IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys' Twitter mailbag is ready.
In it we discuss:
** What happens now?
** Projecting the Week 5 defensive end
** Fullback battle
Away we go:
@toddarcher What do players typically do between now and camp that the regular fans may not know about? #Cowboysmail— Derek Major (@djmajor6) June 16, 2016
@toddarcher: A lot of them take some vacation time, but it’s hard to say they take any “time off.” They might take a week but they will continue to work out. Players will still work out at Valley Ranch if they remain in town. Those who return home will find a gym there. The injured players will continue to go through some rehab. The rookies also remain and will have their workouts. The on-field work with coaches is over, but players will be around and do some on their own. Per league rules, players can’t be at the facility 10 days prior to the start of training camp, so that’s when Valley Ranch will truly go dark.
@toddarcher #cowboysmail which Day 1 starting DE has the best chance to keep his job once Gregory and DLaw are allowed back?— Garrett C (@gcorneli2400) June 16, 2016
@toddarcher: Let’s go on the assumption DeMarcus Lawrence's suspension will be four games. I’m not so sure I know who will start Day 1 at either defensive-end spot right now. I’d go with David Irving at left end and Benson Mayowa at right end. Mayowa had surgery this week on his knee and the hope is he is ready at the start of camp or at least early in camp. Maybe Ryan Russsell sneaks into this mix. Maybe the Cowboys make a deal for a free agent or find a trade partner but teams generally don’t give up on pass rushers because they are so hard to find. To me the answer is Mayowa. Lawrence led the Cowboys in sacks last year with eight. He is a much more established player than Gregory, who did not have a sack as a rookie. The coaches liked what they saw from Gregory in the offseason but how will that month off affect him? He will be allowed at the facility to continue to work out but he can’t take part in meetings or get on the field. Mayowa has some ability. He has strong hands. He can bend around the corner. I think he has the best chance.
@toddarcher has either Smith separated himself in the FB battle? I assume special teams ability factors in greatly as well? #cowboysmail— Doug D. (@ddall11) June 16, 2016
@toddarcher: It’s too hard to tell because without pads a fullback is largely useless. It’s the same with offensive-line play. You really can’t show the physicality of the position and it’s not like the coaches are calling run plays on third and short in the spring. It looked like Rod Smith was the first-team fullback this spring based on the rotation. I’ll have a roster projection coming out Monday but I’ll give you a little preview. I went with Rod Smith as the fullback over Keith Smith and here’s why: he has tailback skills. I don’t know if he can be a good lead blocker just yet. I don’t know if Keith Smith can do that either. Both guys can play every special-teams unit, too. I went with Rod Smith because he can move to tailback in a pinch with his background. Keith Smith is making the move to fullback from linebacker. He has more ground to cover this summer.