S Landon Collins
September 4, 2017
Q: How do you feel like you are better as a player right now compared to a year ago?
A: Experience. And then just knowing the defense is the second thing. Just playing ball and playing fast, but you need to update, really need to understand each other. Understanding our players and what I know they can do and they know what I can do, we can play a little faster and then play off each other. So, thatís big.
Q: Can there be too much hype surrounding just one game to begin the season?
A: Yeah, I mean, itís one game, itís early. Weíve all got a lot of time to make it into playoffs. Itís definitely big. Itís a big and important game, but the hype, I hope it calms down eventually, but it probably will not. Just looking forward to playing a good game and just coming out with a ĎWí.
Q: Do you feed off of the hype?
A: Oh yeah, I feed off of that. Itís something that I harp on. It puts a fire in me and just makes me play a little bit harder.
Q: Is creating defensive scores the next step for this defense?
A: Turnovers [are] a big step for us. Ripping at the ball, making game-changing plays and getting our offense back the ball as quick as possible. When you can put points on the board, thatís even a plus, but we harp on their mistakes. If theyíre going to make mistakes, weíre going to feed off of them.
Q: Is stopping the run at the top of the priority list when trying to beat the Cowboys?
A: Stopping the run is top of the list for each and every team we play against. So, thatís big and Coach ĎSpagsí [Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo] drives us on it each and every week. If some team gets over a certain amount of yardage and we allowed it Ė man, we canít stand to hear his voice, so thatís our biggest and most important goal from the get-go.
Q: Do you put any stock into paying attention whether or not Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott will play against you?
A: Iím hoping that his appeal goes through. Heís a great player, an exciting player and I love to play against the best players. If not, weíre going to see him in the second game [against Dallas] and weíll keep working on whoever theyíve got [playing running back] and work them throughout the game.
Q: So whether or not Elliott will play does not change anything for you guys?
A: No, it doesnít change the mindset [of] us making a defensive hold and stopping the run.
Q: Is it an advantage to face Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott in his second year, as opposed to his rookie season when there was not as much film to study?
A: Yes, itís a better advantage. Weíve got film on him, we know what he likes to do, we know where his escape routes are and we know his concepts.