Strahan: Conference Call with Dallas Media

Michael Strahan held a conference call with the Dallas Media today. Here are the questions and answers:

Thoughts on Cowboys offensive line: "We know about Flozell. He's a Pro Bowl player and is extremely tough to beat. He has long arms and is aggressive and smart. He's coming off the knee but he seems to be playing pretty well. Colombo is a tough player, he's young but he's a fighter and is scrappy. He's going to give you all you want. We look at this as a big challenge, both Osi and I. We're really going to have to put pressure on Bledsoe and know it's not going to be easy."

Is that still the key to Drew – getting in his face: "That's the key to any quarterback. You get in any quarterback's face and give him less time and he's not going to be as effective. Definitely, as in this case, we always focus on the run first and foremost. That's the first thing is trying to make the team as one dimensional as possible. They are well balanced. They have Pro Bowl receivers and a Pro Bowl quarterback and they also have the running game. We are going to concentrate on stopping the run first then we'll deal with the pass as it comes. Of course you want to get in any quarterback's face and disrupt them as much as possible."

On team sack record: "I'd love to get it behind me because that means I have more sacks this year. I've been close, hitting quarterbacks, but I haven't gotten them on the ground before they've thrown the ball. That would be huge. (Lawrence Taylor) is the guy I grew up watching and was my idol. I had the opportunity to play with him for a year and I play golf with him now. It's amazing, I thought I'd never be in the situation where I'd be close enough to make that happen. Now to be on the verge of that, God willing, to be healthy enough to get it done, that would cap off my career."

How frustrating is it to be so close on sacks and the quarterback gets rid of it? "Very, but there's nothing you can do. Sacks come in bunches. You can't get down about it. After the game, I was kicking myself a few times, because I was right there. At the same time, you just have to keep working. If you do, they just come. Before you know it, you're in double digits and that's where I want to go and what I want to do. And if I can do that I am going to help this team win. It's frustrating, but after a day or so, you forget about it and go on to the next opponent. Hopefully you can that quarterback on the ground before he gets rid of it."

Are teams paying more attention to you this year b/c Osi? "No. I'm still getting doubled and tripled and receivers and running backs chipping and guards and tackles. I'm getting what I'm used to getting all the time. It's tough. I'm no spring chicken. I thought at this age they would leave me alone a little bit, but they keep messing with me. I guess I'm showing something to make them think I still have the ability to play. They are doing what they usually do. It's hard to fight through it. At the same time, it's a sign of respect and I'm going to keep on going. Once you get singled every game all game, that means you're probably not doing too well out there anymore and time for me to quit at that point, but that's not the case right now."

How much longer do you think you'll play: "I don't know. I just watched the thing go by that said Tiki may retire after this season. I don't know. I haven't thought much about that. I feel great. As long as I continue to feel great, I'll continue to go out there and play. If it gets to the point that I don't, and I don't feel like I can contribute and there's somebody that can do it, then it's time to move on. I've had a long career here. If it were it this year, I wouldn't be upset about that. At the same time, I don't think it will be."

Staying with one team for entire career: "Yeah. To play in this city, it's one of the toughest cities to play in. Because it's New York. The pressure associated with it. So much attention here and to be able to survive for so long, is a blessing in itself, but also, just to be with one team with this organization to see it change and grow and be around some great players. I've never had to move or adjust anything differently which has made my career a little easier too."

Julius Jones and Cowboys running game: "He still runs the ball the same way he used to, which is hard. He's quick. I don't know if it's because of the number, but he's kind of like a little Tiki Barber. He's fast and gives us trouble. He's not an easy guy to play against. We have to respect him and respect his game, which we do because of what he's done against us in the past."

Reaction from fans on Monday Night Games: "I don't think we've done too great on Monday nights. I'm trying to forget them. We played the Cowboys on a Monday night and Emmitt ran a long touchdown on one of the first plays of the game. That's my memory right there and that's not a good memory. Everyone prefers Sundays, but everyone loves Monday nights because you're the only game in town and the attention of it. We are definitely excited about that. I love coming to Dallas to play because I'm from Houston and it gives my family a chance to come up and watch. I think Monday night is that one night where you're the only game in town, everyone is going to watch and you have your opportunity to shine. You can show if your team is going up or going down. Right now, we feel like we are climbing and that we need to keep climbing."

Is there a favorite on the NFC East right now? "Everybody. Everybody's good. Washington had a few missteps, but outside of that, everybody seems to be pretty equal and fighting for that top spot. Everybody's in it. I don't think there is one to beat, but because I play for the Giants, I'm going to say we're the team to beat. At the same time, if we're not focused, we can be beat by anybody."

You have to win the division to get to the playoffs: "Oh definitely, I feel like if you win the division, of course you're in, but outside of that, there is no guarantee. There are a lot of good teams in the NFC. That's our focus first and foremost – win our division – and let everything else just fall in place after that."

After the sack record – is the Super Bowl the remaining goal? "The sack stuff came about through the course of my career, and it's not something I set out to get. That comes about. My biggest thing is the Super Bowl, that's why you play. You go out there and no one wants to get beat up and take the abuse we take just for nothing. Of course you make the money and that's good, but at the same time, there's nothing like the Super Bowl. I had the ability to go, but I've never won. There's nothing like that. Hopefully I'll get the chance to experience that one day."

On Marion Barber: "He's an extremely hard, aggressive and fast runner. It's a good mix to have those two. He's definitely a little different style – a hard aggressive runner."

What kind of challenge to have a one-two punch coming at you? "When one of them can wear you down, the other one can come in and finish you off. Then you think they're done, they put the other guy in there and he comes back faster and fresher than he was. We're in the situation too and we're fortunate to have that. You can throw a change at the defense, keep your offense running and keep guys fresh. That's a commodity in this league. That's the hard part because a lot of teams don't have that. Once that initial back is worn down, your running game suffers, but that's not the case in Dallas."

On Tiki and the possibility of retiring: "We've talked about it. At this point in our careers, you talk about your mortality in the football business. We've definitely talked about it. Tiki is a smart guy. He has a lot of other things going on. Football is just the beginning, not the ending of your life or career. There are other things that football sets up for you and Tiki has taken full advantage of that. Maybe he's ready to move on to the next step. If that's the case, I'm happy for him. I'm behind him. I'm going to do my best to do anything I can to help him win that Super Bowl ring before he's out of here. Who knows, maybe we'll be doing a joint press conference after this season."

On the media being tough on him: "They weren't rough on me this offseason. They were writing what they wanted to write. I actually bought the papers and laughed about it and read it myself. It was kind of like, am I really that important. It was like being in a soap opera. I was reading and got a laugh out of it. Then I realized where the information was coming from, the person or type of person it was coming from. That's all I needed to know. It didn't change my life or attitude one bit. To be honest, they are going to do what they are going to do. You're not selling papers by telling about how great everything is. You're selling papers by saying somebody is this or somebody is doing that. I'm thinking that I've really been busy over the last two years outside of playing football to have done all this stuff. It was good. My doorman would get the paper and tell me if I was on the cover or not. We had a good laugh about that. I took it for what it was and didn't take it to seriously."

Do guys like playing for Coughlin? "Guys like playing for Coughlin. The first season was rough because anytime you get a new coach, he wants to come in and establish himself and his rules, especially with some of the ones he has, things go a lot differently than any other coach a lot of us had ever experienced. Now, you settle into it. You understand it, he understands us. You talk to him and he'll work with you on certain issues. It's been good. All he wants to do is win. Once you realize that, he's doing whatever it takes to win without compromise, you'll be fine playing for him. And that's where we are right now."


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