Mailbag: What Are The Causes Of The Cowboys' Inconsistency?

JUSTIN FRANKE
SALEM, OR

What do you see as the biggest problems leading to the Cowboys' inconsistency?

Nick: That's a tough question, and a good one. Not to cop out of the answer, but I think it's one of those things that if the team or anyone really knew what the glaring issue was, they'd be better. I think the reasons this team has been so frustrating is because it's always something, and never seems to be the same thing back to back. One week, the offensive line struggles mightily, but they find a way to win because the receivers and backs make plays. The next week, the line does better but the skill players struggle. On defense, the line plays great one week and falls apart the next. Based on these trends, we might see the secondary struggle in the upcoming weeks because it has been pretty good so far. That's just the way it goes for this team right now. They're not outstanding in a lot of areas, so it's hard to get them all playing at the highest of levels for each week. Not a great answer, but that's a tough one and one this team has struggled to answer for a while now.

Rowan: While Tony Romo hasn't been sacked much, I'd put a lot on the offensive line. It's not just one player, but as a unit it hasn't done a whole lot to make Romo comfortable or open much space for DeMarco Murray to run. Even his long run down the sideline against the Giants wasn't a designed play. The defense wore down as the offense couldn't move much in Seattle. If everyone on the line does their job, the Cowboys won't be 29th in scoring offense.

APOLLO JOHNSEN
SAN JOSE, CA

The Cowboys have found talent from small schools, but is it fair to say that fourth-round pick Matt Johnson is panning out like another safety, 2010 fourth-rounder Akwasi Owusu-Ansah?

Nick: Yes, it's fair to say that at the moment. Johnson was the last guy who could afford to be injured since he missed so much time in the offseason for reasons out of his control. I don't want to put a bust label on anyone who hasn't been on the field yet. So far, he's just had extremely bad luck. But everyone who has watched him on film says he's going to be a good player. So I think he gets some time to get healthy and prove that.

Rowan: Not yet. It's not like he isn't panning out because he's playing poorly. He's not playing at all. One of the premier talents the Cowboys got out of a small school was Miles Austin, and it appears Johnson now shares the same hamstring issues as the wide receiver. As Austin knows, hamstring injuries can linger. That's what Johnson's going through right now, and the Cowboys want to make sure he's fully healed before sending him out again prematurely.

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