The Cowboys Are Still Looking for a Playoff Win on the Road
After spending his whole career playing for the Atlanta Falcons, Keith Brooking decided for a change and decided to sign with the Dallas Cowboys and what a great decision that was. Being a lifelong Falcons fan myself, Brooking wore out his welcome here in Atlanta after getting repeatedly burned by running backs each and every game. Brooking has lost a step, but who hasn’t after 12 seasons in the NFL? The Falcons decided against re-signing Brooking and replaced him with Curtis Lofton, which ended up being a great move for both parties. He is now in Dallas where his blue-collar type play has yielded big dividends for the team. Brooking is second on the team in tackles behind Bradie James and is fourth on the team in sacks.
This weekend’s game is huge for both the Vikings and Cowboys. The Vikings are looking to make the most out of their time with Brett Favre and are hoping to get their ground game going against a solid Cowboys defense so that it opens up their potent passing game. The Cowboys are probably playing the best football of anyone up to this point in the NFC. If they beat the Vikings and the Saints also win, the NFC Championship game will be held in New Orleans where the Cowboys have already won this season. One thing is for certain, the Cowboys defense will show up to play. It will be up to Tony Romo and Miles Austin to hold up their end of the bargain if they are to beat the Vikings. Keith Brooking joined ESPN Radio in Dallas to talk about how long it took for him to think that they have a good team, what he was thinking after losing to the Giants and having to play the Chargers the next week, the importance of the offense getting off to a good start in Minneapolis, and how it helps the defense gamble more.
On how long it took for him to think that they have a good team:
“I think I felt really good about it from the beginning I truly did. I think there were a lot of questions there from the outside all along. The one game that I will probably point to more than any other game is going into New Orleans and beating a very good Saints team on the road when our backs were truly up against the wall. Beating them the way we did I felt really good about or football team and knew all along that we had the potential to be where we are at right now but I think that put a stamp on it right there.”
On what he was thinking after losing to the Giants and having to play the Chargers the next week:
“Well I mean exactly what I just said as far as our backs were up against the wall and we had to come out swinging and fighting and just laying it on the line for this organization and for this team. I knew what we were made of. I knew all along like I said and we were going to find out and we found out immediately. Obviously we know we struggled against San Diego at home, a game that we could have won so easily, and then you lose that game and are going into New Orleans and obviously it is a must win for us to keep our season alive. I think everybody on the outside, I knew all along, but everybody on the outside found out what our team was made of.”
On the importance of the offense getting off to a good start in Minneapolis and how it helps the defense gamble more:
“There is no doubt about that. I think when you go into an environment that we are about to go into, very similar to New Orleans and the Superdome, and you have to start fast. You need to go for their heart and take the life out of them immediately and put doubt in their mind. Everybody wants to rave about our defense and the way that we are playing right now, we are playing exceptional football and there is no doubt about that, but our offense and the time of possession right now the past few weeks, that New Orleans game is a great example, has been so much in our favor and that helps our defense out tremendously. That allows us to pitch shutouts and to hold Philadelphia to 14 points the past two games, a great offense, is because of the momentum that our offense is creating from the very beginning and the time of possession and then holding the ball for an extended period of time. That helps everyone out. That helps our whole team out.”
On what point he felt that he could take leadership in the locker room:
“There really wasn’t a set time. OTA’s, mini camp, training camp, to be honest with you I just let it happen in a natural way. I didn’t press it. Press the issue. For one, I wanted the guys to get to know me and for them to know how football is important to me. I wanted to get to know them and kind of let it happen in a natural way. It wasn’t pressed. It wasn’t I woke up one day like alright I am going to say something. It just happened in a natural way.”