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Philadelphia Eagles News

QB Donovan McNabb

On whether the team is especially excited about playing division rival Dallas on Monday: "Not necessarily, this is just a normal game for us. You get excited, as a player, to play on Monday night, but that's about it. We don't get caught up in the hoopla of us and the Cowboys, or them being on HBO and the hard-knock life show (Hard Knocks) and we're not. We do Comcast, and all the other shows out here, so that's pretty big (jokingly). It's just having fun. It's only game two, and we want to continue to feed off of what we did last week, get better, and, hopefully, continue to progress as the season continues on."

On whether it would be foolish for people to read a lot into this upcoming game: "Absolutely, it's just the beginning of the season. This is a point of time, especially for us on our offense, to form that identity. I think, with the guys we have interchanging at the receiver position and, obviously, with (RB Lorenzo) Booker coming over at running back and trying to get the flow going on the offensive side, it's important that we feed off of what we did last week and continue to improve. The same goes with defense and special teams. It would be really out of the blue to pull something out of this game and say that 'this is a test for us' or 'a test for them,' because, we're all just trying to get that identity for our teams."

On whether the Dallas defense is as fast as any in the league: "No, not necessarily. That's not discrediting what they do, because they're an experienced bunch. It may not be the fastest team that we face. We kind of face a fast defense here in Philadelphia. We've played some great defenses. They have some great players on their defense. There's a reason why they had seven or eight guys (that just went) to the Pro Bowl on their team; and probably five or six of them were all on defense. Don't quote me on that, I don't know for sure. They're very good at what they do."

On the Cowboys having several new starters on the defense: "The new faces that I see over there are, obviously, a first-round pick with (CB Mike) Jenkins, or whatever round he was picked in, and having (CB Adam Jones) 'Pacman' over there. We've faced Pacman before. Jenkins, this is his first go-around. Other than that, we've played (LB) Zach Thomas. Zach looks like he's fitting in well, just by watching film. I'm sure he's going out with a whole different attitude of being released by the Dolphins and having an opportunity to go back to Texas and play. We don't look at it like we're facing new guys. We look at the scheme and we try to attack the scheme."

On having success throwing into coverage and taking chances down-field vs. the Rams: "My thing, this year, is the fact that I'm trying to give these guys an opportunity to make plays. I thought, earlier in my career, maybe at times I would have held the ball and tried to give them an opportunity to create separation when it didn't happen or whatever it may be. But now, it's getting the ball out of my hands and making them make plays for me. We have some great weapons on the outside. We have some guys that can make plays for you. You have to give them that opportunity. (TE) L.J. (Smith) did a great job last week, (WRs) DeSean (Jackson) did great, Jason Avant had a great game, and the list goes on. So, I've always said that, in order for guys to be effective in this offense, you've got to call plays for them and give them opportunities. That's what I was trying to do."

On whether he has had a change in philosophy and when it occurred: "I'm not 21, 22, 23 years old anymore. There are no 14-second scrambles going on. Drop back, get the ball out of your hands and let those guys go to work."

On whether his knee injuries have had an impact on that philosophy: "The knee has nothing to do with it."

On letting a rookie like DeSean Jackson go up and make plays down-field: "You have to do that. You have to trust him. You show them that you have trust in them, which, obviously, leads to them trusting me. You have to reward guys as well. You go through a week of practice with guys putting in extra time and catching balls in practice and doing an excellent job off the field, you reward them. When they have that opportunity, when they do get open, you want to get them the ball and give them an opportunity to make more plays and pick up more yards. That's pretty much what it's come from."

On what his best and worst memories are playing at Texas Stadium: "I don't know. I don't pick and choose things like that, that just stick out. We played great a lot of times there; it wasn't just one particular play. We've got a pretty good winning record there and we want to continue it on. I didn't even know that this is the last game that we'll be playing there, at Dallas Stadium; at least, for the regular season. Obviously, we want to go out and play well and end on a good note."

On what makes the Dallas defense so tough: "They have some great players. They have some great players and, their scheme is not that difficult, but it gives guys an opportunity to make plays for them. Their middle linebacker, who really doesn't get a lot of attention, Bradie James, had over 130 tackles last year. No one really focuses on him, but when you have guys like (LB) DeMarcus Ware, (CB Terence) Newman, and (S Ken) Hamlin making the Pro Bowl for the first time, and (S) Roy Williams, I believe, making the Pro Bowl for four years now, you don't really focus on other players, but he's done a great job for them. I think their defensive coordinator (Brian Stewart) has just tried to put those guys in a position to be successful and let them just play football."

On whether the game vs. the Rams was the first game he's been healthy in a long time: "I wouldn't say that. I've played healthy before, recently. The thing about it is just the fact that, I think, sometimes people dig too deep in situations. Just because they may see me scramble once or twice, they think I'm fine. I'm just playing football; it's just instincts out there on the football field. That's the way that I try to play the game. It's not if a guy's healthy or if a guy looks like his old self again. I'm never going to look like I did when I was 21 or 22. (Jokingly) Actually I'm like wine, I'm fine like wine, I'm getting older with time. Don't try to use that in the papers either. You just have fun. Players have played this game for a long time; 15, 16 years. It's just different things that you learn each year to help you be a better quarterback."

On seeming more subdued in recent years and whether age has to do with that: "Not at all. I've never been that rah-rah guy, jumping around head-butting people and doing high-fives and things of that nature. I think that's just wasted energy. When you have a great play, you go and congratulate the guy who made the catch or the run or the block and you go on to the next play. I've been criticized for not being the rah-rah guy and head-butting guy, but that's just not me. I've never been that type of person. It has nothing to do with old age, because I'm not old. I'm only 31 and, in quarterback years, that's not old at all. I'm just going to be myself every time we step out onto the field. When we score touchdowns, you shake hands, go off on the sidelines and drink some water or Gatorade; or Vitamin Water, excuse me (jokingly)."

On whether there's a difference between playing a Monday night game and a regular Sunday game: "It's a longer wait-period for us. I think what that does, it builds so much excitement before the game in knowing that you'll be the only game that's on and everybody will be watching. So, now your adrenalin's at a high. But, the fact that once you step out on that field, the whistle blows just like any other game. You have to run your plays effectively and try to score as many points as you can to win the game. That's what it comes down to."

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