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Cowboys Mailbag: October 25, 2011

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

KENETH CONNOR HARRISBURG, PA :The defense under Rob Ryan is becoming more physical, tough and is playing like they have a chip on their shoulder. Do you think it stays this way all season? Are they for real?

Rob:I believe they're for real, because logic said they'd get better as the season went along and they're already comfortable with Ryan's scheme. When you stop the run, you have a great chance to be successful, and the defense got away from that last year. Better pressure has helped the secondary, and I've also been impressed with the low total of big plays allowed, because they're inevitable when you blitz.

Josh:They look like the real deal to me, which is the exact opposite of what I thought would be the case before the season started. Ryan has done an excellent job, and all the personnel changes they've made have been right on the money. The more tape teams get on them, seeing what Ryan wants to do with these guys, they'll test them in different ways, but I think it's going to be a pretty consistent group all year.

WAYNE STEM ORLANDO, FL:Now that DeMarco Murray has put up a monster game against the Rams, do you think that will help open up the passing game against the Eagles because they now have to respect him and the Cowboys' running game?

Rob: There's no question. Everything becomes easier when you can run the ball. It's the best thing that can happen to Tony Romo. I'm not sure he'll only have 24 pass attempts again this season, but it's better than 40.

Josh: Well, the Eagles have had so much trouble stopping the run that I would think they would be doing whatever they can to keep Murray in check even if he hadn't gone for 253 on Sunday. Their corners have had some trouble this year, but if I were Philly I would still feel comfortable trusting those guys in man coverage and loading up the box.

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