Sunday, December 30th, 2012


Bob Costas Interviews Cowboys TE Jason Witten and Redskins Head Coach Mike Shanahan "Our mind-set is one that we are going to find a way to win this game. Our team has embraced that opportunity." - Witten on Cowboys-Redskins "His ability to improvise is like no other. I know that those plays are always alive." - Witten on Tony Romo “He’s a guy that doesn’t blink. He’s handled himself that way in every game he has played this year. I don’t see why this game will be any different.” – Shanahan on Robert Griffin III

NEW YORK – December 30, 2012 –Bob Costas interviewed Dallas Cowboys TE Jason Witten and Washington Redskins head coachMike Shanahan for tonight’s Week 17 edition of Football Night in America, which will preview Cowboys-Redskins, and will also include highlights, analysis and reaction to earlier Week 17 games.

Football Night In America, the most-watched pre-game studio show in sports, airs each Sunday at 7 p.m. ET with Costas hosting the program live from inside the stadium. He will be joined on site by Sunday Night Football commentators Al Michaels (play-by-play) and Cris Collinsworth (analyst), as well as NBC NFL analyst and former Steelers WR Hines Ward, for reaction to the afternoon games and to preview tonight’s match-up.

Dan Patrick co-hosts Football Night from Studio 8G at NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios and is joined by Super Bowl-winning head coach Tony Dungy, two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney HarrisonPeter King of Sports Illustrated and Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk on Carolyn Manno will report onEagles-Giants, from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Alex Flanagan will report on Packers-Vikings, from Mall of America Field in Minneapolis, Minn.

INTERVIEWS: Below are excerpts from Costas’ interviews with Witten and Shanahan. If used, please note the mandatory credit: “In an exclusive interview airing tonight on Football Night in America.”


On being in a win-or-go-home situation for the second consecutive year: “It’s tough to get to the situation we are in and play for the division title. It’s been an up and down year. There is no question about that. But to get this opportunity, hopefully our past experiences will allow us to make that jump and get a win.”

On Tony Romo taking blame when things go wrong: “I think it is something he handles really well and does a great job not allowing it to effect his game and his ability to lead our team.”

On Romo’s ability to improvise: “His ability to improvise is like none other. I know that those plays are always alive. It’s great to have a guy like that who you have such great chemistry with on and off the field.”

On being in a familiar win-or-go-home situation: “Our mind-set is one that we are going to find a way to win this game. Our team has embraced that opportunity, and this is why we have played football since we were little kids.”

On the outcome of the game having an impact on the playoffs: “The energy and emotion is going to be through the roof. You are so fortunate to be in that situation and I want our team to enjoy that. It puts chills down your arms just thinking about it. So much work has gone in to getting to this point.”


On the Redskins game against the Panthers on November 4: “We lost four games in the fourth quarter, when we were ahead or tied. We could have easily been 6-3. I was a little disappointed in how we finished up that game. You find out more about your football team in the second half of the season. I told our players, ‘If we win the rest of our games, we have a chance to win the NFC East. The only thing that has to happen is the Giants have to lose a game.’”

On his relationship with Dan Snyder and the long-term plan to build the team: “When I came here, I looked at our football team and said to Dan, ‘If you plan to fire me before five years, then you are picking the wrong guy. This football team needs to be rebuilt. If you want me to do it the right way, I’ll do it the right way. If you want me to do it the quick way, then that’s not me. So if you are going to hire me, give me five years and I’ll do it right.’”

On the durability and longevity of Robert Griffin III: “I think it is the opposite of what most people think. Robert can run our offense and he will be very successful. When he first started with the option, he wanted to run guys over. He has got to learn how to slide. He can’t take the punishment that he did early in the season, but he has gotten much better at that.”

On RG III’s composure going in to the game against the Cowboys: “Based on my experience with him, it will just be another night. He’s a guy that doesn’t blink. He’s handled himself that way in every game he has played this year. I don’t see why this game will be any different.”


Follow NBC Sports PR on Twitter @NBCSportsPR

Follow “Sunday Night Football” on Twitter @SNFonNBC

Follow NBC SportsTalk on Twitter @NBCSportsTalk

Become a fan of “Sunday Night Football” on Facebook at:FACEBOOK.COM/SNFONNBC