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Cowboys Mailbag: December 15, 2011

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HENRY SOLIZ TEMPE, AZ:This defense continued to look confused throughout games. Is it time to simplify things and slow down the continuous personnel changes?

Nick:Well the personnel changes are really more of a product of the injuries. You're right about things looking chaotic at times. Part of that is by design, but there are other times when it's clear that the guys are scrambling around back there. Rob Ryan said on Thursday that communication is a big part of the problems on defense, particularly in the two-minute drill. It sounds like the team will work on different ways to communicate this week, including the use of more hand signals from the sidelines.

Josh:Some of the personnel changes are necessary. You've got to match up guys who can cover when an offense throws three or four receivers out there, and you need more linebackers if they've got more backs or tight ends. That won't ever change. It could be a little more simplistic, and I think Rob Ryan is going to try that, starting with streamlining the signal-calling in those situations.

WARREN MINCEY NATCHEZ, MS Down to Felix Jones and the just-signed Sammy Morris, are the Cowboys going to shade toward becoming a passing team even more of the time now?

Nick: You would think that, but I doubt it works out that way. Running the ball is the key to any game, at any level. We all know that. And with Tony Fiammetta leading the way at fullback, I would expect the Cowboys to keep a similar game plan as always.

Josh:I don't think their running game is hopeless, but I do think they're going to remain hesitant to just hand it to Felix Jones 25 times a game, because they've never done that. The problem is that there isn't a legitimate second guy now. Morris is going to be seriously limited in what he can do with the ball in his hands. So in that respect, yeah, I do think they're going to be a pass-first team, really the same way they've been since Garrett arrived in 2007.

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