IRVING, Texas – Part 1 of the Dallas Cowboys’ Twitter mailbag is ready.
@toddarcher: I'm going to take a little different view of this question by changing it from goal-line to short-yardage. How many goal-line plays does a team have all year? I'd bet it's a handful. Now they are important, but if a runner can convert, say, third-and-1 from the 45 then I don't know why he couldn't convert on third-and-goal from the 1. Of the backs the Cowboys will count on this year Darren McFadden is the biggest and I wouldn't consider him a physical back necessarily. Neither is Joseph Randle, Lance Dunbar or Ryan Williams. Sometimes a runner has to make his own hole, and we'll see if those guys can get it done. I can't say for sure who it will be, but I think Randle has the best chance to be the leader of the committee. Until we see any of the backs do it, however, it will be a question. It was something DeMarco Murray did quite well last year, but I think "struggle" is too strong of a word at this point.
@toddarcher #cowboysmail who will be the goaline RB? I feel we will struggle in this department.- David Quezada (@dboys_32) May 28, 2015
@toddarcher #cowboysmail so when does dez have to report camp - Mark Barnett (@markbarnett_5) May 28, 2015@toddarcher: Technically Dez Bryant doesn't need to show up at all. He's not under contract. The Cowboys have placed the franchise tag on him and once he signs it he will be obligated to show up to the mandatory minicamp in June and training camp. That Bryant showed up Thursday to take part in even a limited portion of Thursday's organized team activities is a sign Bryant is itching to get back on the field even if it isn't a sign a long-term deal is around the corner. If he wanted he could carry it out all the way through the 10th game of the regular season, but that seems unlikely. Perhaps something gets done quicker than we think on a contract, but I believe Bryant will be back on a full-time basis when training camp starts.
@toddarcher: We've seen one organized team activity so to say we've seen for-sure signs of improvement might not be the best thing to do. I know the coaches don't look at it that way. But I do think the Cowboys have major hopes for DeMarcus Lawrence and like what they have seen this offseason. Players make their biggest jumps usually from their rookie year to their second year. He was a difference maker in the playoffs last year. He looks bigger even if he says his weight is the same. Maybe he has just packaged it differently. He is not a speed rusher. He has speed but he is a guy that I think will use his hands and strength to generate a pass rush. One positive sign from Wednesday's OTA was when he bowled La'el Collins to the ground with one arm as he made his way to the quarterback. Maybe some will take that as a sign that Collins needs to get stronger, but I'd rather look at it as a sign Lawrence could be a big player for the defense in 2015.
@toddarcher #cowboysmail so far are there any signs of improvement from @TankLawrence whether it be physique,speed, IQ?- DMV-Dallas Cowboys (@DMVDallasCowboy) May 28, 2015
@toddarcher #cowboysmail what kind of role will Gavin Escobar have this season? - Justin (@MaclandJ) May 28, 2015@toddarcher: I don't think it will be very different from the role he has had his first two seasons. We know Jason Witten is not coming off the field. We know Cole Beasley will have a major role as the slot receiver. We think we know James Hanna will be the second tight end. That's where Escobar can inject himself more into the offense. To do that he will have to improve as a blocker and that's something that has been said sincey the Cowboys took him in the second round in 2013. To me, Escobar has to be a niche player. I don't think he will ever be a hand-on-the-ground tight end. He can play a role down the seams and in the red zone. To do more than that the questions becomes, at the expense of whom? They're not taking Beasley off field. They're not taking Terrance Williams off the field. So that's why I have a hard time seeing a vastly different role for him.
@toddarcher: I don't see the value in having a fourth tailback serving only as a returner. You're not getting the bang for the roster buck in that case. Williams is in the same position last year in terms of sticking on the 53-man roster but now he has the benefit of being around the team for a full season. The third and fourth runners need to be special teams' contributors and that goes beyond returning. They need to cover kicks and punts. Lance Dunbar has done more of that. I'm not sure how much Williams has returned punts and kicks, but Dunbar has more experience there. Williams' best bet to make the 53-man roster is to light it up as a runner and have a chance to stick with the Cowboys or have another team take a chance on him should he not make it again.
@toddarcher if things don't work out for Ryan Williams taking reps for RB, can he compete for KR/PR? #cowboysmail- ZoomDogg101 (@ZoomDogg101) May 28, 2015