IRVING -- Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said Friday he was simply trying to say how much he believes in his defenders when he stirred up the Philadelphia Eagles during training camp.
"That other deal was unfortunate," Ryan said. "I thought that it was provoked by the media. I'm an emotional guy. Who are we kidding? I'm not some guy [who] just can handle coach-speak and be boring. I'm going to be emotional at times, and unfortunately that was one of my times, and I found out everybody listens in this town, which is good, unlike Cleveland. So I got in a little trouble there.
"To be honest with you, all I care about is our team, our players. Everywhere I've been, that's all I care about. I [couldn't] care less about their players. I respect them. They've got a ton of talent, but I can't wait to get out there and get after it."
In August, while answering a question about the free-agent signings of defensive ends Kenyon Coleman, Marcus Spears and Jason Hatcher, Ryan took at swipe at the Eagles after they had been declared the "Dream Team" for their big-name free-agent signings.
"I don't know if we win the all-hype team," Ryan said then. "That might have gone to someone else, but we're going to beat their [butt] when we play them."
Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson said this week that Ryan's comments were "uncalled for" and expressed his displeasure at not being able to take a shot at the defensive coordinator Sunday. "It ain't like I can run on the sideline and tackle the coach," Jackson told Philadelphia reporters.
"I know that Jackson said it's not right for me to comment, and he's right about that, that I don't play on Sunday," Ryan said. "I know he wishes I did. I mean, hell, he doesn't have to worry about tackling me. If he does, he can tackle me. That'd be great, because I'm going to land on his shoulder and put him out. So that'll be awesome. Hell, he can tackle me two or three times."
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett still has not acknowledged that DeMarco Murray will start Sunday against the Eagles -- just a week after a team-record-setting 253 yard performance against the St. Louis Rams.
But the Cowboys have few other options, with Felix Jones out with a high ankle sprain and Tashard Choice hobbled by a shoulder and hamstring injury. Choice did not practice Friday, but says he will be ready for the game.
That he wasn't able to go in the last real practice before the game is not a good sign.
He is officially listed as questionable.
Punter Mat McBriar was a full participant in practice despite being listed on the injury report with a left foot injury. He said he will play Sunday.
The injury, however, was enough of a concern to the Cowboys that they signed punter Chris Jones to the practice squad. The Cowboys released defensive tackle Robert Calloway from the practice squad.
Jones, an undrafted rookie free agent out of Carson Newman, attended training camp with Dallas. He led the Cowboys with eight punts during the preseason for a 37.0 gross average and a 33.1 net average with a long punt of 49 yards.
"We're hopeful he can be able to punt for us and be active for us," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said of McBriar.
"We have some Plan B options as well from the punting standpoint. Again, we're hopeful he'll be ready to go. He's certainly progressed as the week has gone on."
McBriar said he suffered the injury late last week.
Kicker David Buehler will handle kickoffs against the Eagles for the first time since suffering a groin injury in Week 2 against the San Francisco 49ers.
Buhler has missed the past four games.
"I'm happy and excited to go," Buehler said. "It's tough watching from the sidelines. I am finally healthy and able to get back on the field."
Buehler will take back the kickoff duty from kicker Dan Bailey, who has handled field goals and kickoffs in his absence.
Clarence E. Hill Jr.