MIKE ROBLEDOFORT WORTH, TX
Why is David Irving not starting? All he does is make big plays, always seems to be around the ball and pressuring the quarterback.
Rob: I think it speaks to how well the defensive tackles, Terrell McClain and Maliek Collins, are playing, which has allowed Tyrone Crawford to move outside to defensive end. Irving was averaging about 22 defensive snaps before getting hurt in the fourth game, and he obviously had a big impact in his return to the lineup against the Packers. They've used him as an outside and inside rusher, and more impactful plays like that should mean more playing time in Rod Marinelli's rotation. Remember, he might have been in line for one of the starting defensive end spots before hurting his groin in the middle of preseason.
David: As promising as he might be, Irving is still a really young player – and he'll be the first to tell you how often he makes mistakes. I think the Cowboys like the idea of limiting his snaps to pass rush situations, so he doesn't have to worry about as much. But, man. After the performance he turned in on Sunday, he should be in line for more snaps.
DAN ABSHERELK GROVE, CA
Do you believe the bye week is coming at a good time or is there a chance it disrupts momentum?
Rob: I don't really buy into that theory. There's usually a week between games to begin with; it's not like basketball or baseball where a team on a roll would rather keep playing every day or every other day. It's more important the Cowboys get some of their injured players on track to play against the Eagles on Oct. 30. Mo Claiborne got added to that list with a concussion.
David: The bye week always comes at a good time, regardless of when it is. This team has a lot of dinged up players like Dez Bryant, Orlando Scandrick, Mo Claiborne, Chaz Green and obviously Tony Romo. For that matter, guys like Tyron Smith and Dan Bailey could use the time off to further recuperate. On top of that, I don't really believe in such a thing as week-to-week momentum. You devise a game plan and execute it. A week off shouldn't hinder anyone's ability to do that.