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Strange But True: Cowboys Thrive Even Though Players They Lost Are Thriving

A late night debate. How does this happen?

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

How does a football team lose some of its best players that can still produce, and yet said football team is better? Who really knows, but a trio of Cowboys castoffs had great days this past Sunday, and yet Dallas is a better team without them.

This past Sunday, DeMarcus Ware had three sacks running his season total to seven, but that wasn't even the best sack total by a former Cowboys defender on the day. In one half of football Jay Ratliff had 3.5 sacks. To top the ex-Cowboys parade off, Kyle Orton is up for the GMC Never Say Never award for bringing the Bills back and winning the game on a last-play touchdown completion. For kicks I had to check on Jason Hatcher just to see what he did. Only a couple of tackles, one for a loss. Well, not every recent Cowboy castoff had a great day (Hatch has three sacks on the season).

All of this serves to illustrate one of the great mysteries of sport. With the loss of Ware, Hatcher and Sean Lee, plus the departures of Jay Ratliff and Kyle Orton, just how did this team get so much better? And how did the defense get so much better?

My answer is coaching. Rod Marinelli and Scott Linehan have transformed the Cowboys on both sides of the ball. The assistant coaches, like Mike Pope, are also helping in the transformation.

What's your explanation?

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