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Mailbag: Should Focus Be On Takeaways Or Yards Allowed?


Very confusing game. Very nice the defense forced all those turnovers, then they were also shredded on pass defense. What is your take?

Nick: My take is that they'll take it all day. If you can get the ball six times and score twice, it gives you some freedom to give up some yards. Think of it like this – were you excited when Romo threw for 423 against Washington on Thanksgiving last year in a loss? If you were, then go ahead and be worried about the defense. But if all you cared about was getting beat, then I wouldn't worry. When teams are down, they throw. When good quarterbacks are down, they usually rack up yards.

Rowan: When the team forces six turnovers and the defense forces five of them, my take is that's a pretty spectacular defensive day. Now, the big plays given up – namely the Victor Cruz deep touchdown and the long catch and run for Hakeem Nicks – shouldn't be happening and need to be fixed. But it's also the first week of a completely new defensive system. The busted coverage on Cruz seemed to have to do with a late call. That's something that can be fixed. Overall, it was an encouraging day on defense, despite the 450 passing yards.

Did anyone feel confident seeing B.W. Webb out there when Claiborne went down? Considering this pass happy NFL, shouldn't the Cowboys be running with 5 active CB's?

Nick: They probably should, especially with Claiborne being injured as often as he's been. Of course right now, they don't have five on the roster. So that has to be the first step obviously.

Rowan: Yes to the second question. In my mind, that's a deficiency that doesn't need to be there. Sterling Moore was a capable backup on this team, and he's still looming in free agency. Even if the Cowboys go a different route there, I'd think a fifth corner is necessary, particularly while Morris Claiborne is banged up. Teams are too deep these days at receiver to risk keeping just four corners.

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