Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Coordinator Jim Johnson

On whether he expects the Cowboys to run the ball a lot in the upcoming game: "I'm sure they will. They're a balanced team, probably as much balance as you're going to see in the NFL. They're very capable, those two backs. We anticipate that they're going to try and run the football; they're very good at it. There's no reason that we think they're going to change. They've got so many weapons. Of course, when they added (RB) Felix Jones, they got a break-away guy. We anticipate that a little bit."

On this being a long week and whether the extra time can cause you to over-think things: "Happy medium. Happy medium. You like the time, there's no question about it. You've got to monitor your time so you don't put too much in, for the players too. That's probably the biggest thing; you have too much time, you put too much in and all of the sudden they don't have enough time to absorb it all. There's a happy medium, but I do like the time. I do like the time."

On whether Dallas is one of the more physical teams in the NFL: "I think so. (TE Jason) Witten is probably the most physical tight end that we play. (WR Terrell Owens) T.O. can be a physical guy, but Witten is probably the most physical guy and, of course, (RB Marion) Barber is the kind of guy that can break tackles. He's probably as good a running back as there is in the league as far as breaking tackles, Barber is."

On whether CB Lito Sheppard will shadow Terrell Owens this week: "(Jokingly) I can't tell you that, I'd have to kill you. No, I can't tell you that. We have a plan, and there will be matchups, but we're not going to get into that right now."

On whether Sheppard will get more playing time vs. Dallas: "I would say so, yeah."

On teams trying to keep QB Tony Romo inside the pocket and whether the Eagles aim to do that: "He's dangerous. First of all, the thing about Romo is he's one of the better passers as far as when he gets out of the pocket. He has a knack for finding open receivers. I don't know if it's as much the defensive line as the discipline in the secondary. I can remember last year, when we played them here, one of the biggest problems we had were the check-down patterns; the backs catching short passes and making yardage. I think it comes more in the discipline of the covered receivers when he does break the pocket."

On why Marion Barber is so hard to tackle: "He's a strong runner. He's got good thighs, and he's one of those downhill runners. He has a lot of energy and he's a tough guy. You put those all together and you got a pretty good running back."

On whether he stresses Barber's ability to break tackles to the defense: "Sure, no question. We stress, first of all, having a lot of people around him. You better get a lot of people around him because he will break them - especially if he gets into the secondary, he will break some tackles. We've seen it against us, and other teams, so we get a lot of people around him."

On whether he ever covers Terrell Owens one-on-one: "Sure. We double-cover and we cover one-on-one."

On whether he emphasizes covering Jason Witten with the linebackers: "I think, first of all, they do a good job, Dallas, of moving him around quite a bit, just like they do with T.O.. I think, part of the thing is recognizing where he's lining up in the formation, making sure we have some good matchups. It might be a safety, it might be a linebacker. We've got to do a good job with that. He's a physical guy, he's a big tight end and you just have to make sure you've got a pretty good matchup on him at all times."

On whether he like the defensive headsets: "So far, I'd have to say I like it. The system, as far as the communication, I don't do too much different, I don't think. I still make the calls. I might have some alert calls, say 'hey, look for this, look for that,' but I really get off the radio as fast as I can because I want him to get it to the defense. I don't want to linger and communicate too much. I make the call, I say maybe one or two things to point out and get the call to the defense. So far, it's seemed like it's worked pretty good as far as there hasn't been any pressure as far as hurry up. There's been plenty of time."

On working with CB Asante Samuel: "He's a good player. What can I say? He's a good player. He's got a great knack for playing that corner position. He's done a great job so far. He gets a good break on the ball. I don't know if it affects the defense any more, other than just being out there at left corner. That affects the defense. He's playing pretty good."

On the way the defense shut down Tony Romo in the second game of 2007 and what he takes away from that: "I think, anytime you play a big game - and this is a big game, we all know that - you better make some plays on defense. The first time we played them up here (in 2007) we hardly made any defensive plays. We played them down in Dallas and we made some defensive plays. We made some interceptions, some key interceptions, we got some pressure on the quarterback, some big sacks. That's what you take from that game and I'm sure they feel the same way, 'hey, we can't turn the ball over.' That's going to happen when two good teams meet in big games, we just made some plays."

On Dallas starting LG Kyle Kosier being out and what impact that has on their offensive line: "I think, when you take a guy out, the new guy's got to learn what they're doing a little bit. So, it's a learning process. But, both are physical guys, good sized guys. They go along with their whole offensive line, as big as we'll face all year."

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