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Two-Minute Drill: Witten Remembers Energy At Arrowhead
IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys will enter a stadium in Week 2 renowned for its volume and intensity for the second straight year, after heading to Seattle last season at this time.
Tight end Jason Witten remembers just how loud Kansas City was when the Cowboys travelled there and picked up an overtime win in 2009. The team’s preparing by filtering noise into AT&T Stadium, where the team has practiced the last two days.
“There’s a lot of tradition there,” Witten said. “It is loud. You feel like you’re playing in the ‘80s a little bit. It’s an old stadium, and you feel it when you go out there. There’s great energy, great atmosphere to play football. The last time you were there, you just feel like what a fall Sunday should feel like as a kid when you play. That’s the type of environment it feels like.”
Witten said it’s a good experience to travel on the road, especially leaving a hostile environment with a win. He said it’s a tough place to play, but the Cowboys can’t let being on the road get in the way of what they’re trying to accomplish.
That’s exactly what happened last year, when the Cowboys travelled to play the Seahawks. Any jubilance from an opening win against the Giants quickly disappeared as the Cowboys were dismantled in Seattle.
Witten said the situation seems similar, but he’s obviously looking for a different result.
“Last year, there wasn’t a lot of talk about Seattle and the football team they had (at that point),” Witten said. “Obviously, they were a good football team, we knew that. You look at this team, they do the same type of stuff. They found ways to win. You watch the Jacksonville game, they were in complete control that game the entire way.”
Witten also discussed other subjects, including the Chiefs’ defense, Andy Reid and Dez Bryant:
What does Andy Reid bring to the table as the new head coach in Kansas City?
Witten: “Any time you go against Andy Reid, you’re concerned, just because he’s a fabulous football coach, always has his team prepared and ready. They play winning football, as Jason (Garrett) likes to say. They play fast, they’re smart, they play together. They don’t mess up much. It’s going to be a tough challenge for us going on the road. We’ve got a lot of respect for him and what kind of program he creates and his teams, what they’re made of. It looks like he’s already got them in his type of Andy Reid fashion.”
The Chiefs’ defense looked pretty talented with six sacks last week.
Witten: “They do a good job. Obviously, those guys get to the quarterback and they do it a lot of different ways. We’ve got to be able to protect, and we know that. One thing we’re trying to create, and that’s what Coach Garrett’s talked about, is winning a big game but then stacking more wins on top of each other. That’s what our focus is, and easier said than done.”
Did the Cowboys’ offensive line generate the push you guys wanted last week?
Witten: “They protected well. I thought we did a lot of different things. Tony did a good job getting the ball out. But they were definitely attacking, for sure. You could see that on the tape.”
How did you feel about how the offense moved the ball and seemed to settle on the short passing game?
Witten: “We knew their pass rush was going to be good. We talked about underneath throws and finding ways to stay ahead of the down and distance. I think that’s a reason why we had 74 plays and had 37 minutes of offense, was because we took what they were giving us. There’s going to be time for a big strike, and any time you can have an opportunity to throw it up to (Bryant), you’re going to have a chance to come down with it. I think we’ll have plenty of the big play.”
Did you sense Bryant getting frustrated at all with the attention paid to him?
Witten: “He’s one of the most competitive guys I’ve ever played with, especially on game day. He loves to play. Anybody that watches him in practice or training camp or before a game, you see how passionate he is, and he wants to help you. I thought he did a great job handling it. He’s aware of what’s going on. Anybody could see some of the coverage he was drawing, because of who he is. He just has to fight through it, and when those opportunities come, I’m sure we’ll see him do what he does best. He’s hard to tackle in open space.”