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Mailbag: Tough Upcoming Schedule? Benefits Of The Weekend Off?

JOHN DUBOSEGALLUP, NM
If the playoffs started today, our next three games are against opponents who would be in the playoffs -- Giants, Tampa, and Detroit. How important are these three games in determining how good we truly are? How concerned would you be if we lost two of the three?

Bryan:I think the fact that you've won 11 straight games says that you are pretty good. Where this team got my attention was winning on the road at Green Bay, Pittsburgh and Minnesota. I would be concerned if you lost players to injury more than losing games. 

David:I've seen a lot of hand-wringing about strength of schedule in recent weeks, and I just don't buy it. The Cowboys have won 11-straight games, and they boast six wins against teams that are currently in the playoff hunt. They're pretty good. If they lose two of their next three games, they'd still be 12-3 heading into the final week of the season, and they'd have a very good shot at securing a first-round bye. If I was a fan, I'd be more concerned about enjoying the ride than worrying about the future.

JIM WHATLEYHENDERSON, TX
Does the 10 days between games give anyone in particular time to get healthy, who might have been questionable with only seven days?  How about Durant and Claiborne?

Bryan:They're going to work J.J. Wilcox back into practice this week. There is a chance he would be ready just talking to folks, so we'll see how that plays out. 

David:I don't think an extra weekend off is going to do a lot for guys like Claiborne, who still have a ways to go in their recovery. But for guys like J.J. Wilcox and Justin Durant, it could certainly help. Maybe even more important is that it was a chance for healthy guys with nagging problems – like Tyron Smith, for example – to get some rest.

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