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Cowboys Mailbag: December 14, 2011

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CHRIS BAYMON SPRINGFIELD, MA:If this slide continues, do you think the December woes will fall on the defense, or somehow be remembered as Tony Romo's fault?

Rob:Depends on what Romo does the rest of the way. He has played outstanding in these last two losses. It's obvious the defense has to play better, particularly late in games. But if the Cowboys miss the playoffs, folks will also point to Romo's mistakes in early-season losses to the Jets and Lions. Everyone would share some of the responsibility.

Nick:Well, regardless whose fault it is, it will be on Tony Romo's record. Other than Jason Garrett, no one else has a record associated to him. And I guess that's fair. He has a 19-2 career record in November and I'm sure he's not the ONLY reason for that success. So whatever is record will end up in December, he'll get linked to that as well. That's the nature of the position.

MIKE MURPHY KINGSTON, NY I know it's been a topic of conversation throughout the year, but given Doug Free's up and down season, is it becoming more likely the Cowboys will swap their starting tackles in 2012? Tyron Smith seems to be constantly improving.

Rob: I think it's possible. Smith indeed has played very well for a rookie. Free is probably playing better than people give him credit for. He has had trouble with certain rushers, for sure, but his false starts in some games make things seem even worse. Keep in mind Smith has never really played the left side, but he's a natural enough talent to do it at some point.

Nick:Is Tyron Smith improving or is he really just playing right tackle where it's not as difficult to block your guy? I really don't know the answer to that question but that's one for the coaching staff to evaluate. To me, it seems like the Cowboys would hope to keep it the way it is because of their body types. But if Smith is that much better, then it needs to be switched.

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