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Mailbag: How To Handle Fletcher Cox?; Slim Margin For Error For Playoff Hopes?

AARON QUINBY
SALEM, NH
Any concern that Ron Leary will get beat badly again by Fletcher Cox this time around? How will the offensive line respond from the last meeting with Philly?

Bryan: Sure there is concern -- there should be concern with anyone that Cox faces. But there should also be hope that Leary plays like he did against J.J. Watt earlier in the season. Ronald Leary and this offensive line have had far more good games than bad ones, so that is what I would focus on.

David:It's probably fair to say Leary's game against Cox was the worst outing by a Dallas offensive lineman this season, but I'm with Bryan that the larger body of work gives cause for optimism. This unit has handled the likes of Brandon Mebane, Jason Hatcher and Watt without major setbacks. I'm positive the Eagles' defensive line is going to have some wins, but with a full week to prepare, I expect a much better showing from the line as a whole.

KENNETH CONNOR
HARRISBURG, PA
Why do I foresee a scenario on the final game of the season that, if the Cowboys win, they get the No. 2 seed and a bye, but if they lose they could be out of the playoffs altogether?

Bryan: Because that is still in play. You win these next three games, that gives you 12 wins and that should be good enough to grab you a bye. My gut feeling is that you will know your playoff fate well before that, because if you lose these next two you can kiss that good-bye as well.

David:I'd be a lot less worried about dropping a game to Washington, and a lot more worried about these next two games -- both against likely playoff teams. If the Cowboys lose to either Philadelphia or Indianapolis, their playoff chances are going to take a major hit. If they lose both games, they're most likely out altogether. If they can get through the next two games with a 2-0 or 1-1 record, I'm pretty confident they can handle business against a bad Washington team.

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