<
>

Dallas Cowboys' Twitter mailbag, Part 1

IRVING, Texas -- Part 1 of the Dallas Cowboys' Twitter mailbag is ready. In it we discuss:

  • Dez Bryant's contract issues
  • The 'loyalty' thing
  • The Cowboys' potential playoff seeding
  • Throwing from inside the 5
  • The addition of Josh Brent
@toddarcher: I've been on record for quite some time now that I believe the Cowboys will put the franchise tag on Dez Bryant. I don't think a change in agents really changes anything. Look at the Cowboys' recent past: They have been able to sign free agents to-be like Tyron Smith and Sean Lee to deals in training camp. They reached deals early in seasons with Miles Austin and DeMarcus Ware. The fact that this has gone this long tells me the Cowboys are holding firm to what they believe is the right price. The franchise tag is their leverage. If Bryant wants a long-term deal, then he has to understand the Cowboys are willing to use the tag. They used it for two straight years on Anthony Spencer and paid him close to $20 million. I can see the same scenario happening for Bryant. Both sides talk about wanting to get a deal done, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of movement at the moment.

@toddarcher: If Bryant wants to get upset with the franchise tag, then he should be upset with his union. They didn't do anything to get rid of it when they agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement a few years ago. Loyalty in sports is a myth. There shouldn't be loyalty. DeMarcus Ware kept restructuring his contract to help the Cowboys with their salary-cap situation over the years. Once they felt he lost his skills, they cut him, despite being the "team-first" guy. Players don't owe anything to teams either. Take what you can get when you can get it because there are not many times you can get it. Bryant does not owe the Cowboys any loyalty here, either. He has played well. He has played hard. But I'll take it back to the first sentence: He is not going anywhere because of that franchise tag. If he gets upset making more than $12 million next year, then that's on him.

@toddarcher: To quote Kevin Garnett: Anything is possible. You can make the case for the Cowboys as the top seed with Carson Palmer done for the year, Nick Foles out at least five more weeks and the Detroit Lions being the Detroit Lions. Just know that the Cowboys are in the same tenuous spot with injuries and their own past. I'm not so sure having homefield advantage is the biggest thing for this team. They are 4-0 on the road this season. Now, it's always good to have a home game in the wild-card round. I wouldn't want to go to Green Bay or New Orleans for a playoff game, even if the Saints are .500 at best at the end of the year. For now the goal just needs to be making the playoffs. The easiest way is to win the division. Do that and they get at least one home game. Anything on top of that is gravy.

@toddarcher: Only if it doesn't work. And that's what we're getting at here, right? It's why I hate second-guessing playcalling. All we are saying is, 'Well, they should've run the ball,' if the pass fails and vice versa. I remember Bill Parcells saying the best teams run the ball into the end zone in the red zone. The Cowboys can run it, but they do believe they have the ultimate mismatch on the outside in Dez Bryant. It can be easier to make that throw to the outside with a fade than it can be to run the ball. I do believe they want to run the ball into the end zone, but I think the look they see dictates some of what they want to do. Now, going to en empty set the way they did on third down against Jacksonville was a little much.

@toddarcher: I wouldn't get carried away with the roster spot so much. Who are they keeping off the roster by adding Brent? Tim Dobbins was inactive for the games he was on the roster and Brent could be inactive for a couple of games as he works into better shape. I think we all over-dramatize the importance of players 50-53 on a roster late in a season. You're not getting any Hall of Famers. There is a lot of hoping going on, and the Cowboys hope Brent can add size to their defensive line in helping contain the run. They have done an OK job there, allowing just one 100-yard rusher this season, but they have been gashed a few too many times in critical points in games. If Brent plays 15 snaps a game, that would be a plus and I think that's the max that they would be looking at anyway.