Philadelphia Eagles News

QB Donovan McNabb

On whether it would change the way the Eagles play in their game vs. Dallas if they are eliminated from the playoffs before the game starts:"I don't think so. I think we play this game to go out and play well and, obviously, leave our mark. I think we truly can't focus on who wins or who loses. This game has been set on the schedule and we all know that we get fired up playing against the Cowboys. We're going to go through a great week of practice and get out there and play well. I think it's important for all of us not to pay too much attention to who has won games and who ended up losing and if we're going to be in because it doesn't matter, really. If Tampa loses or Minnesota loses and we lose a game, we're not going to get in. We have to win this game. We should be fired up, going into this game, no matter what, to go play well and we should be able to do that."

On whether he expects head coach Andy Reid to play the starters for the entire game even if the team is eliminated from the playoffs: "I don't see why he wouldn't. There's no reason to take people out; we're trying to win this ballgame. We're all going to prepare to go out and play well. If that happened, that would be a shock to me, but again, I don't see that happening."

On how players who are unsure about their future play in this game: "You focus to play the game, understanding that, in this game that we play, things happen. If it's due to injury, if it's due to contracts, if it's due to whatever, or a dislike of whoever, you play this game to go out and play well and leave your mark. We can't control anything that happens beyond this point. The only thing we can do is truly focus on playing against the Cowboys, scoring points and winning this ballgame. That's the only way that you can truly say to these guys, 'to be focused.' If you're not focused, then don't step out onto the field."

On whether he thinks about what this game would have meant had the Eagles won at Washington: "No. In my down moments, I just get my mind away from football and focus on something else. This is a game that's important no matter what the situation is. It's important that we go out and play well together."

On whether it's hard not to think about players that might not be back on the team next year: "Again, I don't focus on that aspect of it. While we're out there, we make sure that we have a good time playing and win the game. I'm sure they will say the same thing. It's not a situation where, if you truly focus on your contract, that's going to help you play better. Like I said, a lot of things that go on are out of our hands. The only thing that we can control is going out there, playing well and trying to win this game."

On the possibility that this could be his last game as an Eagle and whether that crosses his mind on the field: "Not at all. I don't see it that way. I'm still under contract. I guess it would be solidified by, if I'm here, so I don't have to answer this question, getting a new deal. I don't truly focus on that. I expect to be here and I will play this game like it's not my last. You just go out and try to put everything on the field and give all your guys that confidence knowing that you're going to sell-out for them."

On whether he wants a new contract: "Everybody wants a new deal. Don't you? There you go. But, that's not why we're playing this game. We're playing this game to win and things happen. I've been answering this question the last couple of years, so I guess to eliminate that part of it, hopefully that will happen, but we'll see."

On how different Dallas is as a team since the Eagles played them in week two: "It hasn't been a long time because they've been in the media for a while. We've seen them. We've seen what they've been doing week-by-week because it's been, pretty much, a good soap opera. They've been doing a good job, as far as defenses are concerned, of applying pressure. (DE) DeMarcus Ware has 20 sacks. That's something that's not unnoticed. Their defense is playing a whole lot better, despite what happened at Baltimore. We have to go out and answer the bell a little bit. We scored points on them in the first game. We were very effective, although not able to close the deal at the end, but we just have to go out, eliminate mistakes, and score touchdowns."

On whether it's frustrating that one or two yards could have changed around the season for the team: "It's frustrating if you allow it to frustrate you. We know what happened in those particular games; things that we could have, obviously, changed. There's nothing we can do at this point. The only thing we can do is, really, go out and play well against the Dallas Cowboys and see what happens after that. That's the way it's been all year; if it's an inch here or a pass here or whatever it may be, just a little short. We don't want it to end that way this year so, hopefully, it won't."

On being 135 yards shy of breaking the Eagles record for passing yards in a single season and how he thinks he's played this year: "I think I've played great. I don't look at the stats aspect of it, but if you do, it is better than it has been in years. Offensively, we've been able to do some good things and some things that, obviously, we would love to change. I don't regret any of the things I've done this year and look to do better in this game, coming up. Like the question just before, it's just certain things, an inch away or not getting a first down here or whatever it may be, that, obviously, if we were able to get that done, we wouldn't be sitting in this spot right now."

On how important it is for the team to stay balanced, given Dallas' pass-rush ability: "Every week you have to change and every week you have to show the defense something different. I think, playing against the Cowboys, it will be important that we be able to, not just balance, but be successful on third downs, time of possession, being able to pick up big yards when we do run the ball and moving the chains when we do pass. Consistency is important. People talk about the whole balance aspect of it, but you have to have effective plays, no matter what play is called. Against Cleveland, we didn't run the ball that much, we threw the ball a little bit more. I think we were effective with it and I think that's important with a game like this. You have to be consistent."

On whether this team is better than their record: "We're an 8-6-1 team, no matter how you look at it. No matter if you have great athletes or what, we're 8-6-1. That's what it is right now."

On how he feels about the opportunity to knock the Cowboys out of the playoffs: "In order for us to get in, we have to knock them out. It's unfortunate for them, but we need to play well."

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