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Mailbag: Still Time To Sign A Free Agent At Safety?
PORT NECHES, TX
Jerry has denied Dallas is rebuilding but haven't they been doing that since Jason Garrett became coach? They've gotten younger and their talent level has gotten better and now they are retooling their defense. Jason has given the team a plan, or so it seems. How much credit does Will McClay get for this?
Nick: I don’t think that’s called rebuilding. I agree with Jerry that you don’t rebuild a team if you’ve got a quarterback you think you can win with. Clearly, the Cowboys believe that is the case with Romo. I think McClay has a done a good job when it comes to putting veterans in place, especially during the middle of the season. But I don’t think 8-8 records mean anyone should be getting a ton of praise.
David: One of the most oft-repeated lines around here is the amount of turnover we’ve seen since Garrett became the head coach. There aren’t a whole lot of holdovers left from that 2010 team that went 6-10. At the same time, I don’t know if that qualifies as rebuilding, because you haven’t seen the Cowboys strip themselves down – not all at once, at least. I think it’s more accurate to say they’ve been trying to stay competitive while retooling the roster. To that end, I think McClay and Co. have been instrumental in keeping them afloat with cheap talent. Staying afloat and competing for a championship aren’t quite the same, thing.
All of the free agency talk has centered around defensive line help, which is an area that's deep in the draft. With a need still at safety do you think there is a veteran left in free agency who could fill that gap?
Nick: I wouldn’t go that route this year. You tried it the last two years with guys like Brodney Pool and Will Allen and it didn’t work out. I wouldn’t be opposed to drafting a safety – really in any round. But I think J.J. Wilcox will be a good player with time. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t start this year.
David: As Nick mentioned, we’ve seen the Cowboys go that route. It’s a good idea in theory, but only if the veteran is good enough to make an impact – which hasn’t been the case the last two years. I’m not ready to say the safety spot is solidified, but I think the guys that are already here are a good starting point. If you want to draft another one to create some more competition, that works for me.