On continuity between Ron Rivera and Cam Newton the past seven-plus years: "It's been great for them. I have great respect for Ron as a head coach. He's done such a great job with that entire program, and Cam Newton as his quarterback has been a big part of that. They're just a really solid football team year in and year out. They always play great defense. They always challenge us so many different ways on offense and in the kicking game. The track record speaks for itself. He's done a fantastic job. They're a great combination."
On the Norv Turner-Newton combination: "Norv, I just believe is one of the great coaches in this league and he's done such a great job at every stop he's had of bringing the best out in his players. He's had a lot of different kinds of quarterbacks, a lot of different kinds of running backs, receivers, teams have been built different ways but at the end his players and his units always play really, really well. He gets the most out of them. That was the case back when I first met him with the Cowboys in the early 90s and then really at every subsequent stop sense then. He'll go there and find out what are the strengths of each of the players on that offensive unit and he'll play to those strengths and minimize whatever weaknesses they have and he'll bring the best out in them and he'll do a great job with the quarterback. He's always led balanced attacks where they've been able to attack both in the run and the pass. He just does a fantastic job. I have the upmost respect for him as a guy and as a football coach."
On matchup between Carolina's defensive line and Cowboys offensive line:"What stands out is that they're really good across the board. They're so stout on their defensive front, big athletic defensive tackles, obviously play making guys on the outside and they have a lot of guys. They play the right way, they're very physical, they're very active. They're good run defenders and obviously they affect the quarterback. I hesitate to mention any names because we have great respect for all of them. That'll be a big challenge for our football team this week."
On Efe Obada's time with Dallas: "I remember Efe really, really well. He made such a favorable impression on everybody here, his teammates and coaches and really everybody in our organization. We're really pulling for him, and he did so many good things. I think he grew a lot during his time here. He was so new to playing American football and playing at this level, but he went about it the right way. As hard a working guy as there is and absolutely did everything he could to get everything out of the opportunity that he had. We've been following him and certainly pulling for him. It's great to see that he made the 53-man roster there."
On future goals for DeMarcus Lawrence: "Just to come in, just continue to strive to improve each and every day in practice and go perform on Sundays. That's the kind of guy that he is. He loves playing ball. One of the things that we appreciate about him is he had all those sacks last year, but he takes great pride in being an outstanding run defender as well and then certainly trying to make those game-changing plays when he gets to the quarterback. He has a great appreciation for being a complete defensive end, he sets a great example for his teammates and it's about approaching it the right way each and every day and then going out and playing on Sundays."
On similarities between 2015 contest and Sunday: "There's been so much turnover on both teams…you know you're a different team three years later than you were back then. Certainly again, I go back to having great respect for Carolina. They were having a great year that year (2015) and they came in did a fantastic job against us and made critical plays on defense where they took the ball away from us and really did an outstanding job. We weren't up to the task that day and we recognize the challenge this weekend and we're working hard to get ready to go."
On Panthers defense: "I think they're really good. They're stout up front. They've got good interior run defenders. They're very good on the edges, effecting the quarterback, the middle linebackers are fantastic players. The outside linebackers can run and have such an impact on the game. Their secondary guys are really good cover guys and they have a play making mentality. It all fits together, they're running a scheme that they believe in and they really play very well on all three levels. It'll be a great challenge for us."
On playing against Julius Peppers: "We played against him. I was with the Giants and then I was kind of with Tampa and Miami my last year playing. He's just been one of the great players in this league for so long. To see in his bio that it's 17 years now is like, 'Wow.' I'll tell you what he still looks like he's got a lot of juice left at whatever stop he's made…obviously the great years in Carolina, but Chicago, Green Bay and now back there he's just been such a great football player and goes about it the right way. He's been one of the most impactful guys we've gone against really at any point in our careers."
*On filling absence of Jason Witten and Dez Bryant: *"Those guys have been great players for our organization. Wit was here for 15 years and he had over 1,100 catches when he was here and was certainly one of the main stays of our offensive team, but also one of the great leaders on our team and so well respected. Now he's the lead analyst on Monday Night Football and he's going to embrace that opportunity. We have to move on. We're fortunate that we have some other really good leaders who I think have been positively influenced by him who have stepped up, guy on both the offensive side and the defensive side. Dez was such a playmaker for us throughout his career. He was so impactful in his ability to make plays in the passing game and score touchdowns for us. That's one of the hard decisions you have to make as an organization. Sometimes you have to move forward. We're excited about the young guys that we have in our receiving core. We're excited about some of the new guys. Everybody's just been working hard to try to understand what we're trying to do to play at the highest level. That's what we'll continue to do. It'll be exciting to see everybody play this Sunday for the first time in the regular season."
On preparing for Newton and the dual threat he presents: "He's a great football player. There's no question about that. He's a key piece to what they're doing offensively and has been for a long time. His ability to throw the football from the pocket, when he gets out of the pocket, his ability to run the football, both on designed runs and then when the plays break down. He's able to make difference-making plays. He's big, he's fast, he's athletic, he's a hard gut to tackle and he has a play making instinct about him. He's demonstrated that throughout his career. He challenges you in so many different ways, we have to everything we can to stop him both as a runner and as a passer."
On where Luke Kuechly ranks in the league amongst defenders: "I'm not big on comparing players but I think anybody who's been around this league would tell you he's as good a defensive player as there is. He's fantastic football player. He's a great athlete, he's so active, he's big and long and fast. He's so smart, his preparation is off the charts, you know, one of those incredibly instinctive guys. He's always around the ball in the running game, he's always in the throwing lane in the passing game. He's such an impactful player and certainly a great leader for them and has been throughout his career. Certainly one of the best defensive players in the league. Again we have the upmost respect for him."
On Dak Prescott's offseason: "I think Dak has done a great job. Right from the get-go when he came in as a rookie he handled everything so well. Obviously we had a lot of success his rookie year and he handled that well and any time we've had adversity since then he's equally strong. He's a fantastic leader and sets the right example for everybody. I think he continues to grow as a quarterback the more he plays. Not many quarterbacks get to play right from the get-go their first year out of college. Obviously he's still learning. One of the things that's exciting for us is how he goes about it. He's always able to build on the successes and handle adversities really well. He always wants to grow and learn and get better. I think he's done an outstanding job throughout the offseason, throughout training camp and the preseason and he's certainly exited to get going."