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Postgame Mailbag: Can The Makeshift D-Line Hold Up?



Did the D-Line do enough this game considering all of the injuries, or do they need to add more pieces? Who could they add?

Nick: Honestly, I'm not even going to attempt that last part. I hadn't heard of Nick Hayden, David Carter, Caesar Rayford or Drake Nevis before this year. I really didn't know much of George Selvie other than his name. So what's out there is not something I can really answer. But, I'll say that I believe the Cowboys' pro scouting department has a good idea what they've got to work with, if they go that route. Yes, I think the Cowboys' D-line did enough but they do need more pieces. You'd like to think Ratliff will be coming back soon, but it doesn't sound promising. At some point, you think the injuries will catch up to them, but they were able to win a game despite them on Sunday

Rowan: I think they might want to think about adding a pass rusher on the outside. Kyle Wilber played his best game and made his best play of his career with his strip sack and recovery, but it's hard to imagine this line staying consistent without DeMarcus Ware or Anthony Spencer. If Ware can return this week, then they may be able to survive without a free agent addition. If he's not, it would be smart to scour the waiver wire. The problem is they just don't have the money to grab a big piece.

David: I think we'll have a better answer this week when we hear more about DeMarcus Ware's injury, and when we find out what the Cowboys plan to do with Jay Ratliff. If those two guys are going to be missing for a significant period of time, then yeah – they might want to consider adding to the defensive line depth. The "no-names," as Jerry Jones called them after the game, did well tonight. But I don't like their odds of holding up over 10 more games. Time to go work some more magic in free agency if Ware and Ratliff can't go.


First, my favorite play was Wilber's sack/fumble recovery. That should almost count as an interception. My question/complaint: were you all as angry as me at officiating? Is Robert Griffin III specifically overprotected by refs? Thanks guys.

Nick: I don't think angry is the word but I did see some inconsistencies. I understand protecting players although I think they go overboard on sideline hits. But I don't agree with calling it differently depending on how many commercials they make. Ok, so RGIII and Dwayne Harris don't have the same appeal. But I thought it's about safety. In 20 years, if they both have concussion lawsuits against the league, they'll be viewed the same. So why call it differently. That's the first thing I thought of about officiating. I also didn't really like the call, or the rule, about the ball hitting B.W. Webb. I guess he was blocked into it, but I think that was a break for the Cowboys.

Rowan: He probably gets a little more help from the refs than others, but I didn't leave this game particularly furious at the calls. I didn't think Barry Church's hit on Robert Griffin III was malicious or late, but that's just the way it goes when most quarterbacks start heading toward the sideline. It shouldn't be officiated that way, but quarterbacks tend to get protected in this league. I thought that was the wrong call, but it's not what I look back to at all at this game. [embedded_ad]

David: It's just the way this league works now. Quarterbacks get protected after the throw and on the sideline, and receivers get protected over the middle of the field. I don't necessarily love what it's doing to the way the game is played, but I understand it. And I have every confidence that if Tony Romo took a hit on the sideline like that, he'd get the call – so at least the referees are consistent in that regard. I will say this: I'd much rather see one or two ticky-tack, protective flags per game than lose a talented player like Robert Griffin III or Tony Romo to an injury. And at the end of the day, that's what the flags are trying to prevent.

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