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Mailbag: How Concerning Is The Guards’ Health?
SAN MARCOS, TX
So, as excited as I am about hearing of Dez Bryant’s dominance this offseason in OTAs and 1-on-1s, it creates a cause for concern to me about Claiborne’s inability to play him. Is this a legitimate cause for concern or can I chalk it up to Bryant just being that good?
Nick: I wouldn’t say Claiborne has been beaten every snap. He holds his own. But yeah, Dez has been that good. He was that good at the end of last season and he’s carried it over to practice. Then again, Dez has always dominated practices around here. He goes harder in practice than anyone. I say wait until the preseason to start judging Claiborne. In my opinion, he’s going to have a good year.
Rowan: Bryant has the talent and potential to be a top three receiver in the league. So when any second-year player goes against him, it’s not always going to be pretty. Actually, when any corner goes against him, it’s usually not going to be pretty. But Claiborne hasn’t backed down. Dez wins most battles against any corner he goes against, and he’ll likely continue that trend in training camp. I think you can chalk it up to Bryant being that good. Claiborne should get better from all that time going against him, and he seems to look forward to that challenge.
LOS ANGELES, CA
How concerning is it that the guards once again enter the season with injury problems?
Nick: Without a doubt. Continuity is huge on the offensive line, especially with a rookie center trying to learn his way. He’s in the OTAs and minicamps and having to learn from David Arkin and Ronald Leary? I think the guards need to be out there for all of camp to not only build a rapport with their new center, but to give the line the best chance to succeed.
Rowan:Very concerning. Members of the front office seemed much more optimistic about the line not only because of Travis Frederick, but because they thought they’d be entering the year with Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau healthier than they were a year ago. Bernadeau’s been limited so far and Livings sat out of entire practices with knee trouble. That’s going to be an area towatch, because Ron Leary could end up taking a spot if he performs well enough in camp.