MARK PHAMLAS VEGAS, NV
Do you cringe when you hear Micheal Irvin-type hype about how Dallas is the best team in the league, or are you on the bandwagon? Does this team need any more hype (that hasn't worked out in 20 years) or are they winning from grinding out games as an underdog?
Bryan:There are things that this team is doing now, scheme-wise, that is giving you hope that they could play in any style of game and find a way to win. I was not really sure how they were going to play defensively and be able to stop teams, but they have and that gives also gives me hope. You go and win at Seattle you are no longer an underdog but to say that they are the best team is the league with so many games ahead is not the right approach either. We laugh at Jason Garrett and the process speech that he gives us each week but his words should be taken to heart because these players are buying in and that really is the most important thing.
David: It doesn't really matter how you feel about the hype, unfortunately. This is the most visible sports team in America, and hype is always going to be part of the equation – especially if they're actually winning games. Fortunately for the Cowboys, I think the team has the right combination of Jason Garrett's day-by-day approach, combined with veteran leadership, to handle that. This team doesn't have the same type of characters you'd associate with Cowboys teams of the past, and I don't think they're going to entertain the circus. That has to work in their favor.
JAMES CONWAYAUBURN, CA
Despite our recent success, do you share concern for our lack of sacks and continued turnovers? It seems like these two statistical categories are very typical for good playoff teams. Will these categories eventually catch up to us?
Bryan:This just might be me, but I believe sacks are overrated in the NFL today -- especially with the way that these quarterbacks get rid of the football quickly. In this five-game winning streak for the Cowboys it has been the pressure that has affected the way the quarterback has played in every one of them, whether it was Drew Brees or Russell Wilson . Take any game you want and study the way that it played out, and you will see what I am talking [embedded_ad] about. As far as the turnovers they had a shot to add two interceptions to the tally but Kyle Wilber drops one and Justin Durant should have had another one. I believe they will come.
David: The turnover bit is the part I'd focus on. It's not just that the Cowboys aren't generating many takeaways, they're also stuck with too many giveaways. Garrett is absolutely right when he says they can't continue to have lapses like that and expect to win. The Cowboys' offense and special teams are directly responsible for 21 points scored by opponents, and they're indirectly responsible for another 17. Even if the defense doesn't force a lot of turnovers, they'd be greatly helped if they weren't put in so many bad situations. The pass rush looked as good as it has all season in Seattle, so it's hard to get too critical. If DeMarcus Lawrence is able to contribute at a high level, it could be a big help.