News: ESPNBoston: Mailbag: 'Boys questions only

Discussion in 'News Zone' started by WoodysGirl, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl U.N.I.T.Y Staff Member

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    Let's get right to the questions …

    Q. I don't think Dallas will do the Pats a favor like the Jets and force the run. Quarterback Tony Romo will throw and often. Miles Austin, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten will give the Pats secondary major problems. Dallas is very good defensively against the pass and run. It's been Romo that has killed them thus far. This is a bad matchup with a desperate and talented team coming in after a bye week. Thoughts? -- John (Walpole, Mass.)

    A. John, I agree this is a tough matchup. If the game was in Dallas, I'd probably lean toward picking the Cowboys. At this point, I am leaning toward the Patriots slightly. As we've learned, the NFL is all about matchups and I think the Cowboys have the personnel to exploit some of the Patriots' weaker areas. If they can play turnover-free football, I think they have a real chance to come up here and hand the Patriots their first regular-season home loss since 2006.

    Q. Mike, listening to Tom Brady's comments in interviews after the game it sounded like he was physically and emotionally exhausted. In fact, he commented on how much he and rest of the team put into prep for the Jets. Hearing that, I am worried that this could be a letdown week vs. the Cowboys. I know Bill Belichick does a great job of focusing on the task at hand, but with the bye ahead and coming off big win vs. a hated rival, do you see a chance for a letdown? -- MainerMike (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

    A. Mike, I think it's tough to get up each week and this is a fair concern. That said, this is an area in which Bill Belichick and players have been pretty consistent. They give themselves that 24-hour rule to enjoy the victory, then they recharge the batteries, hit the reset button, and start working on the next opponent. They won't take the Cowboys lightly, I have no doubt about that. One counterpoint that I think could help is that the defense didn't play as much as it has in recent weeks (54 snaps, including penalties), so that could help.

    Q. I know trades in the NFL are rare, but what would be the chances of getting someone in a trade to be a pass rush specialist from a team that's out of contention? -- Ian (Tampa, Fla.)

    A. Ian, I view this as a long shot. Pass-rushers are hard to find, and even a team out of contention is going to be unlikely to trade one away because they are a commodity. And as we've seen from year to year, a team out of contention can quickly rebound the next year, so gutting the roster doesn't make much sense if the pass-rusher still has something to offer. I like the topic and think the Patriots' next opponent, the Cowboys, is a good one to look at when it comes to landing top pass-rush talent. They've invested in that area with first-round picks DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer and that's what I think the Patriots could benefit from.

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