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Mailbag: Coping At Cornerback? Tyron Smith Bouncing Back?

JP BERNALBOGATA, COLOMBIA
How are the Cowboys planning to play Byron Jones considering that he is now our starting left corner? Greg Olsen presents the toughest matchup for me, so probably is best to put Jones against Olsen but not quite sure how the rest will unfold. Your thoughts?

Bryan: I agree that Greg Olsen does present problems. The plan could be to treat him as a wide receiver and they will when he is outside. On inline situations expect them to handle him with linebackers and safeties. I know that is probably what you didn't want to hear, but with Claiborne likely out they need Jones on the outside.

David:The big problem for the Cowboys is that Carolina presents a matchup problem with a big guy like Devin Funchess playing wide receiver. The coaches would undoubtedly prefer Byron Jones matching up with a big guy like that, as opposed to a smaller guy like Tyler Patmon. If Jones is busy doing that, I'd guess you'll see Sean Lee and the safeties team up to deal with Olsen. It's not ideal, but it is what it is. Hopefully Claiborne can return for Week 13 against Washington, freeing up Byron to be more versatile.

JAMES WESTONSAN PEDRO, CA
These last few games and especially in the Dolphins game, it appeared that Tyron Smith was getting beaten fairly regularly. What can you attribute to this change in what we have come to view as the best LT in football? Should we be concerned?

Bryan: When Smith is playing badly, it is usually due to his technique. Olivier Vernon threw him off his game last week with the way he was rushing. In my opinion Smith was doing too much thinking instead of just playing. This week he draws Jared Allen which is another good match up, and my gut tells me that Smith will not play as poorly as he did last week.

David:It definitely wasn't the type of outing we've come to expect from Tyron Smith. He drew several penalties, and he was beaten on a number of occasions. Nobody on the line has been perfect this season, but you haven't really seen any of them put together two consecutive poor outings. Given his track record, I've got confidence Tyron will pick up his play Thursday.

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