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Cowboys Mailbag: February 1, 2012

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Derrick Brazil - Pittsburgh, PA: There's been a lot of what-ifs about the Cowboys going after Mario Williams if he becomes a free agent, but do you think he would even fit with the Cowboys? Can he play in coverage? Or is he a defensive lineman in their 3-4?

Nick: I don't think it'd be a matter of Williams fitting the Cowboys scheme. I'm sure Rob Ryan would make sure the scheme fit both Williams and DeMarcus Ware, if that happened. Yes, I think Williams could fit any scheme, especially since they play more than half the plays in the nickel package, which is a four-man front. Making Williams fit into the scheme seems to be the toughest of the hurdles for the Cowboys to land him.

Rob: First off, I doubt Houston lets him go. He's such a dynamic pass rusher. But you asked the right question: can a 280-pounder like Williams cover? DeMarcus Ware is rushing 90 percent of the time here. In a 3-4, the strong-side linebacker like Anthony Spencer is dropping more. I'm not sure we got a good enough look at Williams as a stand-up guy before his injury to know if he can really do it.

Cody Madison - Tacoma, WA: Do you see the Cowboys utilizing Jesse Holley more in the passing game more often, considering he took advantage of all his opportunities in 2011? Or will he still be fighting for a job?

Nick: Not really, no. I think Holley was a guy who was fortunate last year and it kind of worked out for him on numerous occasions, not just in the games but during the week with injuries to certain players. There were times when it appeared Holley would be released but out of necessity to either receiver and/or special teams, they had to keep him around. Give him this, he does take advantage of his opportunities and with that, I'd keep him around again and let him fight for his job. But I don't think the Cowboys view Holley as a serious candidate to get one of the regular receiver spots.

Rob: As much as I respect Holley for the way he fought his way into the league, I don't see him being that guy, especially if Laurent Robinson is re-signed. He was highly efficient last year, and he is able to make an impact in spurts, but the Cowboys don't ask him to do it every down against the top corners in the league. It's a good question, though, because receiver is yet another position with major depth issues if Robinson leaves.

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