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Mailbag: Wrong to Be Optimistic After Close Losses?


Bill Parcells said a team is only as good as its record, but I truly think the Cowboys were better than 8-8 last year. They were one missed field goal and one fingertip away from being 10-6. Am I wrong for being more optimistic than most are about this year?

David: The problem with that logic is that it swings both ways. The Cowboys needed miracle rallies to beat the Browns and Bengals, and they might have lost to the Steelers if not for a well-timed interception by Brandon Carr. You have to weight the good with the bad, which is how they wound up at 8-8 in the first place. That said, I'm right there with you in thinking the playoffs are a realistic hope for this year. Of course, the playoffs have been a realistic hope for the past two or three years, as well.

Rowan: I think it's tough to look at those two games and say that. Consider, too, that the Cowboys went 2-1 in overtime games, which were decided by field goals. They also trailed in every game, having to come back for their eight wins. I think the thing to be optimistic about is that they played with a completely decimated lineup at the end of the season and still were 8-6 at one point with a chance to win the division. There are reasons to be optimistic about this team, but it's difficult to pinpoint which games they should have won or lost, because almost every game ended in a tight finish.

I don't hear about trades during training camp much. I was wondering if the Cowboys are so deep at receiver and not so deep on the offensive and defensive lines, would it be possible to trade one or two receivers to a team that might not have a chance to pick up one of the Cowboys receivers off of waivers in exchange for a lineman?

David:What do you consider "deep at receiver?" Dez Bryant and Miles Austin are about as good a one-two combo as you can ask for, sure. Beyond that, we've been speculating all offseason whether Dwayne Harris was a guarantee to make the team -- he has just 434 total yards and one touchdown in two seasons. Terrance Williams looks promising, but is unproven. The same goes for the fringe guys. I don't see the point in making trades before you even have a chance to play a game, so I'd at least like to see that before I'm convinced the Cowboys need to make drastic changes to their roster.

Rowan:  There are a couple areas the Cowboys have some surplus of talent, with receiver being one of them. I think that goes for linebacker and defensive back, as well. But it's pretty early in camp right now to be getting rid of players that could have a future with the team. With an extra preseason game for the Cowboys, that's an extra game to have to adjust for injuries. Quickly a position of strength can become a position of weakness. But as the cut deadlines pass and it becomes closer to having to make a 53-man roster, it's a definite possibility the Cowboys make a move similar to what they did to get Ryan Cook last year.

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