IRVING, Texas – Defensive coordinator/quote machine Rob Ryan’s 20-minute press conference featured one Shakespeare reference and no trash talk.
Well, at least no trash talk that will end up on a bulletin board outside an NFL locker room. He did throw a few playful jabs at reporters.
Rob Ryan readily admitted his gum-flapping did the Cowboys no good last week, taking the brunt of the blame again for the butt-kicking the Eagles gave their NFC East rivals. But Ryan found a question about whether the 34-7 whipping affected his swagger quite funny.
“You jest at scars and never felt the wound,” Ryan replied. “That’s Romeo and Juliet, for you guys that don’t know.”
Then he answered the question in more fitting Ryan fashion.
“Uh, hell no,” Ryan said. “I mean, c’mon, we’ve all had bad moments. I’ve seen your telecasts and every once in a while, I’m not going to say you, but I’ve seen Babe [Laufenberg] screw up a time or two. Look, we’ve all had our moments. That was my moment. I just had a few more people watching. It wasn’t my best, but hell, let’s get it on. We’ll be fine.”
A week ago, the “all-hype team” comment Rob Ryan made during training camp in reference to the Eagles was all the rage. He fanned the flames a bit last Friday by declaring that the Dallas Cowboys would “really kick their ass” if the Eagles needed his motivation.
Ryan felt like he had a foot in his mouth by the end of the first quarter in Philly. By that time, the Eagles had already marched down the field for two touchdowns and were well on their way to a blowout win, for which Rob Ryan took all the blame afterward.
“I think I motivated their entire team a little bit extra and probably put a little too much pressure on our guys, which is really not what we want to do,” Ryan said. “So that’s why I felt the whole thing was my fault, and it really was. There’s no one else to blame but, hell, the guy in front of you, but that doesn’t happen very often.
“It’s not going to be a weekly press conference where I screw something up. It’s not gonna happen. It usually happens the other way around, probably the other guys’ locker room where they’re crying the next week.”
So does this mean Ryan is going to deny his good buddies in the media golden nuggets of trash talk from now on?
“Hell, I hope so,” Ryan said with a laugh. “I can’t make any guarantees about that. Sometimes I say things that apparently other coaches don’t, but hell, that’s the way it is. I try to say the right thing, but that’s usually when I screw up.”
Ryan is much more confident that the Dallas defense will bounce back from a bad game than he is in his ability to mind his manners while talking to the media.
Keith Brooking doesn’t understand what the big deal is.
Standing in front of his locker Friday, the 13-year veteran was getting asked numerous questions about the possibility of playing a full game Sunday against the Seahawks, with Sean Lee possibly out with a dislocated wrist.
Brooking, who is expected to start in place of Sean Lee, sounded somewhat offended by the line of questioning if he could hold up for an entire game, something he hasn’t been asked to do this year.
“I don’t think it’s concerning to me at all. I don’t know about it being too much or a lot,” Brooking said on Friday. “I’ve played every snap for 13 years. I think I can handle. If I play every snap this game, which is probably unlikely, I’m ready for it.”
Brooking and Bradie James will both likely play more with Lee out. Both of them have taken a backseat to Lee, who has been stellar this year, leading the team in tackles, interceptions and fumble recoveries.
Still, head coach Jason Garrett has applauded both veterans for their ability to handle their new roles, and even take on things such as special teams.
“I knew my role before last week when Sean went down,” Brooking said. “I was comfortable with that and I’ve accepted that with everything I’ve had inside of me. Obviously my role has increased this week with his injury. Hopefully we can get him back as soon as possible. If not, I’m willing to do whatever. I haven’t done that this year, but I’m ready for it. I’ve had success in this league doing it before and I feel pretty comfortable that I can do it right now.”
Brooking ranks fourth on the defense with 36 tackles, while James is eighth with 24. Together, their 60 tackles is still 13 behind Lee, who only had one stop last week before leaving the game with the wrist injury.
It was just a few weeks ago DeMarco Murray was just another guy fighting for carries with Tashard Choice after Felix Jones got the ball.
Now Jones is hurt, Murray is the Dallas Cowboys’ single-game rushing record holder and Tashard Choice has been cut. Until Felix Jones comes back, Murray Cowboys opponents will pay attention to on a running play.
The rookie from Oklahoma says he sees no difference in the way defenses treat him. The way his teammates and coach him treat him? That’s different.
“I have no idea. I haven’t heard anything I am just trying to worry about what I can control,” Murray said. “My confidence goes up, you get respect from your teammates and coaches and they trust you when you have the ball in your hands.”
It took about a month, but Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant finally addressed the media today. Nothing that is going to shake the foundation of the earth or cause any kind of a stir nationally, but on his 23rd birthday Bryant said he is 100 percent healthy and knows this offense 100 percent, too.
As for his penchant displaying all of his emotions on the field, and sidelines, he has no plans to change that part about his game.
“I’m used to it. It’s crazy. It comes with it. It’s OK. Hopefully one of these days it will fade away,” Dez said today. “The picture doesn’t show anything different. It’s just the way others look at it; they don’t know what I’m saying. You can ask Tony or Miles or anyone, it’s all positive. I think it’s crazy if I go on the sidelines and yell in my teammates face, it’s out of line. What I try to do is motivate my teammates. That’s all I’m doing. It won’t change. That’s how I play. I’m emotional about the game.”
“That is the way I am and that is the way I play. I wouldn’t be the same person if I stopped playing with passion.”