What would be the one Cowboys game of all time that you would like to have as a "do-over" and the Cowboys win? — WALTER DE BELL / TROY, NY
Rob: Man, that's tough, but the good questions make you think. I mean, this franchise has lost two Super Bowls and absolute heartbreakers like the Ice Bowl and the Dez Catch game. (Maybe it's a "do-over" on that replay review.) Actually, I'm going with the first quarter of the 1994-95 NFC Championship game in wet, muddy San Francisco. If the Cowboys don't spot the 49ers 21 early points, they probably win the game and almost certainly beat the Chargers two weeks later to complete the first and only three-peat in NFL history.
Nick: To me, there are always three plays/moments that stand out that I put into a "what if" category. I'd like to see what happens if Deion is flagged for P.I. against Irvin in that NFC Championship Game back in the 1994 season. A penalty there probably leads to a Dallas touchdown and it'll be 38-35 with five minutes to play. Not sure the Cowboys would still win, but I'd like to see it. Another thing I'd like to see is Romo handle that snap in the Seattle game and the Cowboys take the lead back in 2006. Again, no guarantees they would win. And the same goes for the Dez-catch game in Green Bay. There's lot of scenarios there that could play out. Did he score a touchdown? Was he down at the 1? Do they score the next play or two and most importantly, do they get the 2-point conversion to go up by three? I still think it would've been tough to beat Aaron Rodgers, but again, I'd like to see it. Those are my three "do-over" moments.
I'd love for this division to get nasty again. With the chip on Dallas' shoulder along with some talented draft picks, the return of Saquon Barkley in New York and the stacked Washington defense/Fitzmagic, it feels to me as if the NFC East is beginning to feel like it has a touch of the old NFC East, with every team clawing its way through the season. Thoughts? — CHRIS NOVAK / LAS VEGAS, NV
Nick:It's always a cycle like that – it's the nature of the NFL. Teams aren't designed to stay down for long. If you remember back in 2015 when the Cowboys were like 2-7 and still not out of the race because the division was so bad. I think Washington won it that year at 9-7. Well, the next year, the Cowboys went 13-3 and lost two games to the Giants, who went 11-5. Three teams actually had winning records in 2016. So my guess is that it always cycles back through and it could be this year or the next when the NFC East will be one of the better divisions in football.
Rob: We've been working on "Deep Blue" projects for this year and next, and the interviews have reminded me just how ridiculously good the NFC East was in the 1990s. I don't think that'll ever be replicated in the salary-cap era, especially not in 2021 coming off a down year for the entire division. Will it be better? You've got to think things can only improve. Better health alone will make the Cowboys better. I agree Washington is building something special on defense. I'm looking forward to (hopefully) seeing the Cowboys' offense at full strength match up with the Washington front seven twice this year. Both teams have a chance to win 10 games if things break their way, in my opinion.