LB Jonathan Casillas
December 6, 2016
Q: How do you make do without JPP?
A: Guys have to step up. We have Kerry Wynn, he has played a lot of football here. Romeo (Okwara) and (Owa) Odighizuwa. I donít know his health, but we have guys behind him that I believe are going to do a really good job. But no one is JPP. No one is Jason Pierre-Paul. No one can really do the things that he can do for us or for anybody, so it is going to be different things that might have to do. I donít know what that is quite yet, but his presence will be missed out there.
Q: It canít be easy to replace a guy who plays 95% of the snaps.
A: Oh, yeah and the way he plays them, he plays at a high level. He has a great motor, he is a guy that can run anybody down when they break a run or catch a pass and he is one of the best pure pass rushers in the NFL.
Q: It is a tough week to be without him. You know what the Cowboys bring.
A: Right, right and he has a good history against them. He has played very well against the Cowboys, even before I got here. He has been catching tipped balls and getting sacks, Romo probably had nightmares about him for years, so it is going to be tough without him, but next person up, we have to move on and it is what it is.
Q: Do the Cowboys look different from Week 1 on film?
A: No, not too much and I say that scheme wise. They are definitely a better team, a more experienced quarterback. I think that is what it really was the first game. He (Dak Prescott) was very inexperienced, but he still had the poise, still had the accuracy, still had the confidence and the run game has gotten better. They figured out exactly what they wanted to do to teams and they have been doing it very well and their line has always been a top 5 line in the league since I have been in the NFL. They are leaning on defenders and this running back is finding these holes and is creating his own at times and they look like an 11-1 team.
Q: After you beat them in Dallas, could you imagine them not losing another game?
A: No, I mean, no matter how good a team is you wouldnít think 11 straight. Somebody would get them in the division or what have you, but hats off to them. They have been playing really good football, they have played some really good teams on the road and got wins, especially in the last few weeks, so you have got to tip your hat to them. They are a really good team.
Q: How much can a team change in the span of 13 weeks?
A: Drastically. But I donít think it is too much of a difference with them. They are a more experienced team with a more experienced rookie quarterback. That was the thing, it was his first game when we played against him and that was his only loss. You can take it for how you want it, but that is a fact and they are a better team, I feel like we are a better team and it has been set up the whole year and I am looking forward to it this Sunday night, man.
Q: Prescott only has two picks all year and Elliott hasnít hit the rookie wall. How are these two things happening?
A: These are two rare rookies. When you have people like this playing this late in the season, this well and this young, it is very rare to see that and very rare to find it. But they are doing it at a high level. Since Week 1 they have been doing it at a high level. They have been starters since Week 1, they really didnít have time to learn. They learned on the go. Like I said, these are tremendous athletes, they are playing bigger than they are as in they have more experience. They are playing like they have a lot more experience than they actually do and we are going to have our hands full. Dak has gotten better since Week 1 and Zeke has gotten better since Week 1.
Q: How much does the fact that you guys may have keyed in on the run in Week 1 because of Dakís inexperience change this week?
A: I think it changes a lot. I think that from where his skill set is at and where his experience has gotten him to at this point, talking about the quarterback, it is night and day. You saw all of those tools in the beginning, but I feel like he has hit his stride, he understands what defenses are doing, he is seeing single high and going to the right looks, he is seeing two high and going to the right looks, so that is an experienced quarterback. Maybe he didnít show that in Week 1, we didnít have any film on him besides college film and in a preseason game. Now you are seeing him step into the mold and take full control of this offense and do the necessary checks and get it to the right people and plays and he is doing that.