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Mailbag: Could Last Season’s Experience Help Cowboys?
MISSOURI CITY, TX
How much will the experience of being in the same situation as last year help the Cowboys?
Nick: The players say it doesn’t help at all. I would think it might a little. But what they’re all saying is that they’ve really had this mindset for a while now this year. That since they went 3-5, they had this win-or-else approach all along. But to me, it’s hard to really, truly have that mentality when it’s not really true. So I think your question is a good one and hopefully the guys who have been here will use that experience to let them have a better start than last year when they went down 21-0.
Jonny: I don't think it will help at all to be honest. I suppose you could argue they don't want to have the same feeling they finished with last year, but that's pretty obvious. It's hard for me to even look at experience as an advantage considering everything the Redskins have been able to accomplish this season with such little experience. Some might say the Cowboys' experience last year is further proof that they will lose on Sunday. I don't think you want anybody on the Cowboys' roster to be thinking about anything that happened in previous years.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA
With failures in the last two win-or-go-home games, do you see this week's regular season finale as a franchise turning point? Win and confidence toward the future, lose and roster turnover?
Nick: No, I really don’t see it that way at all. I don’t think one game will blow this team up. Think about it, are they that different if they win? To me, finishing 8-8 or 9-7 isn’t a huge difference from the big-picture standpoint. Obviously it means staying home or still playing, but I don’t think personnel decisions regarding players will change with this game.
Jonny: I think it's only natural to look at it that way, but it's hard to really imagine roster decisions changing drastically depending on the outcome of this game. There will obviously be core members of the team getting older, but players like Romo, Witten and Ware aren't exactly replaceable. Even if the Cowboys win and make a playoff run, they will have to keep an eye on the future. There are certain changes (perhaps to the offensive and defensive lines) that will happen regardless of the outcome of this game.