Mailbag: Who's Most Responsible For The Late Snaps?

HIEU LY
SACRAMENTO, CA

With Spencer possibly out, why not give Kyle Wilber more of a chance to show what he can do? After all, isn't that what they drafted him for? So far, I don't think Butler has really shown much. I don't see how there could be that much of a drop off from Butler to Wilber.

NICK: It's funny how we seem to move so quickly here. All summer long it was Butler that everyone one wanted to see and now it's Wilber. I think the guy people should really want to see is Spencer and there could be a chance he plays this week. However as for Wilber, his problem stemmed from getting hurt twice in rookie minicamp and then in the first preseason game. He broke his finger and then a thumb. So he's still somewhat learning on the run. Just looking at him, I've said this a few times – I think Wilber is a guy who will come back next training camp and look entirely different in his physique. He's 6-4, 246 but has the frame to add some good weight. I think special teams and spot duty work on defense is probably what you'll get out of Wilber this year. Next year, I bet he'll look like a different player.

ROWAN: It's looking like Spencer might play this weekend, in which case the defense would have its entire front seven. Injuries have held Wilber back early this year from getting the kind of practice time one would like from a rookie. The Cowboys have a tendency to focus their young linebackers on special teams in their first seasons and then give them a more permanent defensive role in their second seasons. I could see something like that happening for Wilber, although he seems to be getting more and more time on defense.

PAVIT PATEL
SUGAR LAND, TX

It seems to me that almost every game Tony Romo is changing things around and taking the play clock down to 1 second. The offense looks very uncoordinated and almost panicked to get the play off. Do you think that Jason Garrett needs to get the play in faster or does Romo just need to stop trying to do too much?

NICK: I really think most of that is on Romo and not really Garrett. I say that because they are out of the huddle and to the line of scrimmage around 12-15 seconds a lot of the time. Romo takes it down to gauge what the defense is doing and to recognize the blitz. By taking it down so low, it not only gives him a few more looks at the defense, but he'll know when and where the rush is coming. I agree that it looks uncoordinated and nerve-racking to everyone else. I think if you notice Peyton Manning, he does the same thing, but for some reason it doesn't seem as chaotic. I thought they said it would be simplified for Romo and the offense but last week in Baltimore looked anything but simple.

ROWAN: I think there are times where the play could be brought in quicker, but a lot of that is on Romo. As Nick stated, Romo likes to see how the defense reacts as the play clock starts to wind down. Just watch him this weekend, and defenses will hint how they plan to attack once the play clock gets under 10 seconds, especially when a safety starts coming down or a linebacker is about to blitz. At times, that decision helps. Other times, it can look like a mess.  But it doesn't seem to be changing.

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