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CLIFTON WOOSLEY TULSA, OK: I've never believed the hoopla about Tony Romo's December record, but do you believe the league keeps giving us these tough games late in the season to try and perpetuate the story?
Rob: To me it's about ratings. The Cowboys equal ratings. Maybe the "December storyline" factors into their thinking somehow, but every team seems to get a couple of tough division matchups in the final month. It's good drama with division titles and playoff spots at stake. I think this is a very difficult schedule on paper. They start with two games on the road, they play four of five on the road in November against some quality competition, and yes, December looks brutal again. But here's the thing: if they're a better team this year, none of this will matter. They just weren't good enough to be consistent last year.
Josh: That may be the perception that fans have, but I don't think there's anything to it. Look, the NFL is going to pack the stretch run with division games. It just so happens that Philadelphia, New York and Washington aren't easy places to play, generally. And besides, a lot of these teams on the schedule wouldn't be fun to play in any month. When do you really want to play at Baltimore? If the Cowboys were really good, they would win December games. They haven't been really good for a while.
ROGER OCHOA LUBBOCK, TX: Seems like the Cowboys never start the season at home. What's up with that?
Rob:You're right, most of the time they don't. I thumbed through the Jerry Jones era and the Cowboys have opened on the road 17 of the last 24 years. Back in the day, I believe the league may have factored late-summer heat into the opening weekend schedule for warm-weather teams. That doesn't explain the Cowboys getting four straight road openers with a domed home stadium, though. I don't think it's a conspiracy -- at least they get 10 days' rest before Week 2. The real issue is playing six of their first nine away from Cowboys Stadium.
Josh: Back when they were playing at Texas Stadium it was actually the league doing the Cowboys a favor, trying to keep them out of the heat for at least one more week. Now, all four seasons of Cowboys Stadium have begun on the road. Is it just coincidence? Maybe ownership has requested that with the league. Teams do make scheduling requests from time to time. Maybe the Joneses have their reasons from wanting to start on the road.