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Philadelphia Eagles News

FS Brian Dawkins

On whether the Cowboys are a good test to see how good this defense is: "The way you go into every game is you go into every game and try to see how good you are. Against the Rams, we expected them to come out with a very good running attack and a good passing attack, because they have a Pro Bowl caliber quarterback. We didn't look at the Rams as a wash. We went out and played some pretty good defense. There are some mistakes we made against them that we need to correct this week. But, we all know the type of weapons Dallas has. That's the biggest thing. We knew what type of weapons the Rams had. Same thing with Dallas. We know what type of weapons they have, so we have to be up for every contest."

On trying to make sure young players don't get too excited about last week's win or too anxious for this game: "It's not so much what you say. You can say it a couple times, but it's the way we prepare. It's the way we conduct ourselves around here. We're not doing flips and cartwheels after the Rams game. Yes, you're excited because you're supposed to be excited after a victory. But, you know it's just one game of many. We looked at that film and we were honest with ourselves and there were some plays we should have made and some mistakes that were made. Those young guys will see that and hopefully will follow."

On whether there was a reason for his treatment after the game taking a long time: "No, there's no problem. I was just doing some things that will help me lay down and sleep at night, because it's kind of hard for me to sleep at night. There were some things I wanted to do to calm my body down."

On his memories of Texas Stadium: "I've been here a long time. There are a lot of plays that have been some pretty big plays and victories for us. The way we started off in (2000) with the onsides kick and all of that. With the way that played out that year, (LB Jeremiah Trotter's) interception before halftime, (CB) Bobby's (Taylor) stellar play on Michael Irvin back in the day. There are a whole bunch of plays that stand out for me."

On how hard it is to gameplan against a team with so many weapons: "We just go out and do what (defensive coordinator) Jim (Johnson) asks us to do. We have enough confidence that if Jim is calling a specific defense, if he's calling a specific coverage or a specific blitz, and we understand the reasons why, we trust that we will be able to do what we have to do against that offense. They are going to make plays because they have that many weapons over there and they have big-play potential. Our biggest thing it to make more plays than they make and to not allow them to hit the homerun ball against us."

On whether he has developed a genuine dislike for the Cowboys: "I think as a child here in Philadelphia, you are almost fed that constantly, so I think a lot of fans don't like Dallas. They don't know why, they just don't like them. Me coming here my rookie year, I didn't really understand it. I understand it now, I understand the dislike they have for Dallas. I know this is a big rival game for the fans; throughout my time here there have been some big games. The thing I have to do is go out and play my game. Whatever feelings I may have, I can't let those things overrun my mental preparation for this game. I just go in and play my game and hopefully it's good enough."

On the difference between last year's two games against Dallas: "I kind of thought we wanted to take the fight to them here (too). We made mistakes here. We go back and look at that tape from last year. I give them credit. When you have a capable offense like they do have, they're going to make you pay for mistakes. They made us pay for mistakes we made here. We made a lot of mistakes here. Down there, we didn't make a lot of mental mistakes. That being said, we made more plays than they made. I'm pretty sure if you talk to them, they'll say they should have made some plays they didn't make. I'm not going to say we have to take the fight to them this time. We are going to go in and play our game, and our game is an attacking-style defense. Get after the quarterback and force the offense to do something they don't want to do. That's how we've always been. It's not just against Dallas; that's who we are."

On whether Cowboys RB Marion Barber is the key to their offense: "Any time you have a Pro Bowl quarterback, he's the key, first and foremost. To get pressure on him, to not let him get comfortable in the pocket, you have to put pressure on the quarterback. Especially (Cowboys QB Tony) Romo, who can sit back there and pick you apart if you allow him to. That being said, I love the way Barber plays. He's a physical guy, he's a guy who will take the fight to you. If you come up to tackle, you know you better bring your lunch with you because you know he's going to try to deliver a blow to you. I love that; I love watching him on film. As much as (Cowboys WR Terrell Owens) does for that offense, big plays, I think (Barber) is that emotional player for them. When he makes a play, he's letting everybody know on that offense that he's ready to roll. We definitely will have to make sure we pay attention to him and not let him get going."

On Owens' comments that this year's Dallas team is better than the 2004 Eagles team: "I don't even think about it in that way. Those are his opinions about his team. Quite frankly, he's supposed to have high expectations and high hopes for his team. 2004 was a great year for this Eagles organization. We made a great run; we didn't finish it. That's where it ends. I can't worry about what someone else is saying about whatever. My focus is completely and totally on this football team - the Philadelphia Eagles. We feel like we have a pretty good squad here and we are going to go out and see where we stand in the second game of the season. Let's make that clear, the second game of the season."

On how good of a measuring stick this game can be: "I think I've been in the league long enough to know that the second game of the season is that, (the second game of the season). You can take a lot of positives from it and you can take a lot of negatives from it, but you can't dwell on it. If we go down and do what we feel like we can do, and win that ballgame, that's just that—the second game of the year. So, we have to prepare next week the way we prepare that next week the way we are going to prepare for this week and the way we prepare for the Rams week. Very intense, focused, and with our feelings in mind that we can go down and play a really good Dallas team and hopefully come out with a victory in the end."

On whether he has needed to adjust his game with age: "No, not yet. I'm being honest with you, not yet. When I'm on the field, I still can do what I need to do. That time hasn't come yet. It will come for every one of us at some point. That time has not come for me yet that I have to do those types of things and adjust like (QB) Donovan (McNabb) was saying."

On whether he is a different player now than he used to be: "Mentally? Yes, absolutely. Confidence-wise, knowing what I can do, knowing the things that give me problems. Physically, also. If you look at my pictures in old film, I was a narrow dude back then. I think I filled out a lot more than I had back then and I'm able to stick my head in a lot more trash than I was back then and come out on the winning side of things."

On whether this game is bigger for the Eagles than it is for the Cowboys because the Cowboys are already nationally recognized as a Super Bowl contender: "We're not looking for other people to say what we are. That's just being real with you. We're not looking for anybody outside of this locker room to say, 'You know what? The Eagles are going to be in the Super Bowl.' We honestly couldn't care less. We couldn't care less what anybody outside of this locker room says. We know what, going into this season, people were saying about Dallas. They have a lot of talent, so I can understand that. We had so-called question marks, so I can understand that. At the end of the day, we want to be a team who is going to go out workman-like. You might not say we're the most talented. It doesn't matter. Once you put the pads on and you go out and go head-to-head, toe-to-toe, we'll see who is the best team. We feel like we have a pretty good one over here, so we're not worried about any opinions outside of this locker room."

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