DE Cullen Jenkins
September 9, 2015
Q: Is it more of a physical or mental challengeÖ?
A: Itís both because one, you want to set the tone physically. You know theyíre going to come out and try to set the tone physically. After losing [DeMarco] Murray, theyíre probably going to want to establish a run game and show that that hasnít fallen off. So weíve got to be ready physically. Then mentally, youíve got to always prepare for anything they can throw at you.
Q: How different is their running game going to be now that itís by committee? The bell cow is gone, as you said.
A: Well, youíve got to be ready to adjust to any back now. When Murray was back there, you kind of understood what type of runner he was. You prepare for it for most of the game. Now, you know, theyíve got a lot of choices and a lot of different backs, different styles that they can throw at you. Got to be disciplined, real disciplined up front.
Q: Youíve been around a long time. I know Opening Day is only one game, but is there extra emphasis on trying to win that first game? Does that give a team a feel-good feeling?
A: Yeah. Last year we came in, we were sitting here talking about the same things. We needed a fast start. Itís so important to try and get a fast start. Unfortunately, we didnít get it last year. Ended up hurting us throughout the year, and we never really got things going to the extent we wanted to. Itís important to get a fast start this year, and not dig a hole for ourselves.
Q: Does Opening Day ever get old, though?
A: No. No, it doesnít. Especially, primetime against a division opponent. If you canít get hyped for this, you shouldnít be playing.
Q: Did you get a chance to see JPP when he was here on Monday?
A: No, I did not. I ended up leaving before he came in.
Q: Well, you know he went back home. What confidence do you have, knowing what type of guy he is, that within his power, heíll be able to help this team?
A: Well, heís a fighter. I donít know the whole situation and whatís going on, but I know heís going to fight. We know we miss him and canít wait for him to get back. So weíve just got to wait around.
Q: Can you share any descriptions or impressions of how Coach Coughlin gets as the season gets closer? Or just in general, what you see?
A: Iíll tell you what, he gets intense. A lot of times you see him, heís real focused and heís not a big emotional guy. But he can get pretty intense when he wants to. Weíve seen a lot of that intensity from him so far in team meetings and getting ready.
Q: Does Coach Coughlin provide a sense of calm in the middle of all the JPP and Cruz situations? How would you describe him in these things?
A: Well, Coach Coughlin is consistent. You know what youíre going to get from him. Thereís no second-guessing. Thereís no you come in, and he might be in this mood. Heís the same person. He expects 100 percent. He expects great things from his team regardless.
Re: Dallasís rushing attack
A: Itís a running back by committee. They have a lot of different weapons. Still going to be a threatening running game because of the offensive line. Thatís the strength of their team. Us upfront, thatís going to be directly related to us. Weíve got to match up against their offensive line, hold it down, and help out the guys behind us.
Q: How important is it to get pressure on Tony Romo?
A: That starts with the running game. If you can keep the sticks in the favor of the defenseóget them into second, third and long, then it makes it a little easier to kind of get pass rush opportunities to try and get after him. If you donít, if you let them pick up three, four yards on first and second down, now youíre in 3rd and 4, 3rd and 2. Then they got the whole playbook.
Q: Everyone has talked about that line going back to last year. Does that affect your mentality going into the game? Either more fire, more of a challenge, how do you approach it?
A: Itís a challenge, definitely, because theyíre looked at as one of the best offensive lines in the league. We want to be the best defensive line in the league. Thatís something we want for us. Theyíve already established themselves, and we havenít. Weíve got to go out and prove ourselves. To prove that you want to be the one at the top, youíve got to compete with the best.
Q: You get any Opening Day jitters, any anxiety?
A: I wouldnít say jitters, but there is a big build up. You start anxious, anxiousness, and youíre just ready for it. Hell, weíve been in camp for six weeks. So youíre ready to get going.