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Mailbag: Biggest Key For Championship Defense?

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As we’ve all seen for years, a high-power offense can get a franchise into the playoffs, but a disciplined defense will most likely let a team take home the Lombardi. I think this Dallas defense can win the East again (after re-signing key players), but what's the one piece this defense is missing? - SONG NGUYEN / HARPERVILLE, MS

Bryan: An offense that won’t get shut down in the playoffs. I agree about the defense and what they need to do, but the team with the most points always wins the game. You get an offense that plays consistently the entire season when it comes to scoring points, you win championships too.

Rob: However they do it -- and we talk about this every year -- they’ve got to create more takeaways. Jaylon Smith’s fumble recovery for a touchdown helped them clinch the division title, and it was the first by a Cowboy in four years. The last two Super Bowl champions have ranked top-10 in takeaways. The Cowboys have gotten a better – mid-pack – since tying the lowest takeaway total ever for a single season in 2015. But a few more could mean two or three more wins when you think about how many close games they play.

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With Kellen Moore at the helm as offensive coordinator, what might we see in draft strategy for offensive players he may want? I know the prevailing idea is that head coach Jason Garrett will have his say, but if Moore is being asked to prepare the meal, will he have some say in the menu? - TONY SMALLS / GLENDALE, AZ

Bryan: Thanks for the Parcells reminder. Jason Garrett and the front office will still pick the players. You’ll see Kellen Moore with an opinion, but not the final say.

Rob: Ah, the old Parcells quote. I agree with Bryan here. The main thing is, the needs on offense will become pretty clear by the time free agency settles and the draft rolls around. They might need a slot receiver/a dynamic space player. They probably need another tight end with blocking ability. They might need to draft depth at running back and offensive line.

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