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Mailbag: Bigger Reason For The Nwaneri Signing?
We know the the O-line is getting better, that things with Zack Martin are heading in the right direction, but what, if any, is the true meaning on the Cowboys signing Uche Nwaneri? Can this possibly be tied into the legal dealings that Ronald Leary may soon be facing?
Bryan: I don’t believe this is the case at all. From what I am hearing, Leary has been cleared and would not be suspended by the league. As far as the signing of Nwaneri, it just the front office’s way of finding a veteran player that has experience to play in the second half of these preseason games and allow guys like Brandon Weeden and these running backs to get work without having to perform behind a line that is made up of rookies and free agents. Those guys need to be evaluated as well. It’s a smart and necessary way to have a functioning offense in these games.
Rowan: I don’t think so, but I think it is to provide insurance. The Cowboys don’t have much by way of backups on the offensive line. We tout the benefits of a young, talented offensive line in Dallas, but there really isn’t a whole lot of experience there. If anyone struggles or goes down, Nwaneri’s one of the lone vets with a ton of starting reps and experience who can fill in.
Now returning from their respective injuries, who do you believe will have a bigger impact on the Cowboys in 2014: Henry Melton or Tyrone Crawford?
Bryan: That’s a good question. I believe that Melton will be that guy. There is so much that is put on that three-technique and studying Melton while Rod Marinelli was the defensive coordinator in Chicago, he was a beast. I believe that Melton will revert back to that form that we saw with the Bears. In just watching him move around during those OTA and minicamp practices, he was playing with that type of quickness which is the strength of his game.
Rowan: I’ll go with the more proven of the two and say Melton, but I think it’s a reasonable question. Melton has the track record and past that demonstrates he’s capable of a seven-sack season. For Crawford, it’s all about expectations. Crawford’s further along in his development off injury, so it’ll take a while for Melton to get back to being himself, but I think the hope when Melton was signed was that he’d be one of the biggest difference-makers on this line. They need Melton to get back to himself, and I think the expectations are greater for him. I’ll go with him.