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Cowboys Mailbag: November 16, 2011

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Mark Gajda - Stamford, CT: We've all heard of trap games, but is there such a thing as a trap stretch? How do the Cowboys avoid looking way too far ahead, with everyone saying these next three games are so easy?

Nick: That's something this team has to guard against. I think "trap stretch" is a very appropriate term because any time you lump three games in together, it's a setup for failure. You obviously can't win more than one game at a time, so thinking about three can be dangerous. Then again, that's us talking about this stretch. You can't find a coach or player talking about anyone but Washington. So it's probably not a big deal to the players.

Josh: It'll be thought of as a trap stretch if they lose a game or two of the three, but that won't necessarily be because they're looking ahead to December. It's tough to win in the league, as we see every weekend when a Seattle jumps up and beats Baltimore, or the Rams beat New Orleans. I think Jason Garrett's daily message is geared toward helping the players avoid looking too far ahead.

Michael Nicholson - Clark, NJ: Alan Ball has been forced to play a lot this year and has done some really good things. Do you think he has played well enough that he could develop into a potential starter or be the all-important third cornerback for this team?

Nick: I think he should be re-signed. In fact, I even said earlier this year that I'd consider doing it now if Ball and his agent agreed. If you wait, it could get rather pricey and that's going to be tricky considering the Cowboys have to make decisions on other players, such as Terence Newman, who is playing well this year. But Ball is having his best season and I would think this team is going to try to keep him around.

Josh: I think the Cowboys would be smart to work something out with him, because I do think he can be at least a third cornerback, and those guys play a lot. However, he's probably pretty happy with the way he's playing as well, so he and his representation might prefer to wait and see about his market value in the spring. Still, the Cowboys could probably get him back for a relatively inexpensive deal. He would definitely be a good guy to have around for a few more years, in my opinion.

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