Wade Phillips and Greg Ellis on Playing the Starters
Over the next five days, the Cowboys will be asked approximately 9 million different questions about how long, how hard, and how seriously they will play this weekend. We just had our crack at Wade Phillips and Greg Ellis. Their responses.
Any closer to deciding who'll play?
No, not really. We haven't practiced yet today. Of course, [Andre] Gurode and Owens are not practicing. So we know that it would be doubtful that they would play at all. They probably wouldn't play. So that's where we are.
Guys who are questionable or worse won't play?
I think that would be the right approach in this case. If we've got guys that are banged up, they won't play, but anybody's that's healthy we want to play 'em.
For how long?
Well, we haven't decided that yet. You know, whoever we have in there we feel like we can win with, and that's the way we're gonna play the game.
Will the score dictate how long guys play?
I think there's a lot of circumstances certainly. One of 'em, obviously, is what our position is now. But we have to take all those things into consideration. I said it here, we're playing to win, we're not playing to finish the season or just get out of a game or that kind of thing. We feel like the people that we're going to be playing in the game are going to be playing to win, that's what we're going to do.
Feeling any obligation to the Vikings or Saints?
Not really. We don't think about them in any of our other games, so we won't in this game either. Like I said, we're going to play to win. I'm think the Redskins know that. Joe Gibbs I'm sure has said that. I mean, this is a rivalry game. Players want to play against each other in this division, and we've got a strong, strong division, probably the strongest in the NFC, without a doubt.
On playing without T.O.
I mean, we're gonna have guys playing that we think can play and give us an opportunity to win. Sometimes it's through injury and sometimes it may be through the situation. The situation may be that all our, quote, "starters" aren't playing, but we believe in the guys we have. Any time you lose Terrell in our offense--the guy scored four touchdowns the last game--it's gonna be a big loss, but we think we have guys who will come through for us.
Feelings about the situation?
The thing that works into our favor is that it's a rival game, and every time you step onto the field as a football player obviously you want to do your best. But the rivalry that Washington and Dallas have against each other kind of negates the fact that we can't improve our playoff standing. So that [rivalry] is definitely going to factor into the picture for us.
Do you want to play the whole game?
I do. I would love to continue to play my normal reps, but obviously the coach and Jerry and them and the staff has things they want to get accomplished in this game, but the time I'm in there obviously I'm going to play to win it.
What if you get nicked up?
If I do twist my ankle in this game then obviously I don't think you will see the trainers wrap me up and send me back out there. I don't think you do that, because you have to be responsible and mature about the situation. But other than any of that kind of stuff happening, I think guys are anticipating playing, and when your number gets called you go out, and the backup comes in, and the coaches see what they can do.
Feel an obligation to Vikings and Saints?
No I don't. And I don't say that in a bodacious way, I say that because I pretty much try not to get involved with the playoff picture on that level. I just try to line up when the game is presented to us, to play. I just give all that I can give. And this team in my opinion has done that, and that's the way we want to continue to play.
Feelings on the Redskins as Cinderella?
I wouldn't call them a Cinderella team. Actually they're a team that plays really good football in late November and through all of December. This doesn't surprise me with them, and I've told people, after we played them, I said, 'You know what, Washington is a team that's on the rise.'
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