SOUTH HILL, VA
With New England & Philadelphia advancing to the Super Bowl, do you see any Cowboys slipping into the 10 vacant Pro Bowl spots for this weekend?
David:I have an eye on La'el Collins in light of Philadelphia winning the NFC. Lane Johnson was in line to go to the Pro Bowl as a right tackle, but he will obviously be starting Super Bowl LII instead. Collins had a tough start to 2017, but he really grew into his own as the year went on. He faced a gauntlet of some of the best pass rushers in the league and came out of it just fine. I would not be surprised if he gets recognized for his efforts.
Rob:I agree with Dave. Collins is the most logical player to have a chance at getting in, though Pro Bowl alternates aren't announced. Given the quality of rushers he faced throughout the season, and how well he played particularly down the stretch, he might get some consideration at one of the tackle spots. Did a better job of being patient and using his technique later in the year.
As much as I hated watching Philly win yesterday, I hated even more knowing how much better they were at overcoming the absence of key players than the Cowboys were this year. What's more to blame: coaching or 53-man roster?
David:It sure is hard to explain the Cowboys'struggles when you see the Eagles reach the Super Bowl despite missing their quarterback, their left tackle, their middle linebacker, their third down back and their kicker. I do not thing there is an easy answer for this team's midseason swoon. Obviously, they had injury issues, but they did not handle that adversity as well as we have seen them do it in the past. There are probably a variety of answers. The coaching can improve, as can the roster. And the process of doing both of those things has already begun.
Rob:Any time you don't win games or accomplish your goals, there's never just one reason. Coaching and execution are both factors. I don't think you can ever solely blame injuries for losses. Just remember the Cowboys won 12 games without Sean Lee for the entire 2014 season and 13 games without Tony Romo for the entire 2016 season. They've shown in the past that they can adjust. Going 3-3 without Ezekiel Elliott this season is probably what most fans would have hoped for, but it's the way they lost those three games (outscored 92-22) that was so alarming.