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Mailbag: Will Dallas Win The Field-Position Game?


The defense will be relied on early in the season, and that means field position is important. How do you see the coverage teams and what are the strong and weak areas on special teams? — JACK PIZIAK / WALKERTOWN, NC

Nick: I think the Cowboys have made sure they are protecting themselves in terms of special teams. They got a kicker who specializes in kickoffs in Brett Maher. They literally said that was the difference in keeping him over anyone else. Plus, the reputation John Fassel has with using fakes, forces opponents to play the Cowboys differently. They're always looking for fake punts, so that puts them in a position where protecting the punt return isn't a great option. What happens 99 percent of the time is the Cowboys get a high punt, C.J. Goodwin flies down there to down the punt or be there for the fair catch, and the Cowboys give up no net yards. That's winning the field position. That should be an advantage for the Cowboys this year.

Patrik: I think it's like John "Bones" Fassel said: the blockers in Dallas are "highly motivated" to help KaVontae Turpin make plays. And while it's not likely Turpin will take every ball to the house, if he gets a chance to gain anything — he will and that will help set Dak Prescott and the offense up with shorter fields than they've likely ever been accustomed to having. As far as the other side of this equation goes, the Cowboys have really good gunners and special teams guys - e.g. C.J. Goodwin - who can also force turnovers. The only true weak area to argue would be the massive amount of youth, because that can lead to growing pains.

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