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Mailbag: Gregory's Impact On The Pass Rush?


Randy Gregory at times seemed unstoppable Sunday, at least to my eyes. Reminded me a bit of another No. 94 from a few years ago. The stats don't due him justice — he was disruptive all day. What are your thoughts on the potential he has to dominate with a full season? — TIM MOSS / LAKE JACKSON, TX

Nick: There's reason to be excited about what Gregory has done this year. But I think the smart move is to keep adding players to the position. For one, you can't have enough dynamic pass rushers. But secondly, the Cowboys haven't always been able to count on Gregory, for one reason or the other. Maybe things are different this time and I hope so. but the Cowboys have to keep all options open. I really applaud Gregory for what he's done. He has a shot to really be a great player and turn his career and life around. I hope that's what happens. But the Cowboys must be cautious and protect themselves by adding more depth there.

Rob: It's a great story. He's been through a lot, and he continues to play better and better. Remember, he only had a couple weeks of practice before returning to the lineup in late October. When you look at his numbers, he ranks third on defense in pressures and sacks and he's tied for second in forced fumbles. That's from nine games, playing just over a third of the defensive snaps. With a full offseason and training camp, it's fair to think he can continue building on it next year.

With a backup quarterback we have an opportunity to make the playoffs. Am I correct in thinking that during the last 10 years that was never the case? (Remember that Dak was the starter in 2016.) My point is that maybe we should take a step back from our criticism of Mike McCarthy and realize the job he is doing. — ROY WALLS / ODESSA, TX

Nick: Yeah I would think the criticism for Mike McCarthy and his staff should be decreasing by the day. It's not just Dak, but if we were told that Tyron, La'el, Jarwin and Gerald McCoy would be all year and LVE and Zack Martin for half the year - there's no way anyone would be thinking playoffs. Ok, so they are beating below-500 teams but that's just how the schedule falls. Turns out the tougher teams were on the front end. So if you finish up 7-9, that's not actually bad considering the players that are off the roster. Yes, I think McCarthy should actually get some credit rather than blame.

Rob: The Cowboys have had some solid backups the last few years, and I do think you have to put Dak's rookie season in that category, too. But yes, what Andy Dalton (and the young offensive line in front of him) have accomplished this last month is impressive. McCarthy does deserve credit because the players never seemed to lose faith, and the head coach's message is very important in that regard. His teams in Green Bay always had good turnover margins, and they're finally getting that turned around here. It's the biggest reason for the win streak.

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