end of the day that it is all about competition and they both love to compete. I just think it is a lot more similar than people think, even though one might get in your face a little more than another one, they both want you to compete at your highest level and to be out there trying as hard as you can every day, that stays the same. How was Terrell Owens' camp? He did well. He worked hard. The thing with T.O. is that I think he likes Wade Phillips a lot. I think he respects the guy because he respects T.O. quite a bit. I talked to T.O. about it and he feels like you don't want to let the head man down because he allows you to be a professional and if you let him down it hurts him. It hurts T.O. to let someone down who really trusts in you so I think the relationship is going to work real well. How has Jason Garrett been as an offensive coordinator? He has been good. He can actually speak very well in front of the team and he does a good job of emphasizing certain things. I think he is going to be bright coach in this league for a long time, so I think we are pretty lucky to have him. What do you see when you look at the Giants secondary? Are they a team you can pass on? I really feel like it all starts in the NFL up front on both sides of the ball really. If the defensive front four can get to the quarterback, it is going to make your secondary look better. If they take a long time to get to the quarterback, your secondary is not going to look as good. I don't know. I just feel like they have some good players over there definitely. It is just a matter of putting your guys in good position and I think this new coordinator has been doing that. I think we have a tough battle ahead of us, but if we do what we are supposed to, usually good things can happen.
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