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Mailbag: Passing Or Running Game More Important?


Most of the NFL analysts keep saying that the Cowboys are a running offense and that they need to get back to pounding the football in order to get back on track. However, from what I can see from my chair, it looks like the Cowboys are better off when they go with a faster-pace offense and let Dak get into a rhythm and pick the defense apart — especially with Zeke not 100% and now Tony Pollard banged up too. What do you think? — MARK SOMMA / GAINESVILLE, VA

Rob: I agree that a strong passing game can, literally, throw defenses out of that Denver blueprint we've seen. (Think the 40-point win over Atlanta, which sort of gets lost in this recent stretch of games.) And yes, the offense seems to find its rhythm when they're playing with a little pace and tempo. That said, I think we've seen exactly what the run game means to the offense. The Cowboys have averaged only 93.7 yards per game in six games since the bye week. The record's been 3-3. I'm not saying that's the only key to winning, but the beauty of the offense early in the season was its versatility, its pick-your-poison quality. If they're having success with the run, it should open things up outside a little more, too.

David: You're preaching to the choir, Mark. Don't get me wrong, there's a time and place for the ground game – and the Cowboys need to be able to run the ball when the situation calls for it. But with the way that aspect of their offense has sputtered recently, they've looked their best when they've trusted Dak to sling the rock. If they can rediscover the explosive element of their passing attack, I honestly think it'd go a long way toward opening up the run.

With Noah Brown on IR and Cedrick Wilson banged up, is it possible to see Semi Fehoko play against Washington? Dallas must have seen something in him for him to make the roster. How has he been in practices? Curious to see what he brings to the team. — ADRIANO L

Rob: Possibly, but we've seen Malik Turner next in line for those additional reps. The Cowboys like Fehoko's size and the big-play ability he showed at Stanford, but Turner's a veteran, he had a terrific training camp and he's an impact player on special teams. Wilson has been able to practice on a limited basis this week, so maybe he'll be back in the lineup Sunday.

David: Simi has actually been active the last two games because of injuries to the receiver corps. Unfortunately for him, he's bringing up the rear of the depth chart and there aren't that many snaps to go around. I think we'd see Malik Turner get a look before they asked Fehoko to play a meaningful role. The bottom line is that he's on this team because the front office drafted him and sees a lot of potential in his future. That doesn't necessarily mean they're ready to lean on him in live action right now. Think of it as a redshirt year -- though that's not necessarily a bad thing. He's getting a full year to practice, suit up for games and get acclimated to the league. I'm excited to see how this experience will help him progress in 2022.

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