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Cowboys Mailbag: September 6, 2011

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

@earleNowledge: I think getting off to a good start is crucial for this team. What will the Cowboys' record be going into the bye, Week 5?

Rob: After what happened to this team last season, I'm not going to guarantee a final or bye week record. I do think this team could be 3-1 by the bye if they take care of business at home (Washington, Detroit) and beat a 49ers team in transition. That's easier said than done, though; the Lions will be better, and you never know with the Redskins. The opener obviously will be very, very difficult.

Josh: I think they could easily go 3-1, and definitely no worse than 2-2, because I like the way Jason Garrett prepared the team in training camp. Beating the Jets in that environment is going to be asking a lot of any team, but the next three look very winnable. You're right, getting off to a good start is really the key this year.

@LeotheLion361: Have the Cowboys taken a page out of the Patriots' book by cutting vets early to save cap money?

Rob: Not really. All teams have to do it in the salary cap era. And the Cowboys have done it before when their cap situation was better: Greg Ellis and Flozell Adams in 2009, Ken Hamlin in 2010. Not only must finances be factored in, you have to find out about certain young guys if they've earned a look. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Josh: Well, I think New England's front office is run better than any in the league, but that's not unique to them. Smart teams like the Patriots, Steelers and Eagles don't let the contracts outweigh the production. I think the key, with very few exceptions, will be to get away from signing guys into their 30s. Most of these guys are past their prime by 31 or 32.

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