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Cowboys Mailbag: February 17, 2012

/ Editor's Note: Each weekday,'s writers will field two questions from the fans. Click here to email your question now. **

FRED ROBERTS SALEM, OR: I hear people suggesting the Cowboys should move on from Abram Elam, but he didn't seem to be that bad. Is it just that there may be a better player available?

Nick: I think Elam was just . . . there. He didn't play bad at all but he wasn't that great either. I don't think he was a difference-maker either way. So you're always trying to improve from guys like that, but it's not easy. You might end up with something worse. I think the Cowboys will let him test the market again and they'll try to find a better alternative. But who knows, it might end up where Elam returning to the Cowboys is the best situation for both sides.

Josh: He didn't make a lot of mistakes, which made him an upgrade from Alan Ball in 2010, but then again I can't think offhand of two plays that he made all season. Remember when we all used to say about the safety Roy Williams that he had a good game just because he wasn't getting burnt for deep touchdowns? Well, there's more to the position than that.

JAMES KILPATRICK TORONTO, ON: If the goal is to match up better with the Eagles and Giants, which way do you go if both cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick and guard David DeCastro are available at No. 14?

Nick: I think we're still a little early from that projection. I mean, are we sure they have to take either one of those guys if they are available at No. 14. Right now, this team has needs and we don't know how they address them in free agency. And yes, it matters. Because if they sign a veteran guard in FA, coupled with the youngsters they have in Arkin, Nagy and Kowolski, they aren't taking a guard at No. 14. But to answer your question the best way I can, I still think this team needs to get defensive studs. It doesn't matter what position. If they're on the board at No. 14, and can play defense well .... Go for it.

Josh: Obviously there are a lot of shoes to drop between now and then. But just looking at it now, I would say you take the defensive guy. Defense was this team's biggest problem last year, even though the offensive line struggled. Still, hasn't the Cowboys' offense been good enough over the last five years? Again, it's so early. Who knows.

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