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Cowboys Mailbag: October 18, 2011

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DENNIS KELLAR FLETCHER, OK :Why is more of the responsibility for this 2-3 start not put on Jason Garrett?

Rob:Based on the heavy criticism he's getting as a play-caller, I'd say he's sharing the responsibility. As head coach, Garrett has done an excellent job getting his team ready. They're competing every week, and the game plan against the Pats was right on. But he's also the offensive coordinator, and he's not going to be perfect all the time. The shovel pass surprised me because I couldn't recall ever seeing it in a game. We can debate all day whether they should have mixed in a pass with a 16-13 lead in the fourth quarter. That said, if DeMarco Murray catches that third-quarter pass on first down in the red zone, or if Terence Newman doesn't get tackled after the fumble recovery, maybe they score touchdowns and this isn't really a discussion this week.

Josh:I think you, Dennis, and a lot of other people, are putting the responsibility on his shoulders, along with those of Tony Romo. Garrett and Romo are 2-3. DeMarcus Ware and Doug Free don't have a record. The head coach and quarterback are the first people to get blame or credit when things go right, and the offensive play-caller is right there with them. It's really easy for people to see when a call backfires, and it's all hindsight. So yes, Garrett is being blamed. I think he's done more good than harm, however.

ANDREZ PEFEZ LOS ANGELES, CA:Since Felix Jones is out, do you think it is time to give Phillip Tanner the ball? We need a jump start and Tanner could give us that.

Rob:Tanner could be active now as the third runner and because he can help on special teams. But DeMarco Murray is the rookie back who will get more of the load, and although he averaged only 3.2 yards a carry, I liked the way he ran on that 93-yard drive before halftime. No matter who's in there, the offensive line will dictate a lot of what happens on the ground.

Josh: They could put Emmitt Smith out there and it wouldn't matter. Neither Tanner, nor Jones, nor Tashard Choice or DeMarco Murray are going to be able to do much with the lack of blocking they are getting. People always want to see the backup running backs, but there is a reason they are the backups.

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