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Mailbag: Packers' NFC Title Game Struggles? Chances Of Leary Returning?

H. MELVINHOBOKEN, NJ

It was frustrating to watch the Packers game yesterday -- many dropped passes, Mason Crosby missing a field goal, dumb penalties, etc. They were lights out against us last week. Do you think they just played their best game of the season last week? Or did the Falcons really get to them that badly?

David:I think it's probably fair to call it a combination of both. The Packers looked incredibly sloppy on Sunday, but they were also going up against one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL. They took advantage of a hot start in Dallas last week, but they just weren't consistent enough to do it in back-to-back games. All credit to the Packers for beating the Cowboys, but I genuinely think the Cowboys are the better team, top to bottom – Green Bay was just phenomenal on that day.

Rob: I think injuries probably caught up with Green Bay to some extent, but give the Falcons credit. I don't think many people recognized they entered that game on as much of a roll as the Packers, having won five straight and six of their last seven with the best offense in the league. I do think Atlanta-Dallas would've been a closer game at AT&T Stadium because the Cowboys' offense was healthier and more balanced than Green Bay's, even though it didn't show up on the final scoreboard. Of course, we'll never know.

UK COWBOYRICHMOND, DURHAM

Considering how much Ronald Leary put into the season last year, is there a possibility of him staying and La'el Collins getting a shot at right tackle?

David:I've lost track of how many people have asked this question, and I've also lost track of how many times I've said "No, I don't think so." I think people are going to be pretty surprised by the offers Leary will earn on the open market. With a contract extension looming for Zack Martin, I don't see the Cowboys trying to match those offers. Instead, I think they'll plug La'el back in at left guard, let Doug Free play the final year on his contract and hope Chaz Green can establish himself as the long-term future at right tackle.

Rob: I understand your logic, since Collins played tackle in college and Chaz Green – drafted to be groomed at right tackle – has dealt with some injuries. But Doug Free is signed for another season and I do think he provides a steady veteran presence on the line at right tackle. Regarding Leary, it simply comes down to open market value and there's a good possibility he commands more money than the Cowboys can commit to. We'll just have to see.

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