- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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It's been two weeks since I looked through the mailbag. That's two weeks during which I had the audacity to believe I was a decent human being who was okay at his job. Thanks for bringing me back to earth. Here are some of your printable submissions.
Daniel from San Antonio writes that "no one cares about the gap between Jerry Jones' perception and anything else" and "The fact is, it doesn't matter how much Jones loves Tony Romo" and "Romo is over-rated by Jones and under-rated by fans. The truth is not so much in-between the two, but rather found in this statement: Tony Romo is good enough to keep the Dallas Cowboys on the better side of mediocre." Daniel also writes a bunch of other stuff in a fairly long mailbag entry that basically indicates the usual about how he knows the Cowboys can't and won't ever win with Romo, because like so many of you, Daniel can see the future.
Dan Graziano: Daniel, the fact is that Jones' opinion of Romo matters considerably more than does that of any disgruntled fan, because Jones, and not the fans, will decide who plays quarterback for the Cowboys. There's nothing you can do about that, even if you think you're right and Jerry's wrong, because it's his team and, quite frankly, not yours. And while you can certainly poke holes in any number of decisions Jones has made during his time as Cowboys owner, in this case he's wise enough to know what he has, and how impossible it would be to upgrade. Romo isn't Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers or even Eli Manning, but he's one of the best quarterbacks in the league and a good sight better than anyone the Cowboys could conceivably get to replace him. Only five teams can have a top-five quarterback. It's not so bad to have to settle for a top-10 one.
Evan in Hawaii asks what chance I think New York Giants rookies David Wilson, Rueben Randle and Adrian Robinson have to have "the same level of rookie impact" that Ahmad Bradshaw, Steve Smith and Kevin Boss had in 2007.
DG: Good question, Evan. I'll take them case-by-case. In 2007, Bradshaw ran for just 190 yards on 23 carries and caught two passes for 12 yards in the regular season. He was the No. 3 running back behind Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward and actually also finished behind Reuben Droughns in carries and yards. He had just six carries prior to Week 15, when he ran for 151 yards on 17 carries, and he of course was a big weapon for the Giants in the postseason. So I would guess that Wilson is more of a factor for the Giants this regular season than Bradshaw was in 2007. He's got a chance to be the No. 2 back behind Bradshaw, and the competition standing in his way is not as imposing as it was for Bradshaw in his rookie year. Steve Smith in 2007 caught eight passes for 63 yards, which doesn't sound like much but actually placed him third among Giants wide receivers in both of those categories. That team was a run-heavy offense that didn't run a lot of three-wide-receiver looks. The pass-catchers were Amani Toomer, Plaxico Burress and the tight ends (which we'll get to next). Smith did catch 14 passes in the postseason, but was more or less a non-factor. In 2012, the Giants are a pass-first offense who don't have much at the tight end position and run a lot of three-wide sets. If Randle plays well in training camp, he should be able to beat out the incumbents and become a No. 3 wide receiver who gets the looks Mario Manningham got this year -- a lot more than Smith got as a rookie. As for Robinson, he was drafted as a project tight end and they think he can help down the road. I can't see him being as much of a factor as Boss was when he replaced Jeremy Shockey late in 2007 and the Giants were throwing to the tight end a lot.
Ed from Washington, D.C. wants to know if the Washington Redskins plan to cut Chris Cooley and, if so, would the Giants be interested in picking him up?
DG: I think the only reasons Cooley would get cut is if he were not (a) healthy, (b) willing to accept a reduced role in the offense or (c) willing to take a pay cut. Given Cooley's well documented feelings about the Redskins, I can't imagine (b) or (c) being a problem, so that leaves (a). And if he's not healthy, I doubt the Giants would snatch him up.
And finally, I wanted to run this one from Tony from Woodbridge, Va. in its entirety. I promise you that I have copied and pasted this directly from my mailbag and not changed as much as one single letter or punctuation mark in Tony's entry. Enjoy:
Dan:You are turly stupid. Your comments about Michael Vick are just plain dumb. He is suppose to lead his team and I think that's just what he was doing when he made that comment. Do you even have a football background. It's funny how someone who has more than likely never played the game have so much to say. Play the game first and then you can make you little stupid comments.
DG: Thanks, Tony. That is turly one of the most insightful bits of feedback I have yet to receive. I will do my best to heed you advice and write my blog posts the way I am suppose to. I appreciate that someone like yourself have the time to offer such sage advice.
Until next week, folks. I turly can't wait.