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Mailbag: Plan For Working Claiborne Back? Dak's Long-Term Prospects?

CARL CARCHIAMIDDLETOWN, CT
I'm wondering if the Cowboys/you writers are thinking the same thing I am when it comes to Mo Claiborne: He's back for the playoffs, but let's work him in slowly as the nickel. He's missed so much time and Anthony Brown has played extremely well. Thoughts?

Bryan: I don't disagree about what Brown has done for the most part. I thought he tackled better earlier in the season than lately. If Claiborne is ready to go, I ride with him over Brown because I believe he's a better player. There is no time to work in anyone slowly -- if ready. you play and play well. 

David:I agree with your point in theory. This is a soft tissue injury, and it has held Mo out for two months. You want to be cautious and don't put him in a bad situation. Having said that, Mo lit up the field playing cover corner earlier this season. If he's healthy and capable of doing that, I say let him do it. If he's not, Brown has proven he's up to the task.

SIMONE JOHNSONMORRISTOWN, NJ
I believe Dak has earned the right to see this season through as long as he continues to play well. However, is there a scenario moving into the 2017 season and beyond, where the organization and fan base look back at this 2016 season and say the Cowboys made the wrong decision by benching and ultimately cutting ties with Tony Romo?

Bryan: Fans will always second guess decisions the front office makes. It's when you start listening to the fans/media that you get in trouble. I have my own opinion but I trust what they're doing. 

David:There's no way to definitely answer that question as we sit here in January of 2017. I'm sure the Redskins and 49ers thought they had found their long-term futures at quarterback at this point in 2012. There's a couple of things that give me confidence, though. Firstly, Dak isn't winning using some type of gimmick. He's standing in the pocket and playing quarterback. He's only got 101 rushing yards on the year. On top of that, the talent around him is in place for the foreseeable future. Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, Dez Bryant and Ezekiel Elliott are here for the long haul, which can only help a young quarterback. Finally, Romo is about to turn 37. The Cowboys needed to have a way forward – and they did.

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