Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Coordinator Jim Johnson

On what this game means for the defense:"I haven't really thought about it as much as just trying to win the game and making the playoffs. Overall, we're just trying to get better and get more turnovers and stuff like that. It just comes down to trying to win this game and getting into the playoffs. That's what I think about a lot more than anything else."

On the defensive improvements over the last couple of weeks: "I think our coverage has been really good. Especially you can see on third down, we have done a good job on third down of getting people off the field. I think our coverage has been good. That's the biggest thing I've probably noticed, and plus maybe doing a good job against the run. Plus, maybe doing a good job against the run and getting them in third down and long and getting them off the field."

On Cowboys TE Jason Witten: "He has good size. Even though you have people around, he always seems like he comes up with the ball. He knows how to work his body to screen the linebacker or safety off. He and [QB Tony] Romo have good timing on that. That's the biggest thing. You can have good coverage on him and he'll come up with the catch, just because he's so big and kind of shields people off."

On Romo's recent turnover troubles: "Let's hope he does. We have to come up with the catches. Last week we didn't come up with the catches. No matter what, we have to come up with the catches and hopefully that will happen on Sunday."

On whether last week's game would have been different if the defense was able to come up with interceptions: "I think it would have been a big difference. It's one of those things where both (CB Asante Samuel and S Quintin Mikell) have good hands. If you're going to have one guy out there making a play, you'd like Asante to be the guy and Quintin Mikell the same way. They are two of our better players, but it just didn't happen."

On Cowboys RB Tashard Choice: "He's one of those guys who has great speed. He has broken a lot of big plays this year. We have to pay a lot of attention to him. I know (Cowboys RB Marion) Barber is a good back, but Choice is a guy who can take it all the way."

On how far the defense has come since the first Cowboys game: "It has come a long way. I think we're a much better defense right now. Every Sunday is different. We have to play well this Sunday, but they have come a long way."

On what changes they will need to make this time around against the Cowboys: "We didn't do a good job on (Cowboys WR Terrell Owens) on that one play, and we didn't do a good job on Witten. Those were the two things."

On FS Brian Dawkins' season: "I think he's had a good season. Especially after the first three or four weeks, I think he has had a heck of a season. I think he got over those injuries, I think he's playing well, I think he's a great leader. He's playing very well."

On whether he has thought about the potential of this being Dawkins' last game: "No, I didn't think about that."

On whether Dawkins is playing with a lot of confidence: "It seems like he is playing with a lot of confidence. He is just back to his old self. Coming off of the injury, he is playing well."

On whether he thinks the injury had something to do with Dawkins' slow start: "I don't know. Over the last seven or eight weeks, he has just played very well and very consistent."

On the fact that the Eagles are in the top 10 offensively and defensively but might miss the playoffs for the second year in a row: "We've had a lot of close games that could have gone either way. If you go back to the Dallas game or the Redskins game, there were so many close games. The Bears game, it comes down to a few plays here or there. The Washington Redskins game last week. There were a few plays we had to come up with. I still think we're as good as any team in the NFL, but we're just not coming up with the big play to win the game."

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