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Cowboys Mailbag: January 23, 2012

/ Editor's Note: Each weekday,'s writers will field two questions from the fans. Click here to email your question now. **

Tyler Azzaro - Slatington, PA: The Giants are a prime example of "getting hot at the right time." I don't have a question, just wanted to say it. Shoulda been the Cowboys.

Rob: You're right to an extent, Tyler. The Packers won last year's Super Bowl because they were the hottest team, but they also came back this year and went 15-1. Obviously that team had enough talent for sustainability, and the Giants do, too. They're simply more talented than the Cowboys on defense – particularly because they have a wealth of pass rushers – and their defense is the reason they've gotten hot. Eli Manning was putting up big numbers just like Tony Romo during the season, but he didn't have a complete, consistent team until the defense got going in December. Ahmad Bradshaw's return from a broken foot has helped the run game, too. And for whatever intangible reason, twice in the last four years the Giants have found a way to peak at the most important time. This is a championship-caliber group because they've proven it before. Give them credit. The Cowboys haven't.

Josh: I'd like to make some Cowboys fans happy and say I agreed with that premise, but I don't. As Parcells always said, you are what you are. Yes, the Giants did get hot at the right time, but that's not a fluke. The NFL is a war of attrition, with deeper teams better able to deal with the injuries that have accumulated by the end of the season and in the playoffs. Teams like the Giants, Packers, Patriots, Steelers and Eagles seem to do it on an almost yearly basis, while the Cowboys fall apart every December. At the very top of their roster, the Cowboys are comparable to any of those. Give me Romo, Austin, Witten and Ware over just about anybody else's top four. From there down, though, there's a huge drop off that I think will take time to repair.

Devon Davidson - Minneapolis, MN: Terence Newman is done as a cornerback, but would he have any value at free safety? Or is his contract too big to make a move that may not work?

Rob: I give the same answer to this question every year: safety is not a retirement home for aging cornerbacks. Who's the last one in the league that made a really successful transition? Free safety requires a player with range, but it's also a physical position that requires good tackling and run support. The Cowboys tried it with Alan Ball last year and it didn't work. I just don't think Terence is a safety, either.

Josh: How did you like his tackling against the Giants? Want that as your last line of defense? The transition from corner to safety is not really a sure thing. And the remainder of Newman's contract would make him one of the league's highest-paid safeties. That ain't happening. This defense has to get younger.

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