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Cowboys Mailbag: October 19, 2011

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

STEVE WATERS TEIGNMOUTH, UK :Why does Dez Bryant disappear in the second half of games? Surely this is a factor in the team not being able to close out games.

Rob:I think earlier in the season it had to do with his thigh; he was clearly less than 100 percent despite starting the game strong. Maybe his conditioning coming off the injury has something to do with it, but Jerry Jones himself stated he has to be more consistent with his route running. As talented as he is, he's still a young player who has missed a lot of football in two years.

Josh:Any number of reasons, including defenses figuring out how they want to play him as the game goes on. I don't know, also, if he has Tony Romo's full trust because there's no way to be sure if he knows where to go on any given play. Great talent, but he's got a long, long way to go.

JOEY SAYSON SANTA MONICA, CA:Dwayne Harris' release is a signal that 2011, much like 2010 and 2009, is on the way to becoming a somewhat failed draft. Why isn't Jerry Jones doing something to revamp the scouting department? It seems to me our scouting department has to shoulder a lot of the blame in this team's ongoing personnel problems.

Rob:I was surprised to see the Cowboys risk putting Harris through waivers, but he was a sixth-round pick rather than a Day One selection. Not always gonna hit there. The recent high picks - Dez Bryant, Sean Lee and Tyron Smith - look like keepers, and the same scouting department has also found some sleeper rookie free agents. But, point taken. The team has missed on several guys in third, fourth and fifth rounds, and you're hoping those picks are cost-friendly special teams players and potentially future starters. Missing those really affects the team's overall depth.

Josh:Well, guys do come and go from the scouting department without anyone noticing. It's made up of about 15 people, most of whom you've never heard of before. They won't be perfect, or even close, probably. But you're right, the Cowboys haven't been as consistent in the draft since the Bill Parcells, Jeff Ireland crew left. There aren't necessarily a lot of great, proven scouts who aren't already under contract for a team, so it can take a while to remake the department, if that's what you were trying to do. Jerry Jones pulls the trigger on these draft picks, but he's not the one breaking down the tape, so I think you're pretty spot on in where you're pointing the blame.

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