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Mailbag: Problems With Play Calling? Why So Many Primetime Games?

Was I the only one that was mildly infuriated with first and second down play calling? Everyone is talking about the Cowboys' 3rd down efficiency against the Giants, but nobody is mentioning the consistent run on first, pass on second down calls. The Giants brought the house on second down every time because they knew what was coming. Third down efficiency was garbage because second down incompletions always put them in a terrible position.

David:I always feel a little leery of criticizing the play calling when I don't definitively know the game plan, or the other variables that go into those decisions. But I will say this: even with their third down struggles, the Cowboys weren't awful in the first half against New York. They had 174 yards and a touchdown at halftime. After halftime, they had just one drive of longer than five plays. They went three-and-out five times and gained just 86 yards. That reeks of poor halftime adjustments.

Rob:Yeah, I guess you can argue that. At some point you have to have some balance, though. And some of their third-down problems the last two games have been due to penalties and minimal gains running on first and second down. I'm hesitant to harp on play calling for this team because it's been so good all season, along with the execution by the players. 

Three night games in a row?  What gives?  I'm all for football in prime time but I also like to see my team on Sunday afternoons.

David:That's what happens when you root for America's Team, I guess – especially in a season where ratings are down across the league. If it makes you feel any better, the decision to flex this Tampa game means the Cowboys have to play at noon in Week 17 against Philly. But don't be surprised if all their playoff games are in primetime – just an early warning.

Rob:Hey, the Cowboys equal ratings. Period. It's that way when they're losing and it's certainly that way when they're 11-2 with two rookie standouts on offense. Just enjoy that America's Team is back in the national spotlight after a disappointing 2015.


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