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Mailbag: Other Options In The Passing Game? Cassel Over Weeden?

With the disappointing play of Devin Street and the hamstring injury to Brice Butler, do you think James Hanna should be used more on passing downs?

Rob: Hanna, who tweaked his ankle in the Saints game, is an underrated receiver. His most value is his blocking in the run game. I think Gavin Escobar is a guy to step up and be a possession threat. The problem is, without Dunbar and Dez Bryant they're simply lacking a ton of downfield speed. Lucky Whitehead certainly has it, but he was inactive against the Saints with Christine Michael getting his first call as a backup running back. The Cowboys have enough running backs to fill in for Dunbar, but his production in the passing game will be missed big-time at least until Bryant gets back.

David: I don't know who they need to look for, but they need to do something – especially with the loss of Lance Dunbar and the impact of that on the passing game. James Hanna and Gavin Escobar are both capable receivers, but they haven't seen more touches during Dez Bryant's absence. Maybe it's time to give Lucky Whitehead a shot? They'll need to try something against a good Patriots team this week.


Is it time to say enough of Brandon Weeden and start Matt Cassel?

Rob: Brandon Weeden has a tighter grip on the job than he did a week ago, in my opinion. For the environment he was in (the Superdome was deafening, as usual) and no Dez Bryant (whose presence would open up the entire offense), he did a solid job again of managing the game, and the 91-yard touchdown drive was about as good as you could possibly expect from your backup. In two and a half games replacing Romo, he's 45-of-59 for 551 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception for a 108.8 passer rating. It also should be pointed out that the Cowboys kept Kellen Moore active against the Saints again, not Cassel. He's still learning the offense, and the bye week will help him. But Weeden has handled himself well.

David: There's so much talk about this, and I just don't understand it. Brandon Weeden was not the best quarterback on the field Sunday night, but he certainly isn't the reason the Cowboys lost to the Saints. Obviously, the offense is going to look a bit more conservative and a bit more limited without its Pro Bowl quarterback. That's just the way it works. Given the fact that he is not an elite NFL quarterback, though, I thought Weeden played a fantastic game. Cassel has been in this system for two weeks, compared to Weeden's two years. It's also worth pointing out that he failed to win the Bills' starting job two weeks ago. I don't understand the logic in calling for him to start unless Weeden falls apart or gets hurt – which has not happened yet.

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