Tue, 20 Oct 2020

Mailbag: The Two-Point Conversion Debate

Dallas Cowboys
23 Sep 2020, 04:24 GMT+10

by Dallas Cowboys Mailbag, Nick Eatman & Rob Phillips

I am amused by everyone who thinks the two-point conversion try in the fourth quarter Sunday was too early. I think it was the exact time to go for it. If they made the two-point conversion they would only have been down by seven points and would have been able to manage the clock to score the next touchdown with much less time than 1:49 on the clock. If they fail to make the two-point conversion, they know they have to score two more times. Just because everyone normally goes for two on the last score doesn't make it right. Thoughts? - BRIAN SAMBIRSKY / SPRING, TX

Nick: They won the game. That's all that matters this week. Moving forward, it seems Coach McCarthy has his own style to manage the game and it's not always gonna be agreed upon. Last week, I agreed with him going for the fourth down against the Rams. But I can't get behind the two-point try this week. And you didn't even mention the scenario of kicking the extra point. You've got a 50/50 play to make it a one-score game. But an extra point first makes it one-score automatically. In a game in which you've already given up 39 points, why would you risk having to score twice in five minutes when you haven't proven you can make a stop. Again, they won. But I wouldn't say that decision worked. The game just worked out. We're gonna have to agree to disagree on this.

Rob: Brian, that's more or less the way Mike McCarthy explained it after the game. He'd rather know as early as possible if it's a two-score game or not. I've always thought when you're trailing like that you take the extra point and try to extend the game instead of potentially putting yourself in a tougher spot right off the bat. But I understand where he's coming from. Through two games he has made in-game decisions that show a lot of confidence in his offense and special teams in critical situations. Maybe that's something that will pay off down the road.

Dallas' front seven on defense isn't having much success stopping the run or putting pressure on the QB and backing out the 17 points surrendered due to turnovers and a short field, the entire defense still gave up 22 points to the Falcons. Is this a personnel issue or coaching scheme issue? What can be tweaked to make the defense better? - JOEY ARNEL SAYSON / SANTA MONICA, CA

Nick: Hard to tell after two games. I think it's a combination of both. We know the secondary is unproven and the linebackers aren't healthy. I thought the D-Line would be better than this but it hasn't happened. This team has faced two pretty good QBs and offenses so far but it only gets tougher this week. So it better improve quick. I would say more blitzes would help but against Wilson, I don't know if that's so smart.

Rob: Actually, the defense was in a tough spot for the first 20 points Atlanta scored. The Falcons got the ball at midfield or better on each of those four scoring drives. I'm not ready to make a complete assessment of the defense. It's too early. It's a brand-new scheme and they only got back on the field five weeks ago. That said, yes, they need more consistent pressure up front. That's something defensive coordinator Mike Nolan referenced Monday. But watching it back, there was some good in the game. They were pretty solid against the run, and pocket pressure forced a field goal and punt on Atlanta's final two drives. It's still a work in progress, but it won't get any easier against Russell Wilson, that's for sure.

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