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Cowboys Mailbag: February 8, 2012

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

Tyler Azzaro - Slatington, PA: How many new starters do you expect for the Cowboys this coming season?

Rob: How does seven sound? There could be at least five new starters on defense: one new starting end, outside linebacker, inside linebacker, safety and cornerback. Three players have expiring contracts: Anthony Spencer, Bradie James and Abram Elam. The team could look to upgrade at least one defensive line spot (though Kenyon Coleman has one year left on his deal) and it looks like Orlando Scandrick's time to step in at corner. Don't see many changes on offense besides a couple of interior line spots.

Josh: Sort of depends on how you define "new," I think. If it's players not currently on the roster, I would say three – maybe an interior lineman, defensive lineman and secondary player. As for the guys who were on the Cowboys last year, I could definitely see Bruce Carter and Orlando Scandrick becoming starters. Five total, not counting DeMarco Murray? Ideally you would probably want more, but how doable is that in one offseason?

Kirk Kennedy - Nine Mile Falls, WA: I like the idea of trading back in the first round to acquire a second No. 1 pick. Would the Cowboys be interested in that, or do you think they would prefer to hold onto their picks and have strength in numbers?

Rob: They wouldn't end up with two first-rounders this year. And they wouldn't even pick up a future first-rounder by moving down only a few spots. I'd be hesitant to do that when you're picking in the top half of the first round, anyway. It's not a top-10 selection like last year, but the odds are better that you'll find a sure-fire starting prospect. The club has several holes to fill, but they can't afford to get the first pick wrong.

Josh: I don't know about the value of that – a trade down, then a seperate trade up for a different pick. I think you just pick at No. 14, and then if there's another guy slipping late in the first round who you just have to have, OK, but really consider what you're giving up for that guy. How could anyone think this team is one or two players away? I'd have a really hard time parting with next year's No. 1 or No. 2.

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