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Mailbag: Four 1,000-Yard Players On Offense?


Has the idea of two 1,000-yard receivers and two 1,000-yard backs ever crossed you guys' mind? Looks possible at this rate. — SONG NGUYEN / ATLANTA, GA

Nick: It's never really crossed my mind before. Would be pretty cool if that happens but something tells me things will slow down on that front. That doesn't mean the offense will slow down as a whole, but with Gallup coming back soon and Dalton Schultz now becoming more of a factor, I bet the offense spreads out even more. Plus, you always have to factor the weather into the equation. Sure, the Cowboys play half the games at home, but there will be some games in November and December that will probably make it harder to keep up this pace. You also have to remember, season-long stats like this might start to be overrated now with a 17-game schedule in place.

Rob: I'm not sure if that's ever happened, to be honest with you. There's only been a handful of 1,000-yard rushing duos in the same season. Is it possible with a 17th game on the schedule? I mean, I guess it is. Zeke, Tony Pollard, CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper are all on a very-early pace for that. Seems like a tough pace to keep up, especially with some cold-weather games on the schedule late in the season. But this offense is capable of some special things, as we're seeing. I wouldn't rule anything out, honestly – at the very least, two 1,000-yard receivers and a big season from Zeke, like north of 1,400 yards, if everybody stays healthy.

One metric I'm not reading much about is red zone efficiency. How much better are the Cowboys in the red zone this year (so far) and how do you see it impacting the team and its record? — BRUCE DAVIS / CAMP SPRINGS, MD

Rob: The Cowboys are tied for 19th in red zone efficiency, scoring touchdowns on 60% of their trips inside their opponents' 20. Last year they tied for 29th at 50%, but obviously the injuries at key positions affected their ability to finish drives. A better comparison would be 2019, when they ranked 15th at 57.4%. So yeah, it's been an improvement. The way they're controlling the line of scrimmage in the run game, that always gives you a chance to have success down there because the passing windows are so much tighter.

Nick: The Cowboys were on a roll there in the red zone until this last game against the Giants. Five trips inside the 20 and only two touchdowns were scored. The Cowboys had two field goals and a turnover as well. They also struggled in Week 1, scoring one TD in four attempts inside the 20. But in between, the Cowboys were great, scoring 9 of 11 times with a touchdown. There's really no reason for it, other than just execution. I've always said, if the Cowboys can run the ball and be a dual-threat team, it'll help in the red zone and we're seeing that happen this year.

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