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Mailbag: Would McCray Fit In At A Different Position?

Posted Feb 14, 2013

ANDY SMITH
SUMMIT, NJ
Given that Danny McCray is a valued special teamer who couldn't cut it as a starting safety, doesn't it make sense to move him to LB in the new 4-3 system? According to analysis on this site, he is right there in terms of average weight as a LB in Kiffin's system, and the defense values linebackers who can cover.

Nick: I think I’d leave him as the fourth safety. If he has to play, then at least he’s been out there, but it wasn’t always pretty. But he’ll make the team as a special teams guy. It doesn’t matter if he’s wearing 40 or 50, that’s where he’s at his best. You remember Kenny Gant? Bill Bates? Keith Davis? They were great on special teams, too. At safety, they left a little to be desired. Same with McCray.

Rowan: I’d just make sure he stays on special teams as long as possible. That’s where he’s a useful NFL talent. I would keep him as a reserve safety, but I’m not sure he has the linebacker skills needed at the NFL level. He’s bounced around before from the nickel position to safety, but I’d leave him as is. Just make sure he gets on the field for as many snaps as possible on special teams.

DOUG CURRIE
SCOTTSDALE, AZ
 
Given the Cowboys' cap situation, wouldn't it be wise to let Spencer leave via free agency? He seems undersized for a 4-3 DE and pass rush has not been his strength in his career. Wouldn't it be better to develop Crawford or a new draft pick for this position (not to mention cheaper)?
 
Nick: There’s a lot of talk about that going on in the building right now. I would think it’s something similar to what happened last year with Laurent Robinson. You set a number that you’d be comfortable with and offer him a contract. If he gets more than that, you wish him luck and move on. You have to be smart about it and I think the Cowboys will do that with Spencer. I don’t think he’d be that undersized in the 4-3. You can’t go back and look at the Bruce Smith and Reggie White types from back in the day because the game is different – more passing now. I think he’d be a great fit in the 4-3 if he’s here.
 
Rowan:This team is better with Spencer on defense, whether he’s at end or linebacker, so from a talent standpoint, letting him leave via free agency isn’t good for the team. Of course, it would open up a great deal of cap room. You know you have a talented
player who’s ready to go right now in Spencer. Crawford is still a project but could be useful down the line. I’d do whatever I could to hold onto Spencer, but with the cap situation as is, they can only do so much before another team swoops in.
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