Bill Sheridan, 09.17.09

Q:  We've been talking a lot about the concern over Dallas' big play ability.  How do you temper the aggressiveness that often leads to big plays and having to defend against the big plays?

A:  I think just like any other week you have a balance in your defensive mentality where you are going to run pressure on certain situations in an attempt to prevent the big play. Because in order to get the ball, for example, thrown down the field you need some time to throw it and you want to try to prevent them from having those opportunities where he can just sit back there and get the receivers way down the field to throw it up there.  And then by the same token if you do that all of the time, you are liable to get the other kind of big plays hit on you. So you have a mix where you are going to play some coverage and more conventional type of defense. But you also, like I said, you want to pressure at times, too. Otherwise they have an opportunity to run their full gamut of offense. 

Q:  How is the dynamic of defending the Cowboys change with Terrell Owens not being out there; having a bigger mix of wide receivers that can make plays?

A:  That is a good question. We put a lot of concern in defense to Owens when he was there. We will do the same things with these guys as far as their top receivers. It is a little different. Obviously he is a spectacular player that you have to account for on every single play.  But as you just mentioned, they have other really good players. And those guys are playing good, too. I know it is early in the season, but they were good a year ago. They may not have been highlighted as much because Owens was on the roster, but they are all more than capable big-play receivers, so not too much different. It is just kind of like the next best guy that they have out there.

Q:  It seems like they split their two tight ends wide a lot and last week created a couple of mismatches against the Buccaneers.  Is that something you have told your guys to be careful of?

A:  Oh yeah. I think that in their mind that is their best personnel group is to get the two tight ends on the field; when they put their fullback on the field they are a little conventional. You see that every week. We call them ‘two-back sets' when you get a mix of run and play action. But I think they really like Bennett and they are going to try to get him on the field.  In their minds they probably can do some of what they do in three-wide receivers and that personnel group.  Because they extend them out in what looks like three wide receivers groups. And they try to do the same thing in the passing game. So yeah, they have expanded a little bit. And in our minds that is their number one grouping from a personnel standpoint, especially on first and second down. 

Q:  Will Boley be able to help out against that formation?

A:  Yeah, we are counting on it. I'm assuming that he is going to be healthy enough to actually play. But yeah, he is a very athletic kind of kid. And as much as anything, our motivation for acquiring him in the offseason was because he is an athletic kid in space and can really cover. So you might not feel as compelled to go to nickel on first and second down for some of those groupings if you could play a guy like that. 

Q:  You have only really seen him in two practices.  How has he been?

A:  He has been fine. He is what we thought he was. When you evaluate a guy on free agent film - he is real athletic - he can run.  He will definitely help our talent pool if he is capable and when he gets in the lineup because he is just a really good athlete. I remember that he was like that coming out of college - the same way. So he looks good out there running around. 

Q:  The hip hasn't slowed him down at all?

A:  It doesn't appear to be. It's hard to gauge here; as up-tempo as we try to practice, it is still not ‘full go rounds.' But he looks good. He doesn't look like he has been hampered by it or limping around or any of that stuff, but is hard to tell until you get full live bullets.

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