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Mailbag: Do Other NFC Teams Have Same Issues? 


The Cowboys are 8-4, and I keep hearing about their flaws and they can't go deep into the playoffs playing the way they're playing. I don't think there are any perfect teams, and the Cowboys are just as good as any of them. Why don't I hear about the other team's flaws? — DONALD LEWIS

Nick: You would hear about them if you followed their media or beat writers or whatever. That's the world we live in with talk radio and podcasts and all that. So I'm sure it's out there. But you're totally right. Every team has its flaws and issues and for the most part, teams are getting beat in games you don't expect. Upsets are happening all over the place. So yes, the Cowboys have as good a shot as anyone to get in the playoffs and do some damage. I don't see a team in the NFC they can't compete with – home or away. And that alone should provide hope for a possible run!

Rob: Because you're probably not paying as close attention to other teams. I agree with you -- there's not a single 'flawless' team in the league, and maybe more than any season I can remember in a while, it's hard to decipher who's good, who's average and who's bad. I'm still confident the Cowboys are a good team that's going through a rough stretch on offense. That's understandably worrisome because offense has been their biggest strength all year, and you'll have to score points to beat the best teams in the playoffs. But they're getting healthier in some key spots, and now that they're through this 12-day stretch, this is the time to start peaking. Let's see if they do.

I know switching offensive line players around isn't ideal, but isn't there a case for trying to get the best players on the field, especially with playoffs coming up? It's my opinion that trying Collins at left guard could possibly help the run game. — JOHN MASON / BASSETT, VA

Nick: I was open to doing that. I still wouldn't hate the idea. I just get the sense right now that they're not going that route. But if they really want to get their best five options, perhaps that would be the best way to do it. I would like to get Connor Williams back at left guard because I think the offense was functioning better, especially the running game, even despite the penalties. But I don't actually think Connor McGovern has been the problem. It just doesn't seem to be the solution either.

Rob: Based on the way they've shuffled left guard and right tackle recently, it's pretty clear that they're trying to find the best five. Whether they've figured that out yet, I'm not sure. They had three different line combinations in each of the last three games. Some of that couldn't be helped because Tyron Smith missed the Chiefs game with an ankle injury and Terence Steele was on the COVID list against the Saints, but it's not ideal continuity in a 12-day stretch without much practice time. Now that the team is back to normal work weeks, maybe the lineup can get sorted out. And who knows, maybe Collins would be the answer at left guard. But I also wonder how much more shuffling they should do before it becomes counterproductive.

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