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Mailbag: Limiting The Eagles Special Teams; Has Melton Earned His Option?

JORGE NEGRETE
DONNA, TX
With our special teams kind of struggling, what can be done in this short week to prepare for the Eagles special teams? The Eagles seem to be pretty good this year with a couple of block punts and a couple of punts and kickoff returns for touchdowns.

Bryan: You are what you are, and losing Jeff Heath will not help the situation. With that being said, your offense can help by converting on third downs and keeping the punt team off the field. If you do have to punt, directional ones are the best method. With kickoff's Dan Bailey has been outstanding in pumping those out of the end zone, so that needs to continue to be the plan. These players all watch the tape and they know the challenges ahead but execution will be the key.

David:Fans love to dog on Jeff Heath, but he will be missed on the coverage teams if he in fact can't go. To compensate for that, Chris Jones needs to have another fantastic night, like he did Sunday against New York. The same goes for Dwayne Harris, who I thought played his best game this season against the Giants. The Cowboys didn't allow anything to get blocked last weekend, and they can't afford a letdown in that protection, either.

OLIVER GOEBEL
GOENNERSDORF, GERMANY, CA
I wondered how Melton is grading out so far? The stat sheet says he has 5 sacks on the season and I really have a feeling that he has come on strong after the first couple of games. So what do you guys think? Is his play enough to make the Cowboys pick up his option for next year?

Bryan: Melton has played better there is no doubt, but there are five more games plus hopefully an opportunity in the playoffs to earn that contract. I am still on the wait-and-see approach and make that call after the season. If he somehow ends up with 9.5 or 10 sacks then my thoughts should change -- but until then, play it out.

David:I would love to see how much better Melton can be with some genuinely great assistance from the ends. He might get a chance at that if the Cowboys opt to keep him, and if they continue to try to upgrade the line. Anyway, if he keeps up the progress and doesn't fade down the stretch, I think he'll have made quite a case for the team to pick up his option. What I wonder about is, how big of a priority is he? With so many free agents to re-sign, do the Cowboys view Melton as must-have? And are they willing to pay $8 million a year for him? Those are questions that'll be hard to answer until the offseason gets here.

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