Philadelphia Eagles News

Game Vs. Cowboys: FS Brian Dawkins

On how satisfying it is to make the playoffs: "I've never been a part of anything like this, obviously. For the guys to pull together the way they pulled together after a tough loss, where we were basically left for dead. To come back out and play the way that every unit played, it speaks volumes about this team, the character in it, and the belief that we have in one another and the coaching staff."

On how he was able to give so much of himself on the field tonight after being sick this past week: "It's about game time. I always say this and I believe this because that's how I play the game and that's how I believe you are supposed to play the game, I give what I've got. And whatever I had, I gave today. And through illness, through whatever the situation, that 'this could be my last game here' and I give gestures because I appreciate the crowd. I appreciate them. I gesture just to thank them for being there through my career and partying with me on gameday. I just go out with the ability that God gave me to go out and do what I can."

On whether there was any point today where it felt like this team's "day": "I'm a man of faith and I believe all things work together for the good of the Lord and those who are called according to his purpose, and I believe that. Whatever happened, it mattered not. I wanted to beat Dallas. It just so happened that everything started to line up beforehand, and like I said, I've never been a part of anything like this, so I wanted to stay focused on that task at hand. And if all those things lined up as they did last week, as they did against Washington, and we go out and lay another egg, then what? We're back in the same boat and we're not in the playoffs again. So, all of those things lined up and we took care of business."

On whether he thinks that knowing that they had another chance at the playoffs prior to kickoff gave the Eagles a boost: "I would be foolish to say it did not. It probably would be. I would hope that it didn't matter because that's what I was going into the game thinking and believing, and I prepared myself for regardless of what happened in the circumstances. I wanted to beat this team. I would say that it probably gave guys another oomph if they needed it."

On whether there was anything in particular that they wanted to take away from Dallas:"The big play. We didn't want to give up a big play. They got the trick play to get a big play, but we didn't want to let them get the big play. If they do get a drive, make it be methodical, big and dumped down the field and hopefully we get a turnover along the way. We didn't want to give up a big play to them, and we did not want to let (Cowboys TE Jason) Witten get going. To me, he's the catalyst for this team. (Cowboys WR) T.O. (Owens) is a big-time receiver, yes he is. But to us, Witten is one of the keys to that offense. And we have to get to (Cowboys QB) Tony (Romo). We can't let Tony just sit back there and pat the ball and sling it all over the field, so pressure was definitely a key."

On what he was feeling during the two fumble recoveries for touchdowns: "During, I'm just trying to get to them. Like I said, I know Tony is a guy that is trying to extend the play with his legs, so I was just trying to get to him as quick as possible and hopefully get the ball out and I was able to get it out. The second fumble, I was just laying out and trying to make the tackle to be honest with you. I swiped at the ball but you just tell me how that ball stayed in bounds and I was able to punch it back on the field, I have no idea. I'm a blessed man. I've always said that. You guys probably roll your eyes when I say that, but I'm a blessed man. I really am."

On whether he was surprised to see his teammates go the distance: "I was happy the fact that it stopped that drive. It kind of deflated that excitement that they were feeling because they were excited after that big play. 'We're going to put seven on the board here, we're going to get back in this game' and we were able to cause a fumble, scoop it, and score that quickly, deflated their hopes."

On how the Eagles have been able to stay constant through the ups and downs of this season and make the playoffs: "What pressure does, it reveals who you really are. It reveals you. They say pressure busts pipes, it can, but it really reveals who you are. So, in those pressure situations, we came together. We talked amongst one another and we believed in one another. We didn't allow those troubled situations or those troubled times to get us down and keep us down. We rallied together. When the offense was struggling and people wanted us to point the finger at the offense, we didn't do that. We helped our brother up and we fought."

On what teams in the NFC are going to see from the Eagles' defense going forward: "A lot more of the same. I think that what happens is when you're in a defense that has played a long time together, you know your identity and everyone knows their role. We haven't been together a long time. Throughout the season everybody has learned their role, and now we know our role and we'll go do it to the best of our ability. You're going to see that same type of aggressive defense in this next game, and we'll see after that."

On whether it's difficult to establish continuity with guys learning their roles: "That again, you just have to learn your role. Just like I have a role on this team, I know what my role is. So, everyone has a role and everyone knows their role now. And maybe it took a couple of games here and there to get into those roles, but I think we know them now and it's at the right time."

On how in previous years there have been two teams to win the Super Bowl after being seeded low: "We have a tough game coming up. That's how we'll take it. We'll work on our stuff if and when the time comes. Right now, we have a tough game coming up."

On what he thinks making the playoffs means to head coach Andy Reid and QB Donovan McNabb after being criticized much of the year: "I'm pretty sure it means a whole lot because fairly or unfairly, coaches and quarterbacks usually get the brunt of everything. It's not always just on those two individuals, but once again they are included in that rallying. We include them. They are involved in everything that we do. When Donovan had his tough situations we rallied behind him. And he's going to lead us into these playoffs and we're going to follow him."

On defensive coordinator Jim Johnson: "I've been with Jim a long time and he gets feelings in games and he starts to dial those plays up. It starts with having the players to get it done and having confidence that we aren't going to make mistakes, that we are going to get it done even though we did make some mistakes out there today. But he trusts (us) and we trust him and nine times out of ten he's going to put us in a position to make plays. It's up to us to make those plays at the time."

On whether he thinks that the playoffs could be the start of something special for this team:"It's the start of something. We'll see how special it is after playing this game, but it's the start of something."

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