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Justin Tuck Transcript, 08.01.12

Q: Do you think the Cowboys will kick your ass at some point this year?

A: I don’t know, that’s why we play the game. We’ll see.

Q: Were you surprised by Jerry Jones’ comment?

A: Not at all.

Q: Did you care?

A: Not at all.

Q: Are you waiting for your owner to snap back at him?

A: Not at all.

Q: Why not?

A: (laughs) Because talk is cheap. Play the game.

Q: Sounds like a T-shirt?

A: I got a few of them. What size do you wear?

Q: What are your reactions to Terrell Thomas’ injury, and the situation right now?

A: You just feel for the guy. Forget football. I know he’s… I’ve never seen somebody come in every day and work as hard as he worked to get back. Everyone knows the talent that he is, but it’s just so unfortunate that something like this had to happen. I saw him, and I didn’t really have any words to tell him. Obviously he knows that we’re all praying for him, and wishing him the best. It’s just one of those unfortunate things. You never want anything like that to happen to a guy, and especially to a guy like Terrell. We’ll just keep him in our prayers.

Q: Last year Terrell was out and you still won a Super Bowl. You obviously hope people come through?

A: There’s going to be a lot of guys that need to step up. Obviously the first guy is Prince, but we have a lot of talent in our secondary. We feel very confident in the abilities they have, but like I said, the reason we were able to combat some of the injuries we had last year was people stepped up and filled that void. So we’re going to need that again this year.

Q: There’s a lot of talk about you guys not being complacent. How do you make sure everybody follows that?

A: Well I can’t make sure of that. I think we’ve got the right group of guys. A great mixture of young, hungry guys, who never did anything in the league, and then guys that won two Super Bowls, that still feel a void on their fingers. It’s just the mentality around here. Everything we do, we try to set ourselves up to win football games. Complacency really has no place here. None of us feel like we’ve accomplished anything close to what we are capable of accomplishing.

Q: The other day Jason Pierre-Paul said that he’s tapped about 50% of his potential. Do you buy that? Do you think he can be better?

A: I hope that’s accurate, because if he’s only at 50% now, man, he’s really going to set the league on fire when he gets to at least 75-100. I don’t know if there’s anyway of judging that. Obviously he knows himself, he knows his capabilities, and what he has in him. We feel as though he’s getting better every day. We’re looking for another big year out of him. He’s going to be a big reason why we have success on defense.

Q: How do you gauge that he’s better than he was? Do you see different moves that he didn’t have before, or different things?

A: Just his understanding of the game. Understanding why he should do this move against this guy, or why our defense is set up to this. Things like that. Formations, always constantly improving in the classroom. Learning more about why our defense is set up the way it is, and how he plays a part of that. As he continues to get that understanding, obviously natural ability is there. He’s going to take away a lot of the false steps, a lot of the things that kept him from having 20+ sacks last year. Considering the year that he had last year, to say that he’s getting better is scary.

Q: With the chance that replacement referees will open the season, what’s your feelings about that? Safety issues and how the game will be called?

A: Maybe we’ll get some holding calls. Wishful thinking.