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Mailbag: Draft An Injured Player With Upside Again?

Posted Jan 24, 2014


GARET TANAKA
WAILUKU, HI
I know it's early to discuss the draft, but I have a question regarding injured prospects. I liked the picks of Sean Lee and Bruce Carter, both first-round talents, drafted in the second due to injuries. Should we continue to take this philosophy and draft at least one injured prospect per year, like we could have last year with Marcus Lattimore, or possibly Aaron Colvin this year?

Nick: I think that’s a good question especially this year. We all know Jason Garrett and this entire staff doesn’t have a lot of time. So taking a player who won’t be ready to contribute right away is very risky and something these coaches probably wouldn’t want to do. Now, we know who has the final say in this. But I would think there won’t be a ton of support to draft injured players because the mindset will be to win right now and get over the 8-8 hump.
 
David: In this day and age, I don’t think there are too many injuries that should scare teams away if the player in question is talented enough. That said, the Cowboys have had their fair share of trouble with injury-prone players – Lee, Carter, Matt Johnson and you probably have to add Morris Claiborne to that list. If the guy falls far enough that it’s a bargain, I say go for it. But it’d be nice to see them draft someone who has a reputation for staying on the field.
 
GARRET KRIER
FAYETTEVILLE, AR
Why is Dan Bailey not in the Pro Bowl?

Nick:Because as good as he is, most kickers are right there with him. Bailey missed two of 30 kicks. The guys that made it – Prater (25 of 26) and Tucker (38 of 41) were
just as good. And then Gostkowski (38 of 41) replaced Prater. All of those guys play in colder weather for their home games. I just think Bailey is really good but a lot of kickers are.

David: A combination of factors. First, the numbers are against him because there are only two kicker spots on the roster. Almost every other position has three or four players per team, but it’s just one for kickers. Second, you typically need a little bit of name recognition to make the cut. Bailey is one of the league’s best kickers, but I wouldn’t say he’s a household name. He had better stats than both Stephen Gostkowski and Justin Tucker, in my opinion, but Gostkowski is the longtime kicker for the playoff-contender Patriots, and Tucker had one of the season’s seminal moments when he kicked a 61-yard game-winner on Monday Night Football. Bailey’s time will come, I have little doubt.
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