IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys' Twitter mailbag is ready.
In it we discuss:
** Defensive-line thinking
** More Terrance Williams
** Potential trades
Away we go:
@toddarcher: This is a great question. I have wondered if the Cowboys have been reluctant to put first-round picks on the defensive line in recent years (basically since Rod Marinelli came on board) because of the rotation. They used two second-round picks on DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory. Greg Hardy earned roughly $8.8 million last year but it was a one-year investment with no guaranteed money. The biggest investment they have made up front has gone to Tyrone Crawford ($45 million extension). They wouldn’t pay Jason Hatcher and they cut DeMarcus Ware. Let’s say your premise is correct. Well, it would be majorly flawed. Finding pass rushers is extremely difficult. Teams don’t get rid of them, even players with a whiff of ability. Why wouldn’t a team use early collateral on a pass rusher even if there is a rotation? It comes down to having a few excellent players versus a handful of middling players. I do think the coaches can have too big of an influence in the draft process and wonder if Marinelli’s standards are so high that hardly anybody would pass his smell test. That leaves the Cowboys’ upper management questioning if taking a defensive lineman is the right move. I’m going to ask around on this one some more.
@toddarcher: Wide receivers coach Derek Dooley was asked this question on Wednesday and his first reaction was to talk up Terrance Williams, so, no, I don’t see Brice Butler becoming the No. 2 receiver unless there is some sort of injury. I wrote about Williams’ future earlier in the week and the contract he could see, and I was surprised at the negative reactions. Do I believe the Cowboys will re-sign Williams? Not right now because of the commitments they have made elsewhere on offense. Do I think Williams will get a good contract? I do. It’s the way of the market. Teams have a lot of cap space and money to spend. But as for the competition at No. 2, Butler has to make up a lot of time with Tony Romo. Williams has a better feel for the scheme. He can run all day. He never misses a practice. I think he’s been judged a little too harshly in the last six to eight months. When the Cowboys open the year, he will be the No. 2 wideout.
@toddarcher: If something happens, I believe it happens later in training camp. Teams become more desperate to make moves because of injuries suffered in camp or in preseason games. On Ronald Leary, the Cowboys will have to be given a quality pick to trade him away. They know how precious offensive-line depth can be, which is why they won’t give him away. They would rather wait for a potential compensatory pick in 2018 than settle for a fifth- or sixth-rounder now. The running-back case will be interesting to watch. I assume you’re talking about Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris. Since the Cowboys just signed Morris, he would be safer than McFadden. If the Cowboys deal McFadden they are looking at a $100,000 cap hit, so no worries there. But, again, I’d be careful. As much as I think Ezekiel Elliott is going to play well, I’d still want to see him work in pads for a little bit before making a move. McFadden is a decent fallback option if Elliott doesn’t light it up in 2016.