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Mailbag: How Best To Limit Marshawn Lynch? Using Witten On Third Down?

JIM WHATLEY

HENDERSON, TX

One of the Cowboy's weaknesses on defense is missed tackles. Marshawn Lynch is a tough runner who routinely breaks tackles.  If he gets into the second level, he is hard to bring down.  Do you see the Cowboys limiting his yardage or will he be another 100-yard rusher?

Bryan: Sean Lee surely helps the situations, as does Anthony Hitchens. I do agree with your assessment on the ability of Lynch and worry about him pounding this Dallas defense. I think the best hope to limiting what he potentially can do is with your offense. The Raiders have had trouble scoring points this season and that has put them behind the 8 ball in several games -- which has meant they've had to throw the ball. If the Cowboys can build a lead, I do believe it will take Lynch out of the game. But on the other hand, they struggle then Lynch will punish you, no question.  

David:I have been saying all week that I am really happy both Sean Lee and Anthony Hitchens are playing in this game. The Cowboys have gotten gashed by some running backs this season, but they have done a pretty good job when both of those guys are on the field. Between the two of them I think they can keep Lynch from taking over the game.


MICHAEL MCCOWN

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY

I love watching Gold Jacket Witten play, but as I have watched over the last couple of years I can't help but notice that he's not as effective at getting to the sticks on 3rd downs as he used to be.  My take is that age has slowed him just enough that he can't cover the ground in the time given. Clearly he's still effective (as his 20-yard TD from last week shows) and I'm not advocating for his retirement by any means, but at what point does that lower conversion percentage become an undeniable hindrance to the success of the Cowboys' offense?

Bryan: This team doesn't have to completely rely on him to make those third down receptions. There was once a time where that was a focus, but I don't think that is the case any longer. I will trade any third down catches for those that he makes in the red zone. This offense clearly has other weapons that are able to come up with those plays.  

David:I have a hard time saying it is a hindrance, because we have seen what Witten can do for Dak Prescott when everything is clicking. He has not been racking up the same volume of catches as we have gotten used to seeing over the years, but you only need to watch his work against the Giants or the 49ers to see his value.

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