Skip to main content


Presented by

Mailbag: Red Zone Issues? Free-Agent Help? 


What did you guys think were the issues in the red zone against the Bucs (1 of 4) and what's been holding us back there the last few years? Are there similar factors from last year that connect to this year and what happened Thursday? – MIKE S. / DALLAS, TX

Nick: The issues against the Bucs are the same issues this team has had for a while in the red zone. They don't push people off the ball. The strength of the line has been with agility, athleticism, technique ... but not really with brute strength to get defenders back. That's an issue when you're trying to play phone-booth football down there. And in that game, the Cowboys didn't even try to run the ball much inside the tackles. Even the third-down run was a tricky option play to the outside. Not all games will be as tough to run but the Cowboys must figure out a way to at least run it a little to open up some passing lanes.

David: It looked like execution issues to me. I honestly liked Kellen Moore's play calls down there, for the most part. On one crucial third down in the second quarter, Dak Prescott missed CeeDee Lamb on a throw that Dak himself admitted could have been a lot better. On the option pitch in the third quarter, Blake Jarwin absolutely has to make a better block there, and Ezekiel Elliott absolutely has to find a way to make a guy miss in open space. I don't have a tidy answer to the question, but I will say I'm at least encouraged by the fact that the play calls were good. The offense just has to be sharper when they get close to the end zone.

Now that the first week is in the books and veterans can be added with non-guaranteed contracts, do you see the team making any upgrades or adding depth for holes on the O-Line or secondary? - ROBERT LECLERC / PRINCE GEORGE BC

Nick: I don't really see that happening. I'm sure there are exceptions to the rule, but the Cowboys have cleared enough cap spaces with these restructures to absorb a bigger contract if there was someone out there they thought could help right away. I don't think it was a case of waiting a week, but more of the fact they didn't have anyone in mind to really upgrade what they have. Sure, you'll see some names you've heard of, but I think the Cowboys consider some of them progress-stoppers. And to be honest, that term is usually said about guys that aren't that much better than the players already here. So to answer the question, no not really.

David: Not really, to be honest. I don't think there's a single available offensive tackle who is better than the two guys who are already here. As for defensive back, I know Richard Sherman is still available, but at this rate I'd be surprised to see the Cowboys make a move like that unless they were hit with some serious injuries. If you're hoping for improvement, I think your best bet is for Kelvin Joseph to get back from this injury and make a push for playing time as the season moves along.

Related Content