Coughlin: Conference Call with Dallas Media

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

On Tiki's retirement - I think there had been some rumors about that in the summer and beyond. The one thing about Tiki, he's the NFC Player of the Week and he's an integral part of our football team. He wants to win as bad as anybody and we'll deal in the present right now and stay focused this year and this season and try to do the very best we can with that.

On the key to the turnaround - Well, I think we're in a position where we've been playing what we call Giant football. Our defense has played well for the last couple of week and we've done a nice job with stopping the run and we've had good pressure on the quarterback and able to force the other guys to punt the ball. We haven't allowed a lot of points. Special teams has made a strong contribution against some extremely difficult special teams players that have done an excellent job with their punt return game and their kickoff return game and we've been able to control that. Offensively, we've been able to rush the ball and able to control time of possession. We had a couple of turnovers the other day, which really hurt, and ended up both teams had turnovers early in the game that didn't allow for any points, but that's rare. The week before we had no turnovers against Washington, so we've done a better job of that but we don't have that completely under control. It's been a lot of different factors, playing better football, doing a better job with our assignments and our physical play. And all of those things have contributed.

On Cowboys run defense - They're very good against the run. They're a very good defensive football team. They certainly have the statistics to show for that. They're not giving up much yardage. They're No. 1 against the rush. They certainly force you to work hard to find a way to run the ball.

On Strahan - Well, I've seen Michael with outstanding progress the last couple three weeks in terms of he's an exceptional athlete. He takes great pride in his pretty. He is a pretty physical, tough guy. Last week for example, he didn't have a sack but he was very close and he caused a lot of pressure and had some hits on the quarterback. It's very important to him. As I've said, he certainly is playing very well at this point and time and I think he is truly enjoying what he does and his only focus is on winning.

On DE tandem - Well, they're two outstanding defensive ends who complement each other very well. They work very very well together. They take a lot of pride in the fact that they were both in the Pro Bowl a year ago and I think Osi had a big game the other day with two sacks and three pressures. So they provide us with a constant force defensively and an ability to rush the passer.

On mismatch with DEs - You work to get to that obviously. You work to get in position where someone doubles the other individuals have to step up and not just the ends but the tackles. We certainly have two outstanding players that warrant attention.

On running vs. the 3-4 - Technically obviously there's differences in the approach to being able to rush the ball or even offensively to move the ball against different fronts. There are different schemes that come to mind, but basically it comes down to the ability of the offensive line to attack the defensive front of the opponent. That's where it is.

On Dallas' D improvement - Well, I'm not in position to talk about that. I see what I see and I know they are playing very well and playing very well together.

On what they are doing - They're very sound. They're very consistent. It seems they can control the run but they're also playing good coverage.

On the OTs this year - No question when Flo went out it was big blow to their offensive team a year ago and Colombo looks as if he's playing well. That complements them tremendously because they are running the ball well.

On Colombo - No, I didn't. Just studyignt he player when he came out ,That's all.

On defending the WRs - It's difficult. Very, very difficult. You've got to be in the right place at the right time, got to have pressyre on the quarterback. He's a solid, veteran quarterback who has an outstanding arm and has the intellect. He's played a long time. He knows coverages and you have to be able to do some things to mix it up to create something he's not seen on a consistent basis. They're talented and you've got your hands full.

On RBs sharing carries - Well I can't speak for them. I can tell you with ours. We've had Brandon be our short yardage back and goal line back here for a couple of years nad he's grown into that pretty well into that position. He does some substitution in normal situations, but he's coming along fast.

On Terry Glenn - Well, he's not underrated from our standpoint and I think from the standpoint that have to prepare against him. He's an outstanding, big-threat receiver and with his run after the catch ability.

On Witten - It's not a slow start. He may not have the number of catches, but he's probably blocking as well if not better than he ever has. He's a strong complement to that offense.

On Tiki - He, not only by virtue of what he does on the field, he's a tremendous worker in the off-season. He's a highly conditioned athlete, who takes great pride in that and his preparation in the class room is exemplary in terms of how he studies. So it would be a good idea for any young player that's just initially coming into the league to try to do exactly what Tiki has done in terms of how he prepares.

On Eli - Well, naturally you make the progression and Eli has progressed along nicely and certainly can handle pretty much anything you throw at him.

On the division - We're just worried about game in and game out and one game at a time. There was no question that back in February, March, April that the division was the stronger division and each team on paper had made improvements and the fact that it would be a very difficult division, perhaps as difficult there is in the National Football League. So we have a division game here in Dallas and because of that it's very exciting but this division is very strong.

On Arrington - He's improving every week. He's doing better each week as he comes more acclimated in knowing what we want him to do.

On Witten-Shockey - I think they're very good football players. Both are important to their offensive teams. Both are able to be vertical. Both can run the ball. Both can be up the field, make the catch up the field as well as control underneath coverage and both guys are good blockers.

On Julius Jones - He's having a really good year. We've always been really impressed by the way he's ran the ball. I think the combination of the two backs this year, both guys are playing well.

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