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Mailbag: Is red-zone offense really a concern?


Is too much being made about the Cowboys' red-zone offense? Or is this something that could be a problem going forward?Shawn Thomas/Austin, TX

Nick Eatman: I think the answer is "yes" to both questions. Too much is being made about this because it's really only been one game where this is a problem. But, that being said, it's always something to look into down the road. There will be some games where points will be tougher to come by and any red-zone problems will be magnified. Then again, there's always a flip side. When you're playing those kinds of games, the play-calling would and should be different, too. Let's not forget that how that the Cowboys turned conservative in the second half when it seemed clear the Jets weren't going to score many points at all. That's the time to maybe keep a few plays still in your bag, play it safe, kick field goals and move on to the next game. Nothing to be alarmed about right now. Something to watch down the road.

Kurt: I'm not too concerned about it at this point. Yes, the Cowboys were 2 for 6 in the red zone against the Jets, but remember they went 3 for 4 in the red zone at the Giants a week earlier. It goes back to Mike McCarthy's philosophy of playing complementary football. Aside from one outlier play that resulted in the Jets' lone touchdown, they were going nowhere against the Dallas defense. So with a two-score advantage in hand, McCarthy played to that defensive strength, working the clock while not forcing the issue on offense. I was even fine with the 55-yard field goal attempt. McCarthy trusted his defense to stand firm against New York's struggling offense if the kick failed while also showing trust in his kicker to split the uprights. And I'm betting the players were glad to see that trust. Now, being more aggressive in the red zone might be warranted when facing teams like the 49ers or Eagles, but so far McCarthy has done a great job of playing to his team's strengths and thus playing for the win.

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