DT Damon Harrison
September 7, 2017
Q: What makes you think that this team can be better than last year?
A: Because weíve got a bunch of guys who arenít comfortable with what theyíve done last year. Whether it be [defensive tackle] Robert Thomas, or [safety] Landon Collins. Nobody is happy, or satisfied, or content Ė whichever word you want to use Ė with what theyíve done last year. Last year doesnít matter anymore.
Q: What have you seen from your teammates that tells you they arenít content with last year?
A: Just the way they work. When nobodyís watching, when the cameraís not here, when the coach is not watching. I was here with [defensive tackle] Jay Bromley. Iíve seen Robert Thomas working, Iíve seen Landon working. And that right there, thatís all you need to know about a guy Ė how hard he works when the cameras arenít there.
Q: Have you seen teams before when it wasnít that way?
A: So, if a guyís not working, then obviously Iím not there because Iím working.
Q: What is the biggest leap youíve seen defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson from the start of summer to now?
A: His confidence. His ability to diagnose his plays and be confident in his understanding of blocking schemes and how teams try to attack him. He had all the physical tools from day one, thatís why he got drafted so high. But his confidence has just changed.
Q: How good of a babysitter is wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.?
A: [Laughs] Heís pretty good, that was the first night my son slept through the night after he left the house. So, he did something right [laughs].
Q: How ready are you for this opening game?
A: Very ready, man. Iíve just been going up against the New York Giants all offseason Ė or I think since April. And the preseason is the preseason, but this time itís for real. So, Iím ready.
Q: What kind of pressure is put on the defense when playing against the Dallas offense?
A: Well, it starts up front. We know about their all-world offensive line. Youíve got to give credit where credit is due, those guys work excellent together and theyíre all so great individual players. So, anytime you have that Ė and [quarterback] Dak Prescott did an excellent job last year. He didnít play like he was a rookie. And [running back] Ezekiel Elliott Ė I saw a stat, he runs for like almost 1,200 yards on first down? Wow, thatís crazy. On first down. Thatís amazing.
Q: Do you think that you guys have an all-world defensive line?
A: No, man. Weíve just got the New York Giants defensive line, with ĎJPPí [Jason Pierre-Paul], Olivier Vernon, Dalvin Tomlinson, Jay Bromley, Kerry Wynn, Robert Thomas, Avery Moss, Romeo Okwara.
Q: Is it a plug-and-play situation at running back given the power of the Cowboyís offensive line?
A: No. It doesnít matter. Those guys do an excellent job of blocking the first level of defenders. So, as a running back, the dream is to make it past the first level to get to the second level and be able to show youíre playmaking ability. So, I think they could have me at running back and I could do a pretty good job. But, when you have a guy like Ezekiel Elliott whoís an exceptional talent, thatís just icing on the cake.
Q: Do you think this team has championship ability?
A: Iíve never been on a championship team, so it would be hard for me to really answer that. And, Iím not one of the leaders. Iím just one of the guys. Iím just one of the guys. We have some really, really good leaders in this locker room. Itís not fair to them.
Q: Do you have any predictions about this team?
A: If you want a prediction or a guarantee Ė yes. I can guarantee you Ė write it down. I guarantee you that the New York Football Giants will be in Dallas Cowboysí stadium on Sunday.
Q: How good is this team going to be this season?
A: As good as we want to be.
Q: If you were voted captain, would you decline?
A: Yes sir. I would.
Q: Why would you decline captain?
A: I just want to be that behind the scenes guy. I donít want to, you know, there are some guys in here. JC (Jonathan Casillas) who has been in the league a long time and heís earned that right. JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul), DRC (Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie) and other guys who could do a better job than myself.
Q: It seems like guys gravitate towards you to learn the position because youíre that good.
A: No, man.
Q: A lot of different characteristics make up a leader. Donít you think you could categorize yourself as one to some extent?
A: When you put it like that, obviously yeah. I call myself a Broadway bully. I bully bullies I donít bully other people. Iím not a leader. Iím not a captain.
Q: Did you vote for yourself for captain?
Q: Does this game mean anything more to you even though you play 16 games in a season?
A: Itís the Dallas Cowboys on opening weekend. It doesnít get any better.
Q: Is this a statement game to show that youíre as good as last year?
A: We want to make a statement every game and it just makes it a little more Ė what do you call it? It just puts a little more (fire in your belly) because itís the Cowboys.
Q: Do you have to plan for running backs like Ezekiel Elliott in a different way because last year he had a 107-yard game?
A: Yeah. Thatís just guys including myself trying to do too much. We have to do our job first and we did a pretty good job of corralling him in the second game Ė just a lot of leaky orders. Guys just trying to do too much.
Q: How did Michael Bennettís post make you feel?
A: No comment boss. Iím staying away from there. Dallas Cowboys this weekend. Letís go. Letís go Big Blue.