Safety Landon Collins
Postgame vs Steelers August 11, 2017
Q: Why do you wish you were playing against Ezekiel Elliot week one?
A: Because you want to play against the best to be one of the best, and he is one of the best out there. You want to play against the best to prove yourself as a defense, as a whole, so you donít have to deal with the backlash of, Ďif this person wasnít here and that person wasnít here.í
Q: Does this open a door because they are the defending champs?
A: It is what it is.
Q: Was that a big topic of conversation here?
A: No, we havenít even spoken about it. We saw it and had to worry about the Steelers so, we had to worry about our job first and then probably tomorrow we will speak about it and see what happens.
Q: How different does the Cowboys offense look without Ezekiel Elliot?
A: Itís a big difference. Heís the difference maker of that team. He kind of just sets the tone of the offense and they are definitely handing the ball of to him on first down to set the tone. Heís a big difference maker for them.
Q: How does him being out change the way you guys are going to view the opener?
A: We donít view it in any type of way. They still have the same offensive coordinator, they are still going to run the same plays with or without Zeke. They did it before Zeke, they are going to do it after. At the same time, we are going to game plan the same way and be ready to play them week one.
Q: What does your confidence do for you and your team?
A: I appreciate it. For me itís just for myself and for the team. It just sets the tone. All of the defensive line know that I am still here, that last year was not a fluke. I am coming to show up for them and they are going to do the same thing for me. At the same time, it is a confidence booster.
Q: Is you being more vocal on the field something you pay attention to or is it because your confidence is higher?
A: No, that is intentional. I have been that way ever since I left Alabama. I have to be that way. I have to be outspoken. Safeties run the back end, we kind of run the whole defense. We like to play quarterback back there. We have to see everything and bring it all the way down to the linebackers so they can bring it down to the defensive line.
Q: You said that there are a lot of thing that you have to improve in your game from last season, do you think you took a step in the right direction tonight?
A: Of course. Like I said, seeing routes, recognition, play progression, and route concepts and I think I showcased that today. I shot the gaps, getting two tackles in the backfield and seeing the passes come out before the quarterback released it so, I am getting there.
Q: Two three and outs for this defense tonight, how does that feel?
A: It makes us feel awesome. It was not all of their starters, but at the same time we are confident in our defense and we had to showcase that and set the tone for our young guys and show them what we want out of them when they step on the field so that was big for us.
Q: What young guys stood out in your opinion?
A: Definitely B.J. [Goodson], Romeo [Okwara], Avery [Moss], and Dalvin [Tomlinson], all of those guys stood out to me when I was watching. Those guys made key plays, made some sacks, made some tackles, and did their job and that was the most important thing. They did their job and they knew what they were supposed to do and they were in the right gaps when they were supposed to and by doing that it gives us the trust within them to know if we put them on the field, we know they are going to be accountable.
Q: Did it take some time to get used to B.J.ís voice out there?
A: We have been practicing since OTAís so, no it was good. When we first started OTAís it definitely took some time to get used to his voice, but at the same time, it was good out there. It was good today.
Q: You looked like a rookie out there with how excited you were, were you that excited to put the pads on and hit someone who wasnít wearing blue?
A: Yes, yes. It is always a blessing to hit somebody else because we cannot tackle our guys. I canít unload like I want to on our guys. We got to protect them. We got to keep them for the next game. So when I get the chance to hit somebody else, I am putting all of my force into them.
Q: What was it like to have Thompson back?
A: It was amazing. We always had this chemistry together and we showcased it today. We were on the same page. We made the correct calls, no missed calls, no mistakes. Thatís our biggest concern when we are on the field. We want to make sure the defense is making the right calls.
Q: Do you think B.J. [Goodson] took advantage of the rookie quarterback on that sack?
A: Yeah, he definitely did. He practices against our first line so, you put him against a second or third team line, he is going to blow past them and get to the quarterback so it was big for him.
Q: What do you guys need to work on most over the next 10 days?
A: Preparation for the defense I always say the same thing. Organize the whole thing, make sure everyone is on the same page and secondly, tackling is a big key to this game, we missed some tackles and making sure we are doing our assignments. Those touchdowns should have never happened. There were some blown coverages and I know that, so at the same time we have to key on that.
Q: Why is that the expectation that you get two three and outs to start the game?
A: Thatís what we harp on. Thatís what we do. We practice against the top offense every day so we harp on it and thatís how we become a top 10 defense and thatís what we harped on last year and we have to continue doing the same thing. Itís a tradition here. We have one of the best defenses here and that is what we are going to continue doing.