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Mailbag: Why Receive After Coin Toss?


Why have the Cowboys been choosing to receive when winning the coin toss rather than deferring? Let our defense set the tone and get a chance to score before and after halftime. Seems like this is standard strategy, especially for defensive-minded teams. – Jason S. / Staunton, IL

Patrik: I agree that the driving force of this team, the outing in Green Bay notwithstanding, is the defense and, as such, I'd put them on the field first - more often than not. My belief though is that the Cowboys want to challenge Dak Prescott and the offense to get out to a fast start and allow the defense to be the tone-setter to start the second half. Considering the Cowboys have typically become one of the stronger third-quarter teams in the league, I wonder if they're onto something there. But until/unless the offense can consistently jump all over defenses like they did with their 14-point start against the Bears, the coin toss decisions will remain a question mark.

Kyle: This is an age-old question that doesn't necessarily have a correct answer. In the perfect world, I'd agree. Give me the ball in the second half and attempt to either double dip at the end of the second or get off to a good start in the third. However, with as good as the defense has been, receiving the opening kickoff is more about getting the offense off to a hot start than allowing the defense to set the tone. The defense can still set the tone even after a three-and-out by the offense. It's tough for the offense to do so if the defense gives up a touchdown on the opening drive.

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