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DONNIE LEGER - SULPHUR, LA: There has been numerous discussions about fixing this and that, but my main concern is the penalties. I'm not saying penalties are the reason the Cowboys lost 10 games, but they were a major contributor, especially early.
Rob: The defense and the offensive line should be your main concerns, but your point is well taken. They particularly didn't play disciplined football during the 1-7 start, and it cost them. Alex Barron's hold in the season opener is the prime example, and the celebration penalties were a joke. When you lose eight of 10 games by a touchdown or less, little things often make the difference.
Josh: Well, it's probably difficult to fix those during this lockout. Penalties are usually pinned on poor coaching, but a lot of it involves players getting beat. Typically an offensive lineman only holds if he has to in order to keep his quarterback from being killed. The Cowboys were a bad team last year, so it makes sense that they would have a lot of penalties, and yes, they were a huge part of the rocky start. The only consolation, I guess, is that things did improve after Jason Garrett took over in the second half.
PETE BERTHEL - SEAFORD, NY: Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, Philip Rivers and Tony Romo all have the same amount of rings. But Romo was undrafted yet he gets killed by both fans and the media. Why?
Rob: Mostly because he wears a star on his helmet. Now, Rivers has gone deeper in the playoffs (two AFC Championship games), and Ryan and Flacco haven't been in the league as long as Romo. At 31, Romo frankly doesn't have a bunch of years left. Because plays in Dallas, he's been overhyped at times, but he's also underappreciated at times. The Cowboys have a top-10 quarterback in this league right now.
Josh: I agree with you that those guys haven't done a whole lot Romo hasn't, and with the exception of Rivers, I would say he's the best of the four. But those other guys don't play under the microscope that the Dallas Cowboys quarterback does, for better or for worse. It comes with the territory.
Mailbag: Patience With The Backup Quarterbacks?
Isn't it smarter to stand pat with the current three backups and allow us time to evaluate their play in practice and in the upcoming preseason games?
Mailbag: Detailing Week 1 Starters & Backups At DT
DT is one of the deepest positions on the roster in terms of guys with serious chances at roster spots. Who would you say starts, who are the backups, and who's on the outside looking in?
Mailbag: Sign Another Backup QB?
With Blake Bortles' recent release from Green Bay, why not bring him in and see what he's got?
Mailbag: How Does The CB Battle Look So Far?
How's the battle at cornerback shaping up? Who is getting reps with the first team and what are your gut feelings about the day one starter opposite of Trevon Diggs?
Mailbag: Timing Of Malik Hooker Interest?
Why another look at Malik Hooker at safety if we already passed on him and there are six safeties on the roster at this time? What has changed since his last visit?
Mailbag: Keeping 6 WRs? Niswander's Future?
Is it fair, and I realize "fair" is a subjective term, that Hunter Niswander is being asked to be both punter and kicker, while in competition with Bryan Anger for the punter position?
Mailbag: Going Heavy At Certain Roster Positions?
With a few players who can play more than one position on defense – safety/linebacker, linebacker/pass rusher, edge rusher/defensive tackle – wouldn't this allow the team to go heavy at several positions?
Mailbag: Set At D-Line, Or Geno Atkins An Option?
What are the odds that the Cowboys sign Geno Atkins? I think he would be a nice bridge for a veteran player to help the young defensive line.
Mailbag: Sack Total For Tank, Gregory, Parsons?
With Randy Gregory having a full offseason the first time in his career, and the addition of Micah Parsons, what's your total sack number predictions between the three?
Mailbag: Pass Rush Help? Not Enough WR Speed?
The one thing I haven't heard is "elite speed" - someone who scares the defense of running a deep route. Is there anyone on the Cowboys roster with this kind of speed?
Mailbag: Depth Concerns At Two Positions?
What are two positions that you feel the Cowboys have good talent at but could use more depth?