Views on practice time, stopping Peterson

January, 11, 2010
1/11/10
5:51
PM ET
IRVING -- The bulk of the Cowboys roster has never been this far in the postseason.

There are only two position players with double-digit time in the league Flozell Adams and Keith Brooking with 12 years of NFL experience.

It's uncharted territory for players such as Jason Witten (seven years), Bradie James (seven years), Jay Ratliff (five years) and even a guy like Roy E. Williams (six years). Williams has never been in the playoffs until this year.

How a team practices during this time can be tricky. You want players to get their work, but mindful you don't want to wear them out.

"Well, that’s part of it. But the mental focus is really the big part," coach Wade Phillips said. "If you find that waning, you have to do something about it. Right now, they are so excited about being there, there isn’t a problem with that."

How do you stop Adrian Peterson? It seems impossible sometimes. You could put eight in the box. You could stack the line with 11 guys.

What works?

"You have to gang tackle, things that we do well, but you have to gang tackle and have to have great pursuit," Phillips said. "Speed on defense is really a key because if you’re a little bit slow, he gets through there and he’s gone. Correct angles, the things that we work on all the time, we still have to really emphasize."

On the injury front: Running back Marion Barber (knee) will not practice on Wednesday. He could go on Thursday but might be limited. Safety Pat Watkins (knee) is expected to practice this week. He was limited last week. Right tackle Marc Colombo (ankle and leg) came out of the game Ok and running back Tashard Choice didn't suffer a concussion when he took a hard hit late in the fourth quarter.

The Cowboys could sign some futures players in the coming days.

Phillips said the team might practice at Cowboys Stadium on Thursday.
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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