Conference Call: Cowboys Coach Wade Phillips




(on the placement of the Cowboys' bye week and how the team is coming off it)

We're healthy, that is a good thing.  You want to come off a bye and everybody be healthy.  I think that is a good thing.  I don't know when the right time is.  We won an important game and played really well.  We want to try to keep that momentum, but I think we will be ready to go.

(on the importance of the win heading into the bye week)

Record-wise, obviously, you don't want to go 0-3.  I think us playing well on all sides of the ball was important for us too.

(on the passing game and efficiency of Tony Romo)

We have thrown the ball really well and I think really exceptionally well against Houston.  Even in the other games, I thought we threw the ball well.  We have a lot of receivers and have a lot of talented guys on offense.  It is hard to get it to everybody, but Tony does a good job of finding the right guy.

(on if he is looking for more balance from the running game)

Part of it is they play a lot of eight-man front and it is hard to run against.  If they give you the passing game then you have to take it until they back off.  I think that has been some of it, although we ran the ball well against Houston and really in the first game we had a big average against the Redskins.  I think our running game will come along.

(on if they knew Miles Austin was a superstar all along)

We played him a lot this year.  We are counting on that.  When they first had him here, no.  He was just a backup receiver for a while and then when I got here we tried to give him a chance to play and it seemed like every chance he had to play, he got hurt until last year.  What he did last year exploded into a great year and he really is a top receiver.  He has all the talent and he works hard at it.  I'm glad for him and us.

(on the progress of Dez Bryant)

I think real well. He has been a really good edition.  He is a playmaker.  He has already run a punt back for a touchdown.  He scored a couple of touchdowns that have been called back.  Especially for a rookie, I think he has been very productive for three games and I think he will continue that way.

(on why and when the light went on for Miles Austin)

I think just coming from a real small school and not having a lot of background and getting a feel for pro football and then being able to utilize his talent, I think that was part of it.  A lot of it was the hard work that he has done.  He is a tremendously hard worker and he is one of those guys that gets better and better.  He is a smart player and smart players get better.  Of course, smart players that are talented get better.  That's what he has done, worked his way up. 

(on the reasons for the success of the Titans' pass rush)

They have a lot of good rushers and they really, really play hard.  They really come of the ball really well and I'm really impressed with their defense with the way they play.  I don't expect anything less from Jeff Fisher.  I'm impressed with the way they come off the ball and the way they work hard.  They are hard workers and work at what they do.

(on the Broncos comments about the Titans being cheap)

I don't see them as cheap at all.  I think they play hard.  I disagree with whatever Denver said from watching the film.  I coached with Jeff Fisher and I know how he coaches and what kind of guy he is.  I know what he is telling his players.  I see a really hard working team that gets after you on defense, but that is what defense is all about.  I don't see any of that.

(on the number of personal fouls against the Titans)

I think whatever happens during the game, happens during the game.  I don't expect them to get a lot of personal fouls anymore.  It is like us; we have had penalties and we try to make sure we don't have them again.  I know Jeff (Fisher) does the same thing.

(on whether a team's reputation affects how the game is called by the officials)

Well I hope so [laughter].  No, I don't think so.  I think they officiate the game that is played and how it is played.  I don't see that.  I wouldn't think the officials would look at it one way or the other except it is another game and we officiate what we see.  That is what I expect from National Football League officials.

(on capitalizing on their home games)

It is a big game for us.  It is a really big game.  We have lost the first two games, so we have only won one game this year so far.  We are looking forward to playing at home.  I think we are refreshed after an open date, but we will see how we execute.

(on their good record after byes and what the advantages are)

I think your team gets refreshed probably physically and mentally, no matter when you have it.  We had a long preseason.  We had five preseason games and a little longer preseason then most teams, so I think at this point mentally and physically we might need a rest.  I think anytime you get the players feeling better about themselves and what they are doing and practicing better helps you.

(on whether he is surprised Chris Johnson has struggled against the 3-4 defense this year)

He still has 350 yards or something like that in four games.  I don't know that he has struggled and I don't think it is particularly the 3-4.  Pittsburgh is a good defensive team and I thought Denver did a good job against them.  Pittsburgh played good, but he had an 85-yard touchdown called back too.  It is one of those things that sometimes penalties and those things fool you on stats.  He is liable to go all the way on any defense, it doesn't matter what you are lined up in. 

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