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Joe Rodriguez's Exclusive Interview with Notre Dame's Alltime Sack Leader Justin Tuck

Rodriguez: When did you make the decision to declare for the
NFL draft, and what helped you make that decision

Tuck: Well, after thinking about it and talking with my family I deciding that this was the best thing for my family and me. I think that the firing of Coach Willingham had a impact on it, but the biggest factor was that I will graduated in May.


Rodriguez: Who was your favorite NFL player to watch growing up?

Tuck: LT and Reggie White and Mike Singletary


Rodriguez: Is there anyone in the NFL now that you could compare yourself to?

Tuck: Jevon Kearse and John Abraham


Rodriguez: When you lineup on defense what goes through your

Tuck: I just try to block everything out, because at that point you have done the work in practice all week, so now it is time to have fun. So I'm all about having fun and fun for me on the field is sacking QB's and hitting someone in the mouth.


Rodriguez:How would your rate your pass defense vs. run defense? Are they even or do you have more expertise versus the other?

Tuck: I think right now I'm more skilled at getting to the QB and my run defense has improve every year. So i would that I'm slightly a better pass rusher.


Rodriguez: What is your main goal coming into the NFL?

Tuck: Be the Best.


Rodriguez: Can you tell me how a team would benefit by drafting you in this 2005 NFL Draft?

Tuck: They would be drafting a leader, and someone with a great work ethic. Also they would be getting someone that can pressure the QB.


Rodriguez: Could you envision yourself playing LB in a 3-4
alignment? What advantages or disadvantages could you see playing LB in a 3-4 alignment?

Tuck: I could see myself doing that because I started my college career at LB, but I would rather play DE.


Rodriguez: Have any teams shown interest in you now that you have declared for the draft?

Tuck: A lot of teams have shown interest.


Rodriguez: In today’s NFL, are there any defensive units that impress you, if so, which ones and why?

Tuck: New England, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Washington.


Rodriguez: How would you say you perform in “bigtime” games late in the 4th Quarter? Do you still have gas to make plays? How do you get it done?

Tuck: I think I perform better in big time situation. I think that
started in high school. But late in the 4th when your team needs a big play you just have to suck it up and get the job done. Some people just want it more and I just happen to be one of those people.


Rodriguez:Your former teammate Julius Jones was drafted by the Cowboys, have you spoken with him about coming into the NFL?

Tuck: Not yet, but I will soon.


Rodriguez: Was there anyone that College (offensive lineman) that did a good job slowing you down? If so, who?

Tuck: I think the two best off. linemen that i faced was Alex Barron (FSU) and Barnes (Washington).


Rodriguez: Who knows what team will draft you, but if the Cowboys drafted you what would that mean to you?

Tuck: Smiles. I would be happy because that was the team that I was in front of the T.V. watching when I was growing up. So I would be very happy. VERY HAPPY.


**Thanks to "Tuck" for participating in our interview, good luck in the draft!**


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Deep Pockets & Impact Free Agents

As hard as it is to believe, Cowboy Die Hards know we still have holes to fill via the remaing Free Agency Season or the NFL Draft. One thing is for sure, the Cowboys have set themselves up for a fantastic NFL Draft. Jerry Jones has opened up the Jones Vault and signed - sealed - and delivered the players.

By filling key positions with upper echelon players the Cowboys are set to further roster upgrades via the Draft.

Free Agency Holes:
DT - Filled with DT Jason Ferguson (Jets)
CB - Filled with CB Anthony Henry (Browns)
RG - Filled with RG Marco Rivera (Packers)
DE - ?
RT - ?
OLB - ?
SS - ?

Howard Trade and Merriman Selection:
With the trade for Darren Howard still in limbo, the Cowboys will most likely fill the remaining holes in the draft. If Howard is attained in a trade, the Cowboys will still be targeting DE/LB Shawne Merriman. If Howard is NOT added via trade, Merriman is still the favorite pick in most circles. Its not as easy as it seems though, there are several teams that are coveting Merriman, mainly the Lions who pick #11, and a handful of teams after us could very well tradeup and leapfrog to draft him.

Trading for Howard means giving up our 2nd rounder. In this case, we'll be trading down our #20 pick to recoup another 2nd rounder and somemore later picks.


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Let Mortal Kombat Begin! (Free Agency Is Here)

We're on the cusp of Free Agency. Tomorrow officially begins what better mark a fresh beginning to a new year in Cowboys Football. We need to be fast and furious - signup true quality players with some youth to help complete the puzzle to Project:Domination 2005. This is what I'm calling our year, will we be dominant? We'll we see. One thing is for sure, we have the Owner, and we have a very healthy salary cap to make improvements.

Top Positions that need to be filled this FA season:
#1 Defensive Tackle
#2 Cornerback
#3 Right Tackle
#4 Safety

Keep your eyes on the guys we sign, it will be a sign of what defensive scheme we'll run.
Alright, let's get to it, let's get it done.