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Mailbag: Cowboys' MVP Through Seven Games?

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As great and talented as our skill position players are, I think the true MVP is Tyron Smith. It seems that every game he's out, the offense loses its identity, where Dak seems very uncomfortable in the pocket and struggles to make passes he normally makes which subsequently allows the run game to struggle as well. Thoughts? - PAT BASILIO / MILILANI, HI

Bryan: Rob Phillips said that on Talkin' Cowboys on Wednesday and it made absolute sense. I always thought it was Travis Frederick was the glue that held the line together but Smith is proving that if he's out the lineup things fall apart. I am starting to come around to what you and Rob have said here. 

Rob: I did praise Smith in this regard. It's hard to go with one guy because they all complement each other well (i.e. Dak, Zeke, Amari). I might go with Prescott. He continues to complete 70 percent of his passes since the Cooper trade and he's showing other parts of his game this season with more and more vertical throws. He leads this team with words and actions. The toughness he showed against the Jets, taking those hits, is one of the most impressive games I've seen from him.

The Cowboys kept Luke Gifford over other players who played more preseason games than he did, yet there has been very little mention of him these seven weeks into the season. Is he still rehabbing his injury? Or is there another reason he hasn't been active for any games?- DOUG HARRISON / ABILENE, TX

Bryan: Sometimes you keep a player or two on the roster for "just in case." I feel like Gifford falls into that category. There is no pressure to play him now and he's getting plenty of work during practice which helps his growth. Don't think about him this season but next season, when guys like Sean Lee and Joe Thomas could leave the squad. 

Rob: Gifford returned to practice the week of the Saints game, so he's over that high ankle sprain. He's been active once so far, the Jets game. The Cowboys are happy with his progress, but right now it's simply a numbers thing in terms of the game-day roster.

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