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Mailbag: Offensive Adjustments? Preseason Reps?


How much of an impact did the lack of preseason play by starters affect Dallas's ability to get into a rhythm offensively? Or can we say that the play-calling and lack of execution are more to blame for the loss to Carolina? - J.M. SMITH

Bryan: First off, it's real easy to make adjustments with a Hall of Fame quarterback. Rodgers has been in this league long enough to know exactly what needs to be done in order to move the ball. It appears that you didn't notice them going more 11 personnel in the second half which spread the Panthers out. They ran the ball better and the receivers got open. Those adjustments gave them a chance to get back in the game.

Rob:More preseason reps would have helped Dallas. Probably would have helped Carolina, too. More than anything, the Panthers deserve credit for flowing to the ball, pressuring and stopping the run – and the Cowboys just didn't help themselves at all in the first half. Got way behind the chains, got behind on the scoreboard, and it seemed like Dak pressed. There were throws to be made at times that he didn't see or didn't connect on.

Having watched Aaron Rodgers do what he do over and over Sunday night, it makes me wonder - what adjustments did the Cowboys make during the game and at halftime? To regular fans like me, it seemed like the first half was same as the second half. Is it time for panic? - TOM LEE

Bryan: As a former personnel man, I dislike preseason football. One injury in a meaningless game could wreck your entire season. I am okay with sitting guys out as long as the practices were tough, and for this team that was the case. The overall execution bothered me more than the play-calling on offense. They had opportunities to make some plays but just didn't pull it off. Clean those areas up and you will have better success.

Rob:Ezekiel Elliott had a two-yard run to start the third quarter, and then we saw the offense go four-wide on two straight plays. That's where Allen Hurns got the 20-yard catch and then Elliott a 17-yard run. They spread out Carolina a little bit and that helped loosen things up. So I did see adjustments after halftime. Panic? Not after one game. But there's no question they have to find ways to keep drives going. It's a problem that goes back to last November, albeit with largely a different group.

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